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November 08, 2011


Vladimir Doubovis

TI and Diodes Inc do not recommended to use capacitor 0.1uF by well known reason. The test circuitry that you copied from TI datasheet is for determining an effect of capacitance value on stability.
If somebody is not reading a datasheet, your article will not help him anyway.

John Dunn

Indeed so, Vladmir. It's pretty much certin that the circuit's designer didn't read the data sheet, at least not carefully.

It's just that when the mischief was afoot and the TLV431 was in oscillation, there were several people there who were quite puzzled by the phenomenon and who didn't happen to think of the possibility that a shunt capacitance might be harmful. Hence, this caveat.

Joel Koltner

Vladimir: I don't entirely agree -- I know a lot of engineers who tend to only skim datasheets because they figure the device they're using is pretty self-explanatory and/or they've used similar devices before, but they read articles like John's blog here (or the articles in EDN or on enGenius or wherever) *specifically because they're looking for the "gotchas" that aren't obvious from a cursory pass over a data sheet*.

I would agree that with the TLV431 here, the manufacturers make it pretty darned clear that you need to be careful with the output capacitance. On the other hand, on many data sheets manufacturers seem to go to active effort to hide all the little warts of their designs! (It's also a fact these days that many engineers who only dabble a bit in the analog world don't even know what many of the data sheet specs mean...)

An interesting question is... is there a part comparable to the TLV431 that's unconditionally stable? -- That seems like it could be a significant competitive advantage to a manufacturer...

David Gillooly

I would imagine all "431" devices are designed or processed differently so at the margin they may work differently.

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