Consumers always demand electronic systems (e.g. portable gadgets) for more functionalities and at the same time lower power, longer battery life, thinner and lighter. While other functional chips/ICs are making a great effort of integration to save power and leave more space for battery, power management has been slow to catch up, even with just shrinking the implementation size, let alone the full integration. This is because power management IC (PMIC) together with associated off-chip components requires a board area that is fixed and/or not scaled as fast as other ICs. Therefore, there is a strong need for efficient fully integrated power management that can significantly reduce the total implementation area and benefit from technology scaling.
In this talk, switched-capacitor (SC) converter will be introduced as a potential candidate for fully integrated power management. Its fundamental operation and design methodology will be discussed along with possible solutions to its conventional issues, including power level, input/output voltage/current ripple, regulations and interconnects. As proofs of concept, two SC converter prototypes will be presented in details with circuit techniques and measurement results. One prototype shows the capability of delivering high power density (~0.9W/mm2) with high efficiency (~80%) while the other illustrates an ability to efficiently interface all low-voltage (i.e. ~1V) devices directly to Li-ion battery (~2.9V-4V) and a possibility of eliminating all today's off-chip PMICs.