Encapsulated 50A digital power module can keep its cool

17-03-2015 |   |  By Paul Whytock

A fully encapsulated digital DC/DC PMBus power module that has a heat dissipation design that means power components sit directly on a copper lead frame allowing maximum power usage while maintaining a junction temperature of below 125ºC had been developed by Intersil.

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Claimed as an industry first by the company the ISL8272M is a complete step-down power supply that delivers up to 50A of output current from industry standard 12V or 5V input power rails.

The modules are capable of providing point-of load (PoL) conversions for advanced FPGAs, ASICs, processors and memory in space-constrained and power-dense telecom and datacom applications. In addition the device is also suitable for applications in instrumentation, industrial and medical equipment.

Interestingly, four of the modules can be combined to support up to 200A rails. This is important given the complexity and performance of the latest FPGAs and processors that are employed in wired, wireless and cloud computing systems because those components are constantly driving up the number of voltage rails required. Here's an example. Some optical transmission systems have as many as 60 power supplies located on a single board. This design complexity calls for a higher level of system intelligence and advanced digital power management, including telemetry and system monitoring, to ensure 99.999% uptime.

This uptime performance is critical given today's commercial reliance on Internet-driven business operations. There are serious economic consequences when a telecom system or a router fails. It is an imperative for both customers and retailers that online transactions are not lost during transmission.

The ISL8272M’s digital control technology provides precise sequencing and system monitoring through the PMBus interface. The module's ChargeMode control architecture enables compensation-free design that keeps the device stable regardless of output capacitor changes due to temperature, variation or aging. The ISL8272M’s ChargeMode control loop also provides a single clock cycle fast transient response to output current load steps common in FPGAs and DSPs processing power bursts.

To maximise design-time efficiencies engineers can use Intersil’s PowerNavigator graphical user interface (GUI) which the company says simplifies system power conversion and configuration. Of real value to engineers is the fact that the GUI software makes it easy to change features and functions of a digital power supply design without writing any code.

The 50A ISL8272M uses Intersil’s fourth generation digital controller family and expands on the existing 25A ISL8270M and 33A ISL8271M digital power modules This provides customers with a straightforward migration to higher current power rails.

Key features of the modules include; a PMBus-enabled solution for full system configuration, telemetry and monitoring of all conversions and operating parameters, up to 96% conversion efficiency with 1% output voltage accuracy, a single clock cycle transient response, independently programmable soft-start, soft-stop, sequencing and margining and, finally, the modules are compatible with all industry pick and place equipment.


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By Paul Whytock

Paul Whytock is European Editor for Electropages. He has reported extensively on the electronics industry in Europe, the United States and the Far East for over twenty years. Prior to entering journalism he worked as a design engineer with Ford Motor Company at locations in England, Germany, Holland and Belgium.

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