Power Electronics

Hot-Swap Controller with 10-Bit I²C System Monitor Targets High-Availability Systems

Maxim Integrated Products introduces the MAX5978, a single-channel hot-swap controller for 0 to 16V backplanes. This device allows line cards to be safely inserted and removed from a live backplane without causing glitches on the system power-supply rail. The MAX5978 integrates a 10-bit ADC for monitoring voltages and currents, thus allowing system designers to monitor power consumption and system reliability. Targeted applications include networking, base-station, storage, and computer server line cards.

The integrated 10-bit ADC and I2C-compatible interface provide precise monitoring of currents, voltages, and fault conditions in hot-swappable line cards. Additionally, the MAX5978 integrates volatile memory containing two circular buffers that store 5ms of past current and voltage measurements. The buffers can be read back through the I2C interface at anytime or after a fault has occurred. Buffer data can be used by the system to determine if a line card is using its allocated power or operating abnormally, thereby improving overall system reliability.

Rated for 0 to 16V inputs, the MAX5978 can withstand transients or inductive spikes up to 30V. This device provides controlled inrush current at startup and two levels of overcurrent protection after startup. The MAX5978 also includes five digital comparators per hot-swap channel to provide overcurrent warning, two levels of overvoltage detection, and two levels of undervoltage detection. Four I/Os can be independently configured as general-purpose I/Os (GPIOs) or as open-drain LED drivers with programmable blanking. Other features include alert outputs to indicate undervoltage, overvoltage, and overcurrent faults. This controller can be configured for latched-off or autoretry fault management.

The MAX5978 is available in a small, 5mm x 5mm, 32-pin TQFN-EP package, and is fully specified for operation over the -40 degrees Celsius to +85 degrees Celsius extended temperature range. Prices start at $3.15 (1000-up, FOB USA).

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