Split-Phase Control: Achieving Complete Soft-Charging Operation of a Dickson Switched-Capacitor Converter

Yutian Lei, Ryan May, Robert Pilawa-Podgurski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Switched-capacitor (SC) converters are gaining popularity due to their high power density and suitability for on-chip integration. Soft-charging and resonant techniques can be used to eliminate the current transient during the switching instances, and improve the power density and efficiency of SC converters. In this paper, we propose a split-phase control scheme that enables the Dickson converter to achieve complete soft-charging (or resonant) operation, which is not possible using the conventional two-phase control. An analytical method is extended to help in the analysis and design of split-phase controlled Dickson converters. The proposed technique and analysis are verified by both simulation and experimental results. An 8-to-1 step-down Dickson converter with an input voltage of 150 V and rated power of 36 W is built using GaN FETs. The converter prototype demonstrated a five fold reduction in the output impedance (which corresponds to conduction power loss) compared to a conventional Dickson converter, as a result of the split-phase controlled soft-charging operation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7041205
Pages (from-to)770-782
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Electronics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Dickson
  • GaN
  • soft-charging
  • split-phase control
  • switched-capacitor converter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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