MicroSiP: Five years of the world’s smallest power solution


Happy birthday to micro system-in-package (MicroSiPTM)! TI announced this very innovative power-supply solution for exceptionally space-constrained applications (such as personal electronics devices) five years ago this month. The initial TPS82671 fully integrated step-down converter module opened the way for a whole series of devices that incorporate all required passives into a tiny 2.3mm-by-2.9mm package. You don’t need to add an input capacitor, output capacitor, power inductor or feedback resistors; everything’s already there!  Figure 1 shows the MicroSiP device.

  

Figure 1: The MicroSiP device includes all required components

The ability to co-design both the integrated semiconductor IC and the mechanical substrate enables TI to provide industry-leading power densities in the 1.6A TPS8268180 (435W/cm3) family and the 3A TPS82085 (1370W/cm3) families. The TPS8268180 provides the highest current in the smallest size with low noise for communications equipment such as optical modules. Especially in optical modules, saving any printed circuit board (PCB) space with a module-based power supply enables adding extra channels or throughput to the whole system—an immediate product selling advantage is realized.  The input-voltage range now accommodates 5V sources for even more flexibility in numerous industrial systems.

Most recently, the 3A MicroSiL-packaged TPS82085 enables the highest power densities for solid-state drives (SSDs) and test and measurement equipment. This industrial-friendly package is mounted like a quad-flat-no-lead (QFN) package instead of the previous bumps of the MicroSiP. Integrating just the IC and power inductor, MicroSiL enables high currents in an approximate 35mm2 total solution size.  For SSDs, such a small power supply relinquishes more room for memory, which is what the end customer buys the SSD for.

And don’t forget the innovative TPS82740 for wearable and medical device applications. While it won’t win any awards for power density (it’s only a 200mA device), it could certainly win an award for the most critical functionality packed into 6.7mm2. Just think of what you can accomplish with all components for the entire power solution, 360nA IQ for high efficiency down to loads under 10µA, a load switch for removing critical microamperes of leakage from the battery, an RF-optimized power-save mode to directly power the radio without a linear regulator and more.

No matter your application, there is likely a MicroSiP waiting to shrink your solution size and ease your design effort. Find it here.

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