Milpitas, Calif. - Linear Technology says its LT3020 is the industry's first very-low-dropout voltage regulator (VLDO) chip that can work from input voltages down to 0.9 volt. It's thus suited to single-cell alkaline and NiMH batteries and emerging applications that use a 1.5-volt rail and provide 0.9 to 1.25 volts at up to 100 mA for microcontroller and microprocessor cores. The LT3020 has a dropout of 150 mV, optimizing battery run time in applications with a low Vin-to-Vout differential. Quiescent operating current is only 120 microamps; shutdown current is less than 3 microamps. It also features a load regulation of 0.2 percent.
The LT3020 will run stable with low-ESR ceramic output capacitors as small as 2.2 µF. Internal protection circuitry includes reverse-battery protection, current limiting, thermal limiting with hysteresis, and reverse-current protection. The regulator is available in a low profile (0.75 mm) 8-lead DFN (3-by-3 mm package with an exposed pad), as well as an 8-lead MSOP package. It's priced starting at $1.50 each in 1k quantities for both package options.