Power Electronics

ICs Manage Power on Both Sides of the Brick

Potentia Semiconductor has introduced two primary-side power management ICs that enable integration of primary- and secondary-side power control schemes. With an on-chip serial data link, the PS-1005 and PS-1006 power management ICs are the first in a series of devices to comprehensively monitor and control the primary side of the power subsystem. In a typical application, the “primary side” refers to the 48-Vdc bus coming onto the card to power an isolated dc-dc converter or “brick.”

The primary-side power management IC transmits status information to a companion IC on the secondary side, the PS-2406, which the company also has recently announced. The integration of on-card primary and secondary side power control schemes maximizes system uptime in networking and high-availability storage and compute power architectures.

Residing on the high-voltage side of the safety isolation barrier, the PS-1000 series devices continuously monitor primary input voltage, current and fuse status information. Digitized data is transmitted through the company’s PI-Link interface to the secondary side power management controller. Isolation is achieved using a tiny signal transformer. After the primary-side status information crosses the isolation barrier, it becomes readily available via the I2C interface of the PS-2406 power subsystem controller.

“Potentia continues to transform power system design by providing the first primary-side power management ICs available on the market that integrate the primary and secondary side power control schemes,” said Ian McGill, vice president of Business Development and Marketing.

The PS-1005 and PS-1006 are easily configured with undervoltage and overvoltage detection thresholds, which are used to shut down the card under adverse circuit conditions. Input voltage brownout detection is also provided by the ICs. Undervoltage, overvoltage and brownout alarms are communicated to the PS-2406 through the PI-Link interface, together with fuse status. Along with primary-side monitoring and control, the PS-1006 integrates inrush current limiting. By controlling an external MOSFET, the IC limits card inrush current at start-up, enabling hot swapping of cards without damaging the system or causing service disruption.

The devices also provide an electronic system shutdown function. To protect the card, if an unrecoverable secondary-side voltage fault is detected, the PS-2406 can instruct the PS-1005 or PS-1006, across the isolation barrier, to shut down the isolated dc-dc converter. If the input current exceeds the overcurrent threshold, the PS-1006 turns off the inrush MOSFET.

Potentia Semiconductor's PS-1005, PS-1006 and PS-2406 are now available. In quantities of 10,000, pricing for these ICs is $4.60, $6.60 and $4.60, respectively.

For more information, visit www.potentiasemi.com.

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