Power Electronics

CUI, Ericsson Power Modules and Murata Initiate New Power Conversion Industry Consortium

Three power supply manufacturers announced formation of a new industry consortium, the Architects of Modern Power (AMP Group). Founding members are CUI, Ericsson Power Modules and Murata who are all global manufacturers of power conversion products for distributed power architectures.

Previously, there were two standards organizations devoted to power supplies. Point-of-Load Alliance (POLA) founded in 2003 promoted multi-sourcing of pin-compatible, non-isolated, point-of-load power modules. The Distributed-power Open Standards Alliance (DOSA) established in 2004 developed standards for dc-dc converters to ensure compatibility and facilitate second sourcing for customers. POLA is no longer active and DOSA has been dormant since 2011.

The AMP Group will fill the void left by the POLA and DOSA, with the added feature of standardizing the performance of power converter modules, which neither POLA or DOSA did.  The AMP Group’s goal is to create the most technically advanced, end-to-end distributed power solutions - a complete ecosystem of hardware, software and support.

The need for the AMP Group consortium was triggered by greater complexity and management of multi-rail semiconductors, FPGAs, processors, DSPs, etc. - products that are used throughout all market segments, including medical, industrial, consumer, and test & measurement. Also, geometry advancement in semiconductors created a requirement of tighter tolerances and flexible architecture to support dynamic core voltage adjustments. Plus, increased density of boards in technology products continue to increase, yet board space to implement this incremental growth continues to shrink, requiring greater function and density consolidation.

Furthermore, a greater number of power supplies are becoming digital, which is quickly proliferating throughout the electronics segment, it is no longer just a datacom/telecom sector requirement. Digital power supplies are inherently more complicated and the AMP Group members are working to simplify this complicated problem. AMP Group members will provide a variety of products that cover a wide range of densities, footprints, and features in order to allow the design engineer the best options to meet their requirements.  A level of software compatibility will be required to achieve a true multi-source solution, including compatibility of PMBus commands, proprietary controller commands, and configuration files. The AMP Group will address this challenge.

The AMP Group’s work will extend well beyond defining mechanical dimensions and product footprints for intelligent DC-DC power modules and AC-DC power supplies. The consortium's long-term strategic alliance will foster close collaboration between members to develop shared technology roadmaps.

Participating companies will establish common mechanical and electrical specifications for their products, standardization of monitoring, control and communications functions, and create common configuration files for plug-and-play interoperability between products from each firm. The end result will be a true multi-sourced, high efficiency power ecosystem with exceptional supply chain reliability through continuity of production.

The AMP Group will announce its first set of standards, for digital point-of-load (POL) regulators and advanced bus DC-DC converters, at the Electronica show in Munich, November 11-14th, 2014. 

For more information visit www.AMPGroup.com.

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