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Power-One dc/dc converter eyes point-of-load apps

Posted: 15 May 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:power one? x3015p? pol dc converter? dc/dc converter? dc voltage converter?

The migration from the conventional dc/dc converter to a more chiplike solution gained momentum, when power supply maker Power-One Inc. jumped into the multichip-module arena with the first member of its maXyz family of non-isolated dc/dc converters aimed specifically at point-of-load (POL) applications.

The move puts Power-One for the first time in head-to-head competition with power semiconductor vendors International Rectifier and Philips, among others, in this fast-growing segment of the power supply marketplace.

The company's X3015P dc/dc integrates 22 power semiconductor and layout-critical passive components in a multichip module that delivers 15A of output current at 5V from a 10-by-12mm footprint. This tiny device utilizes a single semiconductor land grid array package.

It will be available for general sampling after beta trials are complete, said Steve Goldman, PowerOne's chairman and CEO. Production availability of both the X3015P and an accompanying design kit are scheduled for July.

"The X3015P is a significant strategy shift for us that involves the development of an advanced-technology power-conversion product utilizing a fabless semiconductor business model," said Goldman.

Referring to the lower-voltage revolution that's occurring in semiconductors, he cited a corresponding change to an intermediate-bus architecture (IBA) that will use many POL converters. Targeted applications include low-voltage, high-density systems with IBA from 3V to 6V, including computers, servers, most battery-operated equipment and advanced STBs.

Packed into the multichip module are all the required active components needed to power the intermediate-bus POL applications. They include a synchronous buck PWM controller, driver circuits and two low-RDS(ON) MOSFETs. This high level of integration reduces the need for multiple external components, allowing for a selection of optimum output filter L and C components, said Goldman.

The X3015's input voltage range is 3Vdc to 6Vdc. A programmable output of 0.75Vdc to 4Vdc permits the use of just one part for a variety of applications, the company said. Current density in excess of >12 A/cm? dramatically reduces PCB area occupied by discrete solutions and other POL regulators, said Dave Hage, Power-One's corporate EVP.

A programmable fixed frequency of 300kHz to 500kHz makes it possible to optimize POL designs for the smallest size, lowest cost and highest efficiency, he said.

Hage said that the X3015 is the first POL converter of this type to get UL approval. Users can download an X3015P product brief and register for a detailed data sheet and future product updates online. A prototype design qualification kit that includes an X3015P mounted on an evaluation board ready to test is being offered to selected customers during beta testing.

In 100,000-piece production volumes, the initial X3015P will go for $5.50 and for $7 per piece in lots of 10,000 units.

- Martin Gold

EE Times

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