A two-module linear regulator with 3.9-10 V input, 2.5 V output, and 500 mA load
A linear regulator with an input range of 3.9¿10 V, 2.5 V output, and a maximal 500 mA load for use with battery systems was developed and presented here. The linear regulator featured two modules of a preregulator and a linear regulator core circuit, offering minimized power dissipation and high-level stability. The preregulator delivered an internal power voltage of 3 V and supplied internal circuits including the second module (the linear regulator core). The preregulator fitted with an active, low-pass filter provided a low-noise reference voltage to the linear regulator core circuit. To ensure operational stability for the linear regulator, error amplifiers incorporating the Miller compensation technique and featuring a large slewing rate were employed in the two modules. The circuit was successfully implemented in a 0.25 µm, 5 V complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) process featuring 20 V drain-extended MOS (DMOS)/bipolar high-voltage devices. The total silicon area, including all pads, was approximately 1.67 mm2. To reduce chip area, bipolar rather than DMOS transistors served as the power transistors. Measured results demonstrated that the designed linear regulator was able to operate at an input voltage ranging from 3.9 to 10 V and offer a maximum 500 mA load current with fixed 2.5 V output voltage.