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Title:
LOAD CURRENT SENSING IN VOLTAGE REGULATOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/034835
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A voltage regulator having current sense capability may include an input node and an output node. A first output device may be electrically connected between the input node and the output node, and configured to control current flow through the first output device to regulate a voltage at the output node. A current sense circuit may be configured to produce a signal that is indicative of the current through the first output device. The current sense circuit may be configured to perform a first kind of offset compensation operation to reduce an offset voltage in an error amplifier of the current sense circuit, and to perform a second kind of offset compensation operation to reduce the offset voltage in the error amplifier

Inventors:
PELUSO VINCENZO (US)
GUAN HUA (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2016/046906
Publication Date:
March 02, 2017
Filing Date:
August 12, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
QUALCOMM INC (US)
International Classes:
G05F1/575
Domestic Patent References:
WO2011006979A12011-01-20
Foreign References:
US20120038332A12012-02-16
EP2378660A22011-10-19
US20150155780A12015-06-04
Other References:
XIAOJING SHI ET AL: "Gain- and offset-compensated non-inverting SC circuits", CIRCUITS AND SYSTEMS, 2000. PROCEEDINGS. ISCAS 2000 GENEVA. THE 2000 I EEE INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON MAY 28-31, 2000, PISCATAWAY, NJ, USA,IEEE, vol. 2, 28 May 2000 (2000-05-28), pages 425 - 428, XP010502751, ISBN: 978-0-7803-5482-1
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WELCH, Henry L. et al. (LLP2323 Victory Avenue,Suite 70, Dallas Texas, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A circuit comprising:

an input node and an output node;

a first output device electrically connected between the input node and the output node; a regulator electrically connected between the output node and the first output device and configured to control a flow of current through the first output device to regulate a voltage at the output node; and

a current sense circuit electrically connected to the first output device and configured to produce a signal indicative of the flow of current through the first output device,

the current sense circuit comprising an error amplifier and a second output device, the error amplifier electrically connected to the first output device and configured to control the second output device to produce the signal indicative of the flow of current through the first output device, the current sense circuit further configured to perform a first kind of offset compensation operation to reduce an offset voltage in the error amplifier and to perform a second kind of offset compensation operation different from the first kind of offset compensation operation to also reduce the offset voltage in the error amplifier.

2. The circuit of claim 1, wherein the current sense circuit is configured to perform the first kind of offset compensation operation in synchrony with the second kind of offset compensation operation.

3. The circuit of claim 1, wherein the error amplifier is disconnected from the first output device and control of the second output device is separated from the error amplifier when the current sense circuit performs the first kind of offset compensation operation.

4. The circuit of claim 1, wherein inputs of the amplifier are swapped and a polarity of an output of the amplifier is reversed when the current sense circuit performs the second kind of offset compensation operation.

5. The circuit of claim 4, wherein the error amplifier remains connected to the first output device and continues to control the second output device when the current sense circuit performs the second kind of offset compensation operation.

6. The circuit of claim 1, wherein the current sense circuit further comprises a clock circuit to control a timing between the first kind of offset compensation operation and the second kind of offset compensation operation.

7. The circuit of claim 1, wherein the current sense circuit further comprises offset sampling circuitry to perform the first kind of offset compensation operation, the offset sampling circuitry configured to produce a sample of the voltage offset in the error amplifier and combine the sample with an input to the error amplifier, wherein the error amplifier further comprises chopping circuitry to perform the second kind of offset compensation operation, the chopping circuitry configured to chop inputs to the error amplifier and an output of the error amplifier.

8. The circuit of claim 1, wherein the current sense circuit further comprises a plurality of switches, a first capacitor, and a second capacitor, the plurality of switches having a configuration to perform the first kind of offset compensation operation wherein the plurality of switches:

electrically disconnect the error amplifier from the first output device;

separate control of the second output device from the error amplifier;

electrically connect the voltage offset in the error amplifier to the first capacitor; and electrically connect a voltage stored in the second capacitor to a control terminal of the second output device.

9. The circuit of claim 1, wherein the current sense circuit further comprises a first plurality of switches electrically connected to inputs of the error amplifier and configured to swap the inputs and a second plurality of switches electrically connected to an output of the error amplifier and configured to reverse a polarity of the output.

