App note: Current limit circuit for buck topology switching regulators

Posted on Saturday, December 15th, 2012 in app notes by DP


Here’s a current limiting circuit for buck topology switching regulators. This design monitors a shunt resistor and overrides the feedback pin of the switching regulator when the current limit is reached.

A current limit can be added to a step-down converter by using a MAX4173H current-sense amplifier to inject current into the feedback network. D1 sharpens the threshold of current limit by converting the current sense feedback signal from linear to exponential. This current-limit circuit can be scaled for any output current by adjusting R3. In this case, the MAX1692 provides up to 600mA output and the MAX4173H limits the output current by decreasing the output voltage for output current above 300mA.

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