Power Electronics

Data Points

DC-DC Power Blocks

International Rectifier, (IR, El Segundo, Calif.) recently introduced the industry's first dual-output, 2-phase dc-dc power blocks in single, easy-to-use BGA packages for synchronous buck applications. These devices simplify design, reduce size, and streamline computing and telecommunications power-system time-to-market.

The iPOWIR iP1201 and iP1202 give computer and telecommunications designers a single device to supply two independent voltage rails, reducing board space up to 59%, compared to equivalent circuits made with discrete components. In addition, they have no de-rating requirements up to 90°C circuit board and device case temperature.

The iP1201 and iP1202 are fully optimized for medium-current synchronous buck applications requiring up to 15-A dual output or 30-A single output with an interleaved input. They feature built-in, full-function PWM control and protection circuits with optimized power semiconductors and passive components to achieve high power density. Only an output inductor, input and output capacitors per channel, and a few external components are required to build a complete dual-output synchronous buck-power supply.

For more information, visit www.irf.com.

Adjustable Output Voltage Reference

The MAX6037 from Maxim Integrated Products (Sunnyvale, Calif.) is a high-precision, adjustable-output voltage reference in a 5-pin SOT23 package. It's the industry's lowest drift, adjustable reference with 25 ppm/°C (max) drift over -40°C to +85°C and 0.2% (max) initial accuracy. A hardware shutdown reduces supply current to less than 1 µA (max) for power-sensitive systems. Packaged in a small footprint, this reference is suitable for systems that require nonstandard reference voltages.

The MAX6037 offers a wide adjustable range of 1.25 V to 4.096 V by simply setting two external-feedback resistors. Fixed output voltages of 1.25 V, 2.048 V, 2.5 V, 3 V, 3.3 V and 4.096 V with shutdown functionality are also available. Additional features include ±5 mA source/sink current capability, 200-mV dropout, and guaranteed operation from -40°C to +125°C.

For more information, visit www.maxim-ic.com.

Maxwell to Supply Ultracapacitors

Maxwell Technologies Inc. has been selected to supply BOOSTCAP ultracapacitors for 27 40-ft hybrid gasoline-electric transit buses that are being built by New Flyer Industries and ISE Research for Long Beach Transit, Long Beach, Calif.

Dr. Richard Balanson, Maxwell's president and CEO, said the order represents a significant milestone in the company's effort to establish ultracapacitors as a standard energy storage and power-delivery solution for the transportation industry.

Balanson said Maxwell expects to win additional production orders for bus drive trains, and also is supplying large cell ultracapacitors for production, testing and prototyping for other transportation and industrial applications, including automobiles, trucks, electric rail vehicles and systems, forklifts and back-up power systems.

David Mazaika, president and CEO of San Diego-based ISE, said Maxwell ultracapacitors' durability and long cycle life enabled ISE to provide a 5-year warranty on its ThunderPack II energy storage system, which became a key factor in Long Beach Transit's decision to purchase buses with the novel drive train.

For more information, visit www.isecorp.com.

Choosing an ASIC Route for DC-DC Converters

Analyzing integration trends in the power arena, a power management IC/mixed-signal ASICs report prepared by PEI Technologies and Anagenesis Inc. for PSMA reveals that the analog and mixed-signal silicon technology hasn't changed much. While biCMOS is generally viewed as the low-power technology of choice, very-low-power consumption bipolar ICs are still being introduced. In this study, some 34 power management IC suppliers were reviewed. In addition, the study shows the silicon feature size for most power devices is in the 0.5-µm to 0.8-µm range.

While the trend is toward higher number of phases with suppliers readying 4- and 6-phase versions, the combinational regulator is an excellent integration barometer, notes the study. They include multiphase synchronous buck controllers, and charge pumps and linear regulators.

According to this report, some suppliers view the functional boundary of integration as a moving target, increasing and decreasing functional elements based on existing cost pressures. IC suppliers are looking for more flexible methods of meeting that demand. In fact, some are considering ASIC semi-custom approach, wherein each subcontroller is an IP cell that can be mixed and matched. The result is much faster time-to-market combinational regulators.

For more information, visit www.psma.com.

Potentia Launches “PowerCenter”

Potentia Semiconductor, Ottawa, Canada, recently launched the industry's first complete design environment for board-level power management, PowerCenter, and the initial products in the company's portfolio of power management devices. These offerings transform the way on-board power is designed and implemented.

Potentia PowerCenter offers an innovative approach to solving the challenges of power subsystem design. PowerCenter Designer delivers a unique point-and-click environment in which power management for complex multi-rail power architectures can be easily designed and implemented using Potentia integrated circuits. PowerCenter Emulation Platform enables designers to fully validate their design complete with their chosen dc-dc converters, before committing to a PCB layout.

For more information, please visit www.potentiasemi.com.

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