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Power Electronics

Digital Power Technology Auto-Tunes Power Supplies

MAXIM INTEGRATED PRODUCTS announces its entry into the fast-growing digital power market with its patented* InTune brand digital power technology; it is based on “state-space” or “model-predictive” control, .rather than proportional-integral-derivative (PID) control used by competitors.

Maxim's InTune digital power technology performs an automatic compensation routine based on measured parameters, which enables the construction of an internal mathematical model of the power supply including the external components. The result is a switching power supply that achieves the highest possible dynamic performance while guaranteeing stability. Furthermore, this information enables several proprietary algorithms that optimize efficiency across a wide range of operating conditions. Maxim's InTune technology requires up to 5x lower bias current than competing devices, further improving overall efficiency for applications such as networking, telecom, and servers.

“Unlike competing technology, Maxim's InTune digital power technology is not an iterative tuning technique. It is deterministic and resolves several limitations present in today's digital power solutions,” said Jim Templeton, Director of Business Management, leading Maxim's digital power effort. “Unlike PID-based solutions, the loop used by Maxim's InTune digital power technology provides seamless small- and large-signal response without the need to cross back and forth between linear and nonlinear modes. This enables loop response up to 10x faster than competitors and does not require any user-set thresholds. In fact, the PWM controllers used by Maxim's InTune digital power technology are even faster than their analog equivalents.” The figure shows a typical power converter that employs InTune. The yellow boxes are provided by the associated IC that supports auto-tuning of the supply.

Maxim has acquired a digital power R&D firm and notable intellectual property. The company recently licensed digital power technology “DPT” patents from Power-One, Inc. Maxim plans to leverage its position as a top supplier of power-management and control ICs to become the number one supplier of digital power solutions.

“The digital power market has entered the mainstream adoption stage of customer acceptance,” said Ryan Sanderson, Senior Market Research Analyst at IMS Research. IMS expects the digital power IC market to grow an average of 30% per year to over $900 million by 2016.

For preliminary information, go to

*U.S. Patents #7,622,820 and #7,586,767 (page 47).

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