Intermediate
30 min
0

Achieve some serious voltage step-down brilliance with MPQ8632 and GD32VF103VBT6

Synchronous step-down magic!

Buck 12 Click with UNI Clicker

Published Aug 01, 2023

Click board™

Buck 12 Click

Development board

UNI Clicker

Compiler

NECTO Studio

MCU

GD32VF103VBT6

Compact and versatile, our buck step-down converter is essential in portable devices, extending battery life and enhancing usability

A

A

Hardware Overview

How does it work?

Buck 12 Click is based on the MPQ8632, a synchronous step-down converter from Monolithic Power Systems (MPS). This advanced integrated step-down converter requires a minimum number of external components readily available on the market. It utilizes a peak-current-mode control architecture, ensuring good efficiency and automatic switch-mode switching. The MPQ8632 buck converter features over-current, under-voltage, and thermal protection, making Buck 12 click a robust and reliable power supply solution. The feedback voltage on the FB pin determines the output voltage. The output voltage is set to 3.3V, making it usable with most embedded applications, allowing them to be powered from the same source, like the rest of the application, which may use a higher voltage for its operation. This is a common-case scenario in various field applications requiring a relatively high voltage, i.e., for servos, step motors, displays, and more. When there is an overload at the output, the low-side MOSFET will allow the inductor current to drop.

It will remain open until the current through the inductor falls below the limit. Suppose the FB voltage drops too much during the overload. In that case, the device enters the hiccup mode, which turns off the output power stage, discharges the soft-start capacitor, and automatically retries the soft-start. The MPQ8632 can automatically switch between different operating modes, depending on the current through the load. At very light loads, the device is operated in skip mode. In this mode, HS-FET turns on for a fixed interval determined by the one-shot on-timer. When the HS-FET turns off, the LS-FET turns on until the inductor current reaches zero. The LS-FET driver turns into a tri-state (high Z) whenever the inductor current reaches zero. This way, the device is idle while the light load consumes energy stored within the coil. This greatly improves the efficiency when a light load is used. This is also called discontinuous conduction mode (DCM). The MPQ8632 automatically switches to heavy load operation or continuous

conduction mode (CCM) when heavily loaded. In this mode, when VFB is below VREF, HS-FET turns on for a fixed interval determined by the one-shot on-timer. When the HS-FET turns off, the LS-FET turns on until the next period. In CCM operation, the switching frequency is fairly constant and called PWM mode. Packed in QFN casing (3X4mm), the MPQ8632 occupies a small area on the PCB. Combined with the low count of external components it requires, the MPQ8632 leaves enough space for an additional IC to be used. This click uses the MCP3202, a Dual Channel 12-Bit A/D Converter which uses the SPI interface from Microchip. It allows monitoring of the input and output voltages over the SPI interface. This ADC is powered by the +5V mikroBUS™ power rail. The same voltage is used as a reference. The Click board™ itself requires an external power supply to be connected at the input terminal, labeled as VIN. The VOUT terminal provides the connected load with the regulated 3.3V voltage.

Buck 12 Click hardware overview image

Features overview

Development board

UNI Clicker is a compact development board designed as a complete solution that brings the flexibility of add-on Click boards™ to your favorite microcontroller, making it a perfect starter kit for implementing your ideas. It supports a wide range of microcontrollers, such as different ARM, PIC32, dsPIC, PIC, and AVR from various vendors like Microchip, ST, NXP, and TI (regardless of their number of pins), four mikroBUS™ sockets for Click board™ connectivity, a USB connector, LED indicators, buttons, a debugger/programmer connector, and two 26-pin headers for interfacing with external electronics. Thanks to innovative manufacturing technology, it allows you to build

gadgets with unique functionalities and features quickly. Each part of the UNI Clicker development kit contains the components necessary for the most efficient operation of the same board. In addition to the possibility of choosing the UNI Clicker programming method, using a third-party programmer or CODEGRIP/mikroProg connected to onboard JTAG/SWD header, the UNI Clicker board also includes a clean and regulated power supply module for the development kit. It provides two ways of board-powering; through the USB Type-C (USB-C) connector, where onboard voltage regulators provide the appropriate voltage levels to each component on the board, or using a Li-Po/Li

Ion battery via an onboard battery connector. All communication methods that mikroBUS™ itself supports are on this board (plus USB HOST/DEVICE), including the well-established mikroBUS™ socket, a standardized socket for the MCU card (SiBRAIN standard), and several user-configurable buttons and LED indicators. UNI Clicker is an integral part of the Mikroe ecosystem, allowing you to create a new application in minutes. Natively supported by Mikroe software tools, it covers many aspects of prototyping thanks to a considerable number of different Click boards™ (over a thousand boards), the number of which is growing every day.

