Tiny regulator delivers high accuracy for supercapacitor backup

June 02, 2021 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Tiny regulator delivers high accuracy for supercapacitor backup
The MAX38889 regulator offers 9 percentage points higher efficiency and one-third the size of competing products transforming industrial, asset tracking, automotive and healthcare applications.

System architects seeking backup power using supercapacitor or other energy sources can now deliver the best combination of highest efficiency and smallest size with the Continua™ MAX38889 3-A reversible buck/boost regulator from Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. The latest addition to Maxim’s Continua™ family of backup regulators delivers the industry’s tightest output regulation of 2.5 percent to support critical applications that demand high accuracy.

The 2.5-V to 5.5-V, MAX38889 features 94 percent peak efficiency, 9 percent higher than the closest competitive solution, allowing it to support longer backup time. Additionally, at one-third the size, it enables easier integration into space-constrained designs.

In applications such as smart utility meters or automotive dashboard cameras, the MAX38889 Continua regulator operates in buck mode to charge a backup power source, such as a supercapacitor. When main power goes away, the regulator reverses direction automatically, boosting the supercapacitor voltage to power the system, until main power is restored.

For convenient adoption, the entire MAX38889 solution is 64 percent smaller than the closest competitor (218mm² versus 606mm²), allowing designers to reduce component count, cut board space and save BOM cost. Smaller size also makes it easier to integrate into new and existing designs with tight space constraints. The MAX38889 regulates backup power for a wide range of both portable and non-portable applications, such as retail price scanners and surveillance cameras, and others used in home, building, automotive, industrial automation and healthcare IoT.


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