Power Electronics

POL Converters

Artesyn Technologies Inc. recently launched an ultracompact 12-A non-isolated point-of-load dc-dc converter module. The new SMT12F surface-mount converter has a footprint of just 0.52 in. x 0.63 in. (13.5 mm x 16 mm), yielding a power density figure in excess of 389 W/in3 (23 W/cm3). Its very low installed height of 0.31 in. (7.9 mm) minimizes disruption of airflow and makes it suitable for both forced air and convection-cooled environments.

The SMT12F converter accommodates a wide operational temperature range of -40°C to +85°C ambient and is intended for use in communications applications like enterprise routers, storage switches and wireless base stations. Based around a highly advanced monolithic silicon controller, the SMT12F uses a synchronous buck regulator topology and a high 600-kHz switching frequency to achieve a typical conversion efficiency of 95% at 5 V in, 3.3 V out. This very high efficiency results in an exceptionally low internal power dissipation of less than 2 W at full output, maximizing useable power and reliability, and allows the module to be placed immediately adjacent to the load without raising any thermal design concerns. The converter module employs a single board construction that simplifies thermal management and helps keep the weight down to just 3 g.

A key advantage of the SMT12F is that it needs the addition of only five 22 µF ceramic output capacitors to provide a complete full-specification, high-efficiency POL solution with transient response capabilities that extend to 200 A/µs. The total board space required for the module and capacitors is only 0.46 in2 (300 mm2), facilitating easy co-location with the load. Competing options on the market today— including discrete implementations and multi-chip components—still require the addition of input and output capacitors as well as considerable board space for high-value tantalum reservoir capacitors and the output inductor. The highly integrated nature of the SMT12F module means that it occupies less than 20% of the space that may be demanded by alternative solutions.

The SMT12F POL converter has a wide input voltage range of 3 V to 5.5 V, enabling it to accommodate a diversity of dc supply sources, including those used in systems employing intermediate bus architectures. The converter has a 12-A output capability and a very wide output voltage trim range of 0.9 V to 3.3 V, providing designers with considerable flexibility for addressing different low-voltage silicon supply needs with the one module. The SMT12F’s output voltage is set via a single resistor and requires no external reference when generating output voltages as low as 0.9 V. It also has a true monotonic start-up characteristic.

Artesyn’s SMT12F POL converters feature remote sense, remote on/off and voltage margining facilities as standard, as well as a “Power Good” output signal. They have no minimum load requirement, and are comprehensively protected against overtemperature and short-circuit conditions, with auto-recovery. The converters carry a full set of international safety approvals, including EN60950 (TUV Product Service) and UL/cUL60950.

The SMT12F fast-transient POL converters are the latest additions to Artesyn’s rapidly expanding Typhoon family of high-performance dc-dc board-mounted power conversion products. The company is also developing a sister product with 12-V input to support IBA-based designs. Future fast-transient POL converters will integrate all the capacitance needed on the one module, and are aimed specifically at ultradense, high functionality designs that demand exceptionally fast transient response capabilities to power advanced silicon loads including network processors, DSPs and FPGAs.

The modules are designed for surface mounting and are available in 40-piece tray carriers. Tape-and-reel options will be available for customers wishing to use standard placement automation. Sample quantities of Artesyn’s SMT12F POL converters are available for immediate delivery.

For more information, visit www.artesyn.com.

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