This design note shows how a DDR memory-termination supply can source and sink 6A while maintaining a regulated reference voltage for 1.8V or 2.5V supplies. The circuit provides the termination voltage for DDR synchronous DRAM (SDRAM) ICs. The MAX1637 step-down controller is featured.
The high-speed memory of workstations and servers contains double data rate (DDR) synchronous DRAMs (SDRAMs). These memory ICs operate with supply voltages of 2.5V or 1.8V, and require a reference voltage equal to half the supply voltage (VREF = 1/2VDD). Their logic outputs connect via resistors to a termination voltage VTT, which is equal to and tracks VREF. That is, VTT must source or sink current as required while maintaining VTT = VREF ±0.04V.
The circuit of Figure 1 provides this VTT termination voltage (with 6A source/sink capability) for both 2.5V and 1.8V memory systems. U1 is a low-voltage stepdown controller whose minimum operating voltage (3.15V) is compatible with the 3.3V I/O-logic supply found in most computer systems. U1's forced-PWM mode of operation can sink or source output current as required to maintain the regulated output voltage, and its maximum sink current equals its maximum source current. (When sinking current, it returns some current to the input supply.)
Op amp U2 compares 1/2VDD (created by R5 and R6) with VREF from U1, and produces an error signal that is applied through R2 to U1's feedback terminal (pin 3). That action forces the VTT output (0.9V in this case) to track 1/2VDD. U2 has the performance necessary for this application: low input-offset voltage, low input bias current, and rail-to-rail-output capability. To deliver 1/2VDD to the memory system, you may need to add a buffer to the R5/R6 divider.