Power Electronics

APEC Showcases Latest Tricks in Power Chips

With a record number of attendees on hand at this year’s Applied Power Electronics Conference in Anaheim, power IC vendors unveiled a number of new devices for popular power system applications. Among the chips introduced at APEC were controllers and power modules for dc-dc converter designs, ORing controllers with enhanced performance, LDOs for use in digitally managed power systems, and new supervisory ICs.

International Rectifier introduced a new chipset in their XPhase family of control ICs and phase ICs for scalable multiphase dc-dc converters. This chipset enables the development of hot-swappable VRMs without requiring the addition of numerous discrete components. It also enables N+1 redundancy and adds various protection features. The chipset consists of the IR3510 XPhase controller and the IR3086A and IR3088A Phase ICs.

Texas Instruments unveiled a family of ORing power controllers with several distinguishing characteristics such as a fast turn-off response of 130 ns. The TPS2410 controllers also feature a wide supply voltage range of 3 V to 18 V with the ability to control buses ranging from 0.8 V to 18 V. In addition, the parts feature programmable undervoltage and overvoltage thresholds as well as power good, fault and status signals.

Fairchild Semiconductor introduced the FDMF8700, the first model in a new suite of FET Plus Driver Multi-chip Modules for use in synchronous buck converters supporting Intel’s DrMOS Vcore dc-dc converter standard. By co-packaging a 12-V gate driver IC and three n-channel MOSFETs in an 8-mm x 8-mm MLP, the FDMF8700 reduces board space requirements by 50% versus discrete solutions. The layout and size of the switches and driver die are optimized to enable higher-frequency operation in desktop and server VR11.x vCore dc-dc converters and VRMs.

Although others have introduced individual power modules based on Intel’s DrMOS (read as “driver-MOS”) specification, Fairchild Semiconductor is positioning this product as the cornerstone of a full family of products. This family will leverage Fairchild’s extensive portfolio of MOSFETs to create devices tailored to different application requirements.

Power-One and Micrel (www.micrel.com) made two joint announcements. One was the news that Micrel had joined the Z-Alliance of power supply and semiconductor manufacturers offering products that support Power-One’s Z-One digital power architecture. The other announcement concerned the availability of a full line of Z-One compatible low dropout regulators (LDOs).

In addition, to the previously announced MIC68200,a single 2-A LDO, Micrel now offers two regulators aimed at powering FPGAs and microcontrollers. The MIC68220 is a compact dual 2-A LDO while the MIC68400 is a single 4-A LDO. Like the MIC68200, the new LDOs provide closed loop turn-on and turn-off tracking between Z-One POL converters and the LDOs. The regulators can also implement event-based cascading of multiple outputs and generate the system reset signal with programmable delay.

Intersil (www.intersil.com) introduced two supervisor ICs, the ISL88016 and ISL88017, which offer pin-selectable voltage trip points along with functions such as power-on reset control, supply voltage supervision, and manual reset assertion. Housed in tiny 6-pin TSOTs, these chips can be programmed to trip at voltages ranging from 1.60 V to 2.85 V in 50 mV increments on the ISL88016 and from 2.15 V to 4.65 V in 100-mV increments on the ISL88017.

Power Integrations expanded its DPA-Switch family of dc-dc converter ICs with the introduction of the DPA422, a device that targets power over Ethernet applications where a 10-V supply is needed in IEEE802.3af-compliant powered devices (PDs). Housed in an 8-pin DIP, this monolithic chip produces a low-cost dc-dc converter design with few external components. The DPA422 is particularly suited to Class 2 PoE applications such as VoIP phones.

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