10. The circuit of claim 1, wherein the current sense circuit further comprises a first compensation capacitor and a second compensation capacitor that are selectively electrically connectable to an output stage of the error amplifier, the first compensation capacitor connected to the output stage of the error amplifier when the current sense circuit performs the first kind of offset compensation operation, the second compensation capacitor connected o the output stage of the error amplifier when the current sense circuit does not perform the first kind of offset compensation operation.

11. The circuit of claim 1, wherein the regulator comprises a feedback error amplifier and a resistor network that provides a portion of a voltage at the output node to an input of the feedback error amplifier, wherein another input of the feedback error amplifier is connected to a reference voltage, the feedback error amplifier having an output to control the first output device in accordance with a difference at the inputs of the feedback error amplifier.

12. A method comprising:

receiving an input voltage at an input node of a circuit to regulate an output voltage at an output node of a circuit;

sensing a current flow at the output node;

generating a control signal in response to the current flow at the output node;

controlling an output device using the control signal to produce a signal indicative of the current flow at the output node; and

reducing an offset in the control signal, including performing a first kind of offset compensation operation and performing a second kind of offset compensation operation different from the first kind.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein the first and second kinds of offset

compensation operation are synchronized.

14. The method of claim 12, wherein generating a control signal includes generating an error signal in an amplifier, wherein reducing an offset in the control signal includes compensating for an offset voltage in the amplifier.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein performing the first kind of offset compensation operation includes sampling an output voltage of the amplifier, producing a sampled output, and using the sampled output as an input to the amplifier, wherein performing the second kind of offset reduction includes swapping connections at inputs of the amplifier and reversing polarity of an output of the amplifier.

16. The method of claim 12, further comprising receiving one or more clock signals to control a timing between performing the first kind of offset compensation operation and performing the second kind of offset compensation operation.

17. The method of claim 16, further comprising using the one or more clock signals to control a plurality of switches to perform the first kind of offset compensation operation and to perform the second kind of offset compensation operation.

18. The method of claim 12, wherein performing the first kind of offset compensation operation includes separating the control signal from the output device and controlling the output device using a stored voltage.

19. The method of claim 12, further comprising using a low dropout regulator to regulate the output voltage.

20. A circuit comprising:

means for regulating an output voltage at an output node of the circuit;

means for sensing a current flow at the output node;

means for generating a control signal in response to the current flow at the output node; means for producing a signal indicative of the current flow at the output node using the control signal; and

means for reducing an offset in the control signal, including means for performing a first kind of offset compensation operation and means for performing a second kind of offset compensation operation different from the first kind.

Description:
LOAD CURRENT SENSING IN VOLTAGE REGULATOR

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] The present application claims the benefit of U.S. Utility Patent Application No.

14/837,308; filed August 27, 2015, the contents of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety for all purposes.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Unless otherwise indicated, the foregoing is not admitted to be prior art to the claims recited herein and should not be construed as such.

[0003] Manufacturers of electronic devices, especially portable battery powered devices, usually require information about how much power is being consumed by various electronic components in electronic devices. Knowing the amount of current being delivered to a load can be useful in a wide variety of applications. For example, in low-power electronic devices (e.g., smart phone, computer tablets, and other consumer electronics) the supply current can be monitored to understand the system's impact on battery life for purpose of power optimization of the device and end user applications.

[0004] Low dropout (LDO) voltage regulators are common in portable electronic devices. Generally, a current sensor is a circuit that can detect a current (e.g., current through a load) and produce an output signal (e.g., current) that is representative of the detected current.

SUMMARY

[0005] In accordance with some aspects of the present disclosure, a circuit may include an input node and an output node. A first output device may be electrically connected between the input node and the output node. The circuit may include a regulator configured to control current flow through the first output device to regulate a voltage at the output. The circuit may include a current sense circuit configured to produce a signal indicative of the flow of current through the first output device. The current sense circuit may include an error amplifier and a second output device. The error amplifier may be configured to control the second output device to produce the signal indicative of the flow of current through the first output device. The current sense circuit may be further configured to perform a first kind of offset compensation operation to reduce an offset voltage in the error amplifier and to perform a second kind of offset compensation operation different from the first kind of offset compensation operation to also reduce the offset voltage in the error amplifier.

