Artesyn Technologies Inc., a manufacturer of board-mounted dc-dc converters, and Summit Microelectronics Inc, a fabless producer of power control chips, are joining forces to develop ICs and power modules for use in distributed power architectures aimed at telecommunications and data communications systems. By entering into a Strategic Cooperation Agreement, the two companies intend to develop comprehensive power-system control and conversion solutions.
This agreement addresses the growing need for control of the power conversion process at the board and system level. That control includes sequencing, tracking, margining, adjustment and monitoring of multiple supply voltages to ensure proper system operation and reliability. Summit supplies ICs that perform these control functions, and many of Artesyn’s customers currently use Summit’s chips with Artesyn’s power converters. By working together with Summit, Artesyn intends to integrate more control functionality within its power converters, decreasing design complexity and increasing flexibility for its customers.
For example, Summit Microelectronics currently offers the SMM665 a controller that independently sequences, tracks, margins and monitors the outputs of six power converters. “In time, it’s our view that many of these functions will be integrated within the converter,” said Todd Hendrix, vice president of Worldwide Marketing at Artesyn. The extent to which control functionality may be embedded in the power converter—particularly in the nonisolated, point-of-load converters (POLs)—remains to be seen. The actual partitioning of the control functions among the POLs and dedicated controller chips will likely be shaped by customer requirements and silicon developments.
Under the agreement, Artesyn Technologies and Summit Microelectronics will share applications knowledge, circuit design solutions, market trends and other proprietary information to define architectures and products that enhance power control capability to support the communications infrastructure marketplace. First products from the agreement will be released to market before the end of 2004. In addition to sharing design and applications expertise, the agreement will enable the two companies to work together in discussing and presenting power converter and control solutions to their shared OEM customers. According to Artesyn, the agreement does not currently involve any financial exchanges. Instead, the two companies are working together to increase the value of their products in the marketplace.
“We are excited to work with Artesyn Technologies. Their No. 2 global ranking in dc-dc power conversion as well as leadership position in the expanding POL market, coupled with Summit’s expertise in power control, makes this an ideal partnership,” stated Chuck Berghoff, president and CEO of Summit Microelectronics. “By combining our efforts, we can quickly offer competitive solutions to today’s problems, while ensuring future product offerings that address the constantly evolving power control and conversion architecture needs of our OEM customers.”