Blog: TPS61230 compared to 6 synchronous Boost Converter.

Introduction to TPS61230.

Texas Instruments released TPS61230 in mid 2014 which is a compact, low voltage DC/DC boost converter with an impressive 5.0A internal switch. TPS61230 converts a 2.3V to 5.5V input voltage into a 2.5V to 5.5V output voltage. This high switch current can easily drive a 1.5A to 2.0A high power rail from a single Li-Ion battery cell or 3.3V rail. Looking at the 2.0 A output current range for boost converter, there are 2 segments with overall almost 80 products available.

  • The first segment can be summarized in boost converter with wide input and output voltages which range from 12V to up to 65 V with 60+ product choices.
  • The second segment is the low voltage 5.5V segment and there are currently only 13 choices are available, including TPS61230.

We will look at the second, 5.5V low voltage segment today. TPS61230 is a fully synchronous boost converter which eliminates the rectifying diode. This improves efficiency, reduces power loss, thermal heat and external component count. Looking again at the second segment for low voltage, high current boost converter and narrowing it down to synchronous products only, 11 available products show up. So overall the are only a few products to choose from.

TPS61230 industry equivalents and parameter comparison.

Let's take a look on how TPS61230 compares to similar parts in this segment. For the comparison we selected:

  • TPS61030 from TI (which can be seen as kind of predecessor) in QFN-16 or TSSOP-16 package
  • AAT2215 from Skyworks in TDFN33-12 package
  • AP2201 from AKM in QFN-24 package
  • ISL91117 from Intersil in WLCSP-20 package
  • LTC3122 from LTC in MSOP-12 and QFN-12
  • LTC3421 from LTC in QFN-24 package

All 6 products are shown with their main parameter, features and package details in this side-by-side comparison.

TPS61230 compared to 6 industry equivalents.

All products are similar in their main functionality with synchronous rectification, same operation temperature range and softstart. Though there are a few differences which can lead to a preference of a single product vs. another based on the application.

Switching frequency

  • TPS61030, AP2201, LTC3122 and LTC3421 feature adjustable switching frequency and can be also adjusted to an external clock. AP2201 is the boost converter with highest switching frequency up to 4 MHz and therefore has the lowest peak efficiency. Switching frequencies vary significantly and result in different inductor sizes and peak efficiencies. AAT2215, TPS61230 and ISL91117 feature fixed switching frequency.

Solution size

  • Looking at the solution size and board space, the smallest boost converter solution needs only 6 to 7 external components and comes in compact DFN or QFN package. Though the smallest synchronous boost converter is ISL91117 which comes in a chip scale package in combination with a 1 uH inductor and only 6 external components. In comparison, LTC3421 is requiring 13 external components.

Internal Power Switches

TPS61230 is the 'strongest' product in this comparison with its 5.0A integrated current switches. All other boost converter feature internal MOSFET ranging from 3.5A to 4.20A current limit. If more power is needed, there are 2 interesting choices available:

  • G5177B in SOP-8 from GMT, a synchronous boost converter with 6.50 A switches. 
  • LTC3425 in QFN-32 from LTC, a synchronous boost converter with 7.00 A switches.

Pricing

Let's take a look at the lowest 1k price available at the stocking portal findchips. We can see a wide price range, leading ISL91117 with the lowest price followed by AAT2215, TPS61030 and TPS61230. With more than double, LTC3122 and LTC4321 finish with the highest 1k list price at the moment. As usual, 1k prices give no indication on high volume pricing or local/regional Distributor offers but enable a first orientation. No price for AKM AP2201 was available.

  ISL91117 AAT2215 TPS61030 TPS61230 LTC3122 LTC3421 AP2201
1k price in $ 1.00 1.20 1.40 1.48  3.62 4.12 n/a
Source Mouser Verical Mouser,
Digikey
Mouser,
Digikey
 Newark  Newark
Digikey
n/a

 

Summary.

TPS61230 is a high current, synchronous boost converter which has a useful feature set, runs with a few external components and offers a small solution size. Price wise it is not a leader but for the given performance very competitive. There are not too many alternatives in this small segment. A few products offer small advantages in certain specifications or features but overall TPS61230 is well balanced and an all-round boost converter. Final product selection depends on the application goal or a preferred supplier opinion.

 

Further information:

  • TPS61230 one-page parameter overview and more details at DCDCselector.
  • TPS61230 product folder and datasheet at Texas Instruments webpage.

 

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