[0006] In accordance with some aspects of the present disclosure, a method may include regulating an output voltage at an output node of the circuit. The method may further include sensing a current flow at the output node and generating a control signal in response to the current flow at the output node. The method may include controlling an output device using the control signal to produce a signal indicative of the current flow at the output node. The method may include reducing an offset in the control signal, including performing a first kind of offset compensation operation and performing a second kind of offset compensation operation different from the first kind.

[0007] In accordance with some aspects of the present disclosure, a circuit may include means for regulating an output voltage at an output node of the circuit. The circuit may further include means for sensing a current flow at the output node, means for generating a control signal in response to the current flow at the output node, means for producing a signal indicative of the current flow at the output node using the control signal; and means for reducing an offset in the control signal, including means for performing a first kind of offset compensation operation and means for performing a second kind of offset compensation operation different from the first kind.

[0008] The following detailed description and accompanying drawings provide a better understanding of the nature and advantages of the present disclosure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] With respect to the discussion to follow and in particular to the drawings, it is stressed that the particulars shown represent examples for purposes of illustrative discussion, and are presented in the cause of providing a description of principles and conceptual aspects of the present disclosure. In this regard, no attempt is made to show implementation details beyond what is needed for a fundamental understanding of the present disclosure. The discussion to follow, in conjunction with the drawings, makes apparent to those of skill in the art how embodiments in accordance with the present disclosure may be practiced. In the accompanying drawings:

[0010] Fig. 1 is a high level block diagram of an electronic device having a voltage regulator in accordance with the present disclosure.

[0011] Fig. 2 is a high level block diagram of a voltage regulator in accordance with the present disclosure.

[0012] Fig. 2A shows a PMOS version of a voltage regulator in accordance with the present disclosure.

[0013] Fig. 3 shows an illustrative embodiment of a voltage regulator in accordance with the present disclosure.

[0014] Fig. 3 A shows details of an error amplifier in accordance with some embodiments. [0015] Fig. 4 illustrates an example of chopping.

[0016] Fig. 5 shows a timing chart for clock signals in accordance with some embodiments.

[0017] Fig. 6 shows a clock circuit in accordance with some embodiments.

[0018] Fig. 7 illustrates a configuration of a voltage regulator in sampling mode in accordance with some embodiments.

[0019] Figs. 8 and 8A illustrate an example of input chopping in an error amplifier in accordance with some embodiments.

[0020] Figs. 9 and 9A illustrate an example of output chopping in an error amplifier in accordance with some embodiments.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0021] In the following description, for purposes of explanation, numerous examples and specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present disclosure. It will be evident, however, to one skilled in the art that the present disclosure as expressed in the claims may include some or all of the features in these examples, alone or in combination with other features described below, and may further include modifications and equivalents of the features and concepts described herein.

[0022] Fig. 1 shows an illustrative representation of an electronic device 100 in accordance with embodiments of the present disclosure. In some embodiments, for example, the electronic device 100 may be a portable computing device such as a laptop computer, a computer tablet, a smartphone, and so on. In other embodiments, the electronic device 100 may be a power supply, a battery charger, and so on.

[0023] The electronic device 100 may include a voltage regulator 102 to regulate an input voltage Vin to produce a regulated output voltage V out - In some embodiments, a power source 12 that supplies the input voltage Vi n may be internally provided, for example, via a battery. In other embodiments, the power source 12 may be externally provided.

[0024] The regulated output voltage V out may provide power to various device electronics 14 that comprise the electronic device 100. A power monitoring circuit 16 may monitor the power consumption of the device electronics 14. In some embodiments, the power monitoring circuit 16 may be an application processor that can monitor and manage power usage of the device electronics 14. In some embodiments, for example, the voltage regulator 102 may provide a signal Sense ou t that is indicative of the load current I load that is flowing into the device electronics 14. The power monitoring circuit 16 may use this information to monitor or otherwise track power consumption of the various subsections that comprise the device electronics, especially where low power consumption is important. The power monitoring circuit 16 may optimize power consumption in the electronic device 100 (e.g., both system functions and end user applications) and maximize battery life (e.g., time before battery is drained). Additionally, in the realm of mobile electronic devices, a main objective may be long battery life. In some other applications (e.g., electronic devices used in server farms) the objective could be minimization of heat and cooling requirements.

