Power Electronics

PSMA Studies Supply-in-Package and Supply-on-Chip Trends

The Power Sources Manufacturers Association (PSMA) has undertaken a project to survey the power-supply-in-package (PSiP) and power-supply-on-chip (PwrSoC) landscape, using the results of this survey to provide PSMA members and the industry at large with insights into the potential impact of these technologies on the power industry.

According to the PSMA, the proliferation of functionally integrated hardware solutions in PSiP and PwrSoC formats represents a move away from the use of discrete components in power supply manufacturing to power supply products that increasingly employ integrated devices supplied by the semiconductor and microelectronics industries. Advances in semiconductor, magnetic, capacitor and packaging materials and technologies that will deliver products operating at multi-megahertz frequencies are augmenting this trend.

For the purpose of this study, both the PSiP and PwrSoC terms have been defined in terms of packaging and functionality. According to Arnold Alderman, a member of the PSMA board of directors, a PSiP is defined as a device in a single package that is less than 1 inch on any side, and which has a power range of 1 W to 30 W and an input voltage of 20 V or less. A PSiP device includes control, drive, monitoring circuits, MOSFETs, output inductor, and either input or output capacitors (or both), says Alderman.

Meanwhile, a PwrSoC is defined as having the same components as a PSiP, but all on a single substrate (i.e. a single die for all power supply functions). The substrate could be silicon or even a compound semiconductor material.

At this early stage of the PSiP/PwrSoC evolution, this project presents an opportunity for the industry to obtain an overview of the technology and evolving product trends. The study will provide insights into potential technology roadmaps and address the R&D challenges. Results from this study will be documented early in 2008 in a PSMA report that will be made available to PSMA members and to others in the industry.

Alderman says that interested parties can participate in the study in two ways. Companies can join the PSMA and serve on the committee that oversees this project, helping to guide the project’s composition and direction. Or companies may participate in interviews that will be conducted over the next five weeks. For more information, contact Joe Horzepa, executive director of the PSMA at 973-543-9660 or email [email protected]

The PSMA is an active organization consisting of power supply manufacturers, users, power component suppliers, academics and consultants, interested in furthering the cause of the power supply industry. It is a nonprofit, democratic and participative organization, whose main and common goal is to enhance the stature of the power supply industry and provide education and information about this unique industry through published reports, educational seminars, technical workshops and conference exhibits. PSMA provides leadership to the industry through its members, which include most major power supply companies.

Editor’s note: For further reading on recent developments in the area of power supply in package, see "Power Chips With Magnetics Are Going Mainstream" and "Regulators Embed Inductors to Save Space and Ease Use," both of which appeared in the July 2007 issue of Power Electronics Technology.

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