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Fan controllers cool high-speed processors

Posted: 22 Dec 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:controllers? fan controller? processors? SMSC? heat management?

Engineers building products that use high-speed processors for advanced desktop PC, mobile, graphics and embedded applications are faced with a challenging design issue: the more powerful the processor, the more intense the heat generated by the chip. These ICs force design tradeoffs to accommodate their increased heat output.

To meet the thermal requirements of these high-speed applications, SMSC has announced the EMC2101 and EMC2102 fan controllers. Incorporating the company's resistance error correction and auto beta compensation techniques, these devices promise better fan control through accurate temperature measurement.

Simple, flexible option
The EMC2101 fan controller offers engineers a simple and flexible 8-pin option for general-purpose advanced temperature measurement requirements. It maintains fan control with an 8-entry lookup table that relates fan drive to temperature set points associated with the remote temperature sensor reading.

For system flexibility, the EMC2101 also allows for external temperature overrides to drive the fan. The EMC2101 has an option for loading set points from an EEPROM, making it highly suitable for systems lacking a host configuration. These systems now have access to full-featured fan control. In addition, the EMC2101 has an automatic beta compensation for different diodes and advanced processors, which allows for precise measurement of a variety of systems without diode configuration. This controller includes SMSC's resistance error correction, reducing the need for system characterization time to finetune system accuracy. This saves engineering time and speeds time-to-market.

A thermally-enhanced, 5-by-5mm, 28-pin Pb-free fan controller, the EMC2102 integrates linear fan control, four temperature sensors and hardware shutdowns in a small form factor to save space and cost. The device includes shutdown logic and start-up safeguards that are software independent and meet the challenges of critical thermal events.

Closed-loop RPM control
The EMC2102 uses a closed-loop RPM control to operate the fan. This checks the TACH and ensures the fan set points are met. This is especially important to avoid resonant points in enclosures and to maintain the right speed in aging fans. The linear fan controller integrates common components off the board such as MOSFETs and op amps to reduce component count. The EMC2102 also provides fan power-up flexibility by allowing for a start speed of 0, 60, 75 percent or full speed. The central shutdown feature on the EMC2102 enables users to operate hardware shutdown from one central location, eliminating additional temperature switches and increasing system savings. The features include inputs for "power good" and an external Thermtrip.

Samples of the EMC2101 and EMC2102 fan controllers are available today with production quantities available Q1 2007. Pricing for EMC2101 and EMC2102 will be 95 cents and $1.75 per unit, respectively, in OEM quantities.




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