[0025] Fig. 2 shows an illustrative embodiment of a voltage regulator 102 in accordance with the present disclosure. The voltage regulator 102 may include means for regulating an output voltage V out at an output node 208. In some embodiments, for example, the means may include a low dropout (LDO) regulator 202. The LDO regulator 202 may include a power output device Mpass- In some embodiments, for example, power output device M pa ss may be a suitable power MOSFET device used to drive a load (e.g., device electronics 14, Fig. 1) at output node 208. The power output device M pass may be connected between the input node 206 and the output node 208. For example, the power output device M pa ss may have a first terminal (e.g., drain) connected to input node 206 and a second terminal (e.g., source) connected to output node 208. In a particular embodiment, M pa ss is an NMOS device. It will be appreciated, however, that persons of ordinary skill will understand that an PMOS version of the circuit can be easily implemented.

[0026] The LDO regulator 202 may include a regulator section connected to the power output device M pass . In some embodiments, the regulator section may include an error amplifier 212 and a feedback path. The error amplifier 212 may have an input (e.g., non-inverting input) connected to a reference voltage V re f, and another input (e.g., inverting input) connected to the feedback path. The feedback path may comprise a resistor divider network, Ri, R 2 to feed back a portion of the output voltage V ou t to the input of error amplifier 212. The portion of the output voltage Vout fed back to amplifier 212 may be compared to reference voltage V re f to produce an output (error signal) to control the gate of power output device M pass , and hence regulate the output voltage V ou t to a value depending on the reference voltage V re f.

[0027] The voltage regulator 102 may further include a current sense circuit 204. The current sense circuit 204 may include means for sensing a current flow Ii oa d at the output node 208. In some embodiments, for example, the means for sensing may be a sense device M sense connected to the power output device M pass in a current mirror configuration. The sense device M sen se may be an NMOS device, although a PMOS device may be used in other embodiments. The current through sense device M sen se can therefore mirror the current through power output device M pass . Since sense device M sense serves to indicate current flow, sense device M sense can be made much smaller than power output device M pass in order to save on circuit area of the voltage regulator 102. Accordingly, the size (e.g., width/length ratio, W/L) of sense device M sen se may be several hundreds to thousands of times smaller that the size of power output device M pass .

[0028] The current sense circuit 204 may further include means for producing a signal Sense out that is indicative of the current flow at output node 208. In some embodiments, for example, the means may be a current sense output device M caS c connected in series with the sense device

Sense- The current sense output device M caS c may be an NMOS device.

[0029] In some embodiments, the signal Sense out may be the current I sense through the current sense output device M casc . The current I sen se flowing through current sense output device M caS c may be controlled by a control signal 216 at the gate of M casc . Means for generating the control signal 216 may include an error amplifier 214 connected to the current sense output device M casc . The error amplifier 214 may be configured as a high gain feedback loop to compare the V D S across power output device M pass and the V D s across sense device M sense to produce an output as control signal 216. Control signal 216 can control the voltage V D S across sense device M sen se by controlling the current I sen se through the current sense output device M casc and hence through

M sense .

[0030] The error amplifier 214 may have an internal DC offset, for example, due to imperfect matching of the components that comprise the error amplifier 214. Accordingly, the control signal 216 produced by error amplifier 214 can exhibit an offset which can ultimately lead to errors in the signal Sense out - In accordance with the present disclosure, the current sense circuit 204 may further include means for compensating for the offset in control signal 216. In some embodiments, for example, the means may include offset reduction circuitry 218. In accordance with the present disclosure, the offset reduction circuitry 218 may operate at the inputs and the output of error amplifier 214 to reduce the internal DC offset.

[0031] As noted above, the voltage regulator 102 in Fig. 2 uses NMOS devices. One of ordinary skill will appreciate that a PMOS version can be easily realized. Fig. 2A shows a voltage regulator 102' that uses PMOS devices. For discussion purposes, however, the NMOS version shown in Fig. 2 will be used.

