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Power controller goes mainstream for digital power management

Posted: 28 Dec 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Primarion? PX3539? VR11? power controller? PX3538?

Primarion's PX3539, the company's latest VR11 digital multi-phase power controller for core power regulation and intelligent point-of-load (POL) power regulation, is designed to address more mainstream server and high-end desktop applications.

Based on the company's five- and six-phase PX3538, the chip supports Intel VR10.x and VR11 VID codes, AMD 5-bit and 6-bit VID codes, and custom microprocessors to allow broad customer access to purely digital solutions for four- to six-phase applications. "With the significant acceptance of the PX3538 in server applications, we believe this product family takes digital power into the mainstream for high-performance desktop computers," said Ron Van Dell, president and CEO.

With up to four phases, each capable of up to 2MHz operation, the PX3539 and suitable (external) power stages can be used to build DC/DC converters that provide up to 130A with high, efficiency, low ripple, and the lowest component count, according to the company. The PX3539 operates on a single 3.3V supply.

Monitoring, control and configuration functions for the PX3539 can be managed over an industry standard I?C bus for maximum flexibility in interoperability. Configurations for the PX3539 are loaded, edited, and saved to the on-chip non-volatile memory (NVM) using the company's graphical user interface (GUI). With configurations stored on the IC, the controller can perform real-time adjustments to the designer's previously configured settings to optimize performance accuracy without the delay of accessing outside memory storage. Many of these functions would otherwise require an external microcontroller.

The PX3539 secures high loadline accuracy through internal calibration that measures and corrects current sense error sources on startup. The chip's programmable current sense temperature compensation allows the designer to tailor the response for best loadline accuracy over temperature, helping to reduce component count and solution cost. To further reduce component count, the PX3539 incorporates the same active transient response (ATR) technology as the PX3538, thus securing the fastest response to transient events for reduced output capacitance.

Other features include a high-precision voltage reference with 10mV voltage setpoint accuracy and precise digital current balancing with programmable offsets for thermal balancing. The device has extensive fault detection capability (for input under-voltage, output under-voltage and over-voltage, high side short, multiple internal and external temperature limits, calibration range and time-out capabilities, and configurable latch fault or autonomous recovery shutdown).

Samples of the PX3539, in a RoHS-compliant 7-by-7mm 48-lead MLF package, are already available, with full production expected next month (January 2005). This device is priced at $1.09 each in 1,000 quantities.

- Vince Biancomano
eeProductCenter




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