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DC/DC converter achieves high power density, accuracy

Posted: 20 Jun 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:DC/DC converter high power density? programming? power management?

Ericsson Power Modules says its BMR453 series of DC/DC converters uses a digital control platform contained within the modules themselves.

Traditional quarter brick DC/DC converters can achieve up to 300W with an output accuracy of 2 percent, while intermediate bus converters (IBC) can achieve up to 377W with an output accuracy of +4/-9 percent accuracy. With 96 percent efficiency, the BMR453 offers up to 400W output power or up to 33A with 2 percent accuracy. At that level of accuracy, the best module commercially available offers just 300W output power. Based on this, Ericsson says BMR453 offers 33 percent more power in the same package size. Moreover, the BMR453 