[0032] Fig. 3 shows the voltage regulator 102 with additional detail of offset reduction circuitry 218 in accordance with some embodiments of the present disclosure. In some embodiments, the offset reduction circuitry 218 may include means for performing offset compensation operations of a first kind and means for performing offset compensation operations of a second kind. In some embodiments, for example, the means for performing offset compensation operations of a first kind may include sampling switches SI - S8 and capacitors C os and Choid- Each of the sampling switches SI - S8 may be operated in an OPEN state or a CLOSED state in accordance with clock signals (phases) φΐ and φ2. The offset reduction circuitry 218 may include a clock generator 302 that is configured to produce φΐ, φ2. As will be explained in more detail below, the sampling switches SI - S8 may be operated by φΐ, φ2 to perform an offset compensation operation referred to herein variously as offset sampling, sampling mode, and the like.

[0033] In accordance with the present disclosure, the means for performing offset

compensation operations of a first kind may further include Miller compensation to achieve more stable operation of the error amplifier 214. Accordingly, in some embodiments the means for performing offset compensation operations of a first kind may include Miller compensation capacitors (Miller caps) C ml , Cm2- Each Miller cap C ml , Cm2 may be connected to the error amplifier 214 by φΐ, φ2 during offset sampling. The error amplifier 214 may have a node n caS c to which the Miller caps C ml , Cm2 may be connected.

[0034] Referring to Figs. 3 and 3 A, in some embodiments, the means for performing offset compensation operations of a second kind may include input chopping switches Scl - Sc4 shown in Fig. 3 and output chopping switches Sc5 - SclO shown in Fig. 3A. Each of the input and output chopping switches Scl - SclO may be operated in an OPEN state or a CLOSED state in accordance with φΑ and φΒ. The clock generator 302 may further be configured to produce φΑ, φΒ. As will be explained in more detail below, the input and output chopping switches Scl - SclO may be operated by φΑ, φΒ to perform an offset compensation operation referred to herein as "chopping" (chopping operation, etc.).

[0035] Chopping refers to the swapping of the inputs in a , in b of error amplifier 214

concurrently with reversal of the polarity of the output out am p of error amplifier 214. Referring for a moment to Fig. 4, a simplified example illustrates chopping. Fig. 4 shows two circuit configurations. On the left, input A is shown connected to the non-inverting input of amplifier G and input B is shown connected to the inverting input. The output C is shown having a given polarity (e.g., plus). When the amplifier G is chopped, the configuration is changed as shown on the right. The inputs are swapped (flipped, reversed, etc.); i.e., input A is now shown connected to the inverting input of amplifier G and input B is shown connected to the non-inverting input. The polarity of output C is reversed in order to maintain the proper polarity due to the inputs having been swapped. When the amplifier G is chopped again, the configuration reverts to the left side configuration, and so on.

[0036] Continuing with Fig. 3A, details of error amplifier 214 in accordance with some embodiments are shown. The error amplifier 214 may include an input stage comprising NMOS devices Mia, M2a, connected to inputs in a , i¾ respectively. The error amplifier 214 may include a folded cascode stage comprising NMOS devices M2a, M2b, M3a, M3b, M4a, M4b, M5a, and M5b. An output stage of error amplifier 214 may include NMOS devices M6, M7, M8, and M9 to provide the output out am p of error amplifier 214. As will be shown below, the output chopping switches Sc5 - SclO can reverse the polarity at the output out am p-

[0037] Fig. 5 illustrates various timing diagrams showing the relative timing between phases φΐ, φ2, φΑ, and φΒ in accordance with the present disclosure. In accordance with some embodiments, for example, phase φΐ may be inverted relative to φ2. When φΐ is HI, φ2 is LO and vice versa; likewise with φΑ and φΒ. When a phase is LO, its corresponding switch may be set to the OPEN state and conversely when a phase is HI, its corresponding switch may be set to the CLOSED state. The OPEN / CLOSED convention shown in Fig. 5 can be used herein without loss of generality. In other words, in other embodiments, switches SI - S8 and Scl - SclO may be in the OPEN state when the corresponding phase is LO, and CLOSED when the corresponding phase is HI.