UNI clicker double image

Microcontroller Overview

MCU Card / MCU

default

Type

8th Generation

Architecture

RISC-V

MCU Memory (KB)

128

Silicon Vendor

GigaDevice

Pin count

100

RAM (Bytes)

32768

Used MCU Pins

mikroBUS™ mapper

NC
NC
AN
Enable
PA6
RST
SPI Chip Enable
PD14
CS
SPI Clock
PC10
SCK
SPI Data OUT
PC11
MISO
SPI Data IN
PC12
MOSI
NC
NC
3.3V
Ground
GND
GND
NC
NC
PWM
NC
NC
INT
NC
NC
TX
NC
NC
RX
NC
NC
SCL
NC
NC
SDA
Power Supply
5V
5V
Ground
GND
GND
1

Take a closer look

Schematic

Buck 12 Click Schematic schematic

Step by step

Project assembly

UNI Clicker front image hardware assembly

Start by selecting your development board and Click board™. Begin with the UNI Clicker as your development board.

UNI Clicker front image hardware assembly
GNSS2 Click front image hardware assembly
SiBRAIN for STM32F745VG front image hardware assembly
Prog-cut hardware assembly
GNSS2 Click complete accessories setup image hardware assembly
UNI Clicker Access MB 1 - upright/background hardware assembly
Necto image step 2 hardware assembly
Necto image step 3 hardware assembly
Necto image step 4 hardware assembly
Necto image step 5 hardware assembly
Necto image step 6 hardware assembly
Necto image step 7 hardware assembly
Necto No Display image step 8 hardware assembly
Necto image step 9 hardware assembly
Necto image step 10 hardware assembly
Debug Image Necto Step hardware assembly

Track your results in real time

Application Output

After loading the code example, pressing the "DEBUG" button builds and programs it on the selected setup.

Application Output Step 1

After programming is completed, a header with buttons for various actions available in the IDE appears. By clicking the green "PLAY "button, we start reading the results achieved with Click board™.

Application Output Step 3

Upon completion of programming, the Application Output tab is automatically opened, where the achieved result can be read. In case of an inability to perform the Debug function, check if a proper connection between the MCU used by the setup and the CODEGRIP programmer has been established. A detailed explanation of the CODEGRIP-board connection can be found in the CODEGRIP User Manual. Please find it in the RESOURCES section.

Application Output Step 4

Software Support

Library Description

This library contains API for Buck 12 Click driver.

Key functions:

  • buck12_control - This function for enable or disable device

  • buck12_get_channel_adc - This function reads ADC on the channel

  • buck12_get_voltage - This function gets voltage

Open Source

Code example

This example can be found in NECTO Studio. Feel free to download the code, or you can copy the code below.

/*!
 * \file 
 * \brief Buck12 Click example
 * 
 * # Description
 * This demo application reads the voltage in [mV] at the input and output terminals.
 *
 * The demo application is composed of two sections :
 * 
 * ## Application Init 
 * Configuring clicks and log objects.
 * 
 * ## Application Task  
 * Reads the voltage in [mV] at the input and output terminals.
 * This data logs to the USBUART every 2 sec.
 *
 * \author MikroE Team
 *
 */
// ------------------------------------------------------------------- INCLUDES

#include "board.h"
#include "log.h"
#include "buck12.h"

// ------------------------------------------------------------------ VARIABLES

static buck12_t buck12;
static log_t logger;

// ------------------------------------------------------ APPLICATION FUNCTIONS

void application_init ( void )
{
    log_cfg_t log_cfg;
    buck12_cfg_t cfg;

    /** 
     * Logger initialization.
     * Default baud rate: 115200
     * Default log level: LOG_LEVEL_DEBUG
     * @note If USB_UART_RX and USB_UART_TX 
     * are defined as HAL_PIN_NC, you will 
     * need to define them manually for log to work. 
     * See @b LOG_MAP_USB_UART macro definition for detailed explanation.
     */
    LOG_MAP_USB_UART( log_cfg );
    log_init( &logger, &log_cfg );
    log_info( &logger, "---- Application Init ----" );

    //  Click initialization.

    buck12_cfg_setup( &cfg );
    BUCK12_MAP_MIKROBUS( cfg, MIKROBUS_1 );
    buck12_init( &buck12, &cfg );

    buck12_control( &buck12, BUCK12_ENABLE );
    Delay_ms( 2000 );
}

void application_task ( void )
{
    float voltage;

    voltage = buck12_get_voltage( &buck12, BUCK12_INPUT_VOLTAGE );
    
    log_printf( &logger, "* Vin : %f mV \r\n ", voltage);
    voltage = buck12_get_voltage( &buck12, BUCK12_OUTPUT_VOLTAGE );

    log_printf( &logger, "* Vout : %f mV \r\n ", voltage);
    log_printf( &logger, "--------------------------\r\n");
    Delay_ms( 2000 );
}

void main ( void )
{
    application_init( );

    for ( ; ; )
    {
        application_task( );
    }
}

// ------------------------------------------------------------------------ END

Additional Support

Resources