The KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) has served engineers well for many years, inviting them to always ask—how can I make this design/circuit/operation/code simpler? By simplifying the operation of a given system down to just what is needed to accomplish a given task, not only is the operating behavior and/or number of operation states simplified or reduced, the number of components and complexity of those components is also reduced. This results in a lower cost design overall, while enhancing reliability.

Low cost, yet reliable, systems such as set-top boxes and modems benefit greatly from this type of design approach. By keeping all circuits as simple as possible, extra functions and their cost are eliminated.  As well, simple and easy system integration results.  A key system function that especially follows the KISS principle is the Power Management.

Such low cost systems just need a few simple power rails. Generally, converting the 5V input to 3.3V and 1.8V is good enough for these systems. Unnecessary are somewhat sophisticated functions like a digital interface, fault reporting, super-small packages which are more costly to manufacture, and features such as enable, programmable soft start, tracking, power good, etc. Absolutely required, however, are system safety features like current limit and thermal protection—you can’t KISS system safety away!

Linear regulators are low cost and very simple devices that are typically chosen in these end equipments. However, they can be inefficient which might make the set-top box or modem hot to the touch while also decreasing its reliability through its higher operating temperature. Can we keep the simplicity and low cost of the linear regulator but increase the efficiency? Yes! 

Very simple switching regulators that strictly adhere to the KISS principle are the new TLV62565 and TLV62566.  Available in an industry standard and very low cost SOT-23 package, these devices are not fancy.  Just 5 pins are used to efficiently convert your 5-V input to lower voltage rails. Critical safety features like current limit and over temperature protection are implemented, while extra features are not. Just an enable input or power good output are the only frills with these devices. Enjoy super simple and efficient power conversion and KISS your problems goodbye.

How has the KISS principle benefited your end equipments?

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