[0038] In accordance with the present disclosure, the error amplifier 214 may operate in sampling mode when φΐ is HI (φ2 LO); e.g., see at time t 0 in Fig. 5. Conversely, when φΐ is LO (φ2 HI) offset sampling is not active and the error amplifier 214 may operate in regulation mode; e.g., see times ti and t 2 . Further in accordance with the present disclosure, chopping may occur at the rising and falling edges of φΑ and φΒ; e.g., see times t 2 and t 3 .

[0039] Fig. 6 illustrates an example of clock generator 302 shown in Fig. 3. It will be appreciated that any suitable implementation of clock generator 302 may be used. The clock generator 302 may include an oscillator 602 that operates at a frequency of f s . A clock generation circuit 604 may receive the output of oscillator 602 to produce phases φΐ, φ2, φΑ, and φΒ. Persons of ordinary skill can implement any suitable circuitry for clock generation circuitry 604 to produce clock signals defined according to the timing diagram shown in Fig. 5.

[0040] Fig. 7 illustrates the configuration of sampling switches SI - S8 and the configuration of input chopping switches Scl - Sc4 during sampling mode; e.g., when φΐ is HI and φ2 is LO. As can be seen in the timing diagram of Fig. 5, sampling mode coincides with phase φΑ, so the input chopping switches Scl and Sc3 are in the CLOSED state and Sc2 and Sc4 are in the OPEN state during sampling mode.

[0041] When the error amplifier 214 is in sampling mode, sampling switches SI, S3, S4, and S8 are in the CLOSED state and S2 and S5 - S7 are in the OPEN state. This configuration of the sampling switches SI - S8 electrically disconnects the error amplifier 214 from the gate of current sense output device M caS c, and thus separates control of M casc from error amplifier 214.

[0042] As shown in Fig. 7, the voltage V D s across power output device M pass may be connected directly to the non-inverting input in a of error amplifier 214 via sampling switch SI, and not through capacitor C os . The output out amp of error amplifier 214 may feed back to the inverting input i¾ of error amplifier 214 via input chopping switch Sc3. In principle, the feedback drives the voltage difference between the drains of M pass and M sense to zero. The output out amp of error amplifier 214 will be at a proper voltage level to accommodate that (e.g., on the order of Volts). However, in practice the device components (e.g., Fig. 3A) that comprise error amplifier 214 may not be precisely matched; e.g., due to tolerance variations, process variations during fabrication, and so on. Accordingly, a voltage is likely to occur at the output out amp of error amplifier 214 even when the same voltage is applied to the non-inverting and inverting inputs in a , i¾. This voltage may be referred to as a DC offset voltage and can manifest itself in the output of error amplifier 214 as a DC level that is added to the output.

[0043] In accordance with the present disclosure, this offset voltage may be stored (sampled) onto capacitor C os via sampling switch S3. In some embodiments, capacitor C os may be implemented using metal insulator metal (MFM) or metal oxide metal (MOM) technology in order to achieve a size suitable for holding an offset voltage (which can be plus or minus) of sufficient magnitude. The size of capacitor C os can determine how often offset sampling must be performed. [0044] The gate of current sense output device M casc is not driven by the error amplifier 214 during sampling mode because the error amplifier 214 is disconnected from the gate of M caS c- Accordingly, the charge stored in capacitor Choid can hold the gate of M casc during sampling mode. The capacitor Choid can therefore prevent the current sense output device M caS c from turning OFF during sampling mode. In some embodiments, if φΐ is sufficiently short in duration, the capacitor Choid can be kept small and thus may be suitable for fabrication using the same technology used to fabricate the voltage regulator 102.

[0045] Fig. 8 illustrates the configuration of sampling switches SI - S8 and the configuration of input chopping switches Scl - Sc4 during regulation mode; e.g. when φΐ is LO and φ2 is HI. The configuration in Fig. 8 shows that φΑ is HI and φΒ is LO; the input chopping switches Scl - Sc4 may be said to be in "φΑ state." Accordingly, Scl and Sc3 are CLOSED and Sc2 and Sc4 are OPEN. Fig. 8 shows an example of regulation in the φΑ state.

[0046] In regulation mode, the error amplifier 214 may operate to control the current sense output device M CASC in order to maintain the V D S of sense device M sen se equal to the V D S of the power output device M pass . In other words, V D s of M sense can track V D s of M pass . Accordingly, sampling switch S2 may be CLOSED to connect the V D S of M pass to non-inverting input in a of error amplifier 214 via input chopping switch Scl . More particularly, V D S of M pass is connected to the non-inverting input through capacitor C os . Recall that capacitor C os stores the offset voltage that was sampled during sampling mode. The voltage on capacitor C os subtractively combines with V D S of M pass , which effectively reduces the DC offset voltage of error amplifier 214.

[0047] Sampling switch S6 may be CLOSED to define a feedback path from the V D S of M sen se to the inverting input in b via input chopping switch Sc3. The output out amp of error amplifier 214 may be connected via sampling switch S5 to control the gate of current sense output device Mcasc. The Miller cap C M2 may be connected to the output stage of error amplifier 214 (Fig. 3 A), via sampling switch S7, to stabilize its operation.

[0048] Fig. 8 A shows the input chopping switches Scl - Sc4 in a "φΒ state," where φΑ is LO and φΒ is HI. Accordingly, Scl and Sc3 are OPEN and Sc2 and Sc4 are CLOSED. Fig. 8 A shows an example of regulation mode in the φΒ state. A comparison with Fig. 8 shows that the inputs in a , i¾ of error amplifier 214 become swapped when chopping occurs. For example, suppose the inputs in a , i¾ of error amplifier 214 are in the configuration shown in Fig. 8, namely VDS of Mpass is connected to input in a and VDS of M sen se is connected to input ί¾. At time t 2 shown in Fig. 5, the inputs in a , in b will be "chopped" (flipped, swapped, etc.) and the

configuration will be as shown in Fig. 8 A, namely V D S of M pa ss is connected to input i¾ and V D S of M S ense is connected to input in a . At time t 3 , the inputs in a , i¾ will be chopped again and the configuration will revert to Fig. 8, and the sequence may repeat at each edge of φΑ, φΒ.

[0049] Fig. 9 shows internal details of error amplifier 214 with the output chopping switches Sc5 - SclO that comprise the folded cascode stage in the φΑ state. In particular, the Sc5, Sc8 and SclO switches are CLOSED and Sc6, Sc7 and Sc9 switches are OPEN. An input differential current will be injected to the drain of the fixed bias current mirror of M 5a and M 5b and the sources of the folded cascode devices M 4a and M 41) . The current difference of branch of M 5a will be mirrored by the top PMOS mirror M 2a and M ¾ . The output current will be the summation of M ¾ and M 5 , which drives the following common source stage with a fixed bias current from M 6 . M 2a and M 2b form a current mirror. The signal current through M 2a will be mirrored to M 2b and combine with the signal current through M 41) . This signal then drives the common source stage comprising M 9 . In order to flip the output polarity, throwing the current switches does three things: it changes the direction of the current mirroring, it now taps the output signal from the other branch and also feeds the Miller compensation signal to the other cascode device.

[0050] Suppose the output chopping switches Sc5 - SclO in the folded cascode stage are set as shown in the configuration of Fig. 9. The output out amp is referenced to Vss (e.g., ground potential). At time t 2 (Fig. 5), the output out amp of error amplifier 214 will be chopped in response to the clock edges of φΑ, φΒ, namely the output chopping switches Sc5 - SclO will be set as shown in the configuration of Fig. 9A. The polarity of output out amp is inverted. At time t 3 , the output out amp of error amplifier 214 will again be chopped in response to the clock edges of φΑ, φΒ. The output chopping switches Sc5 - SclO will revert to the configuration of Fig. 9, and the polarity of output out amp will be restored, and the sequence may repeat at each edge of φΑ, φΒ. [0051] The above description illustrates various embodiments of the present disclosure along with examples of how aspects of the particular embodiments may be implemented. The above examples should not be deemed to be the only embodiments, and are presented to illustrate the flexibility and advantages of the particular embodiments as defined by the following claims. Based on the above disclosure and the following claims, other arrangements, embodiments, implementations and equivalents may be employed without departing from the scope of the present disclosure as defined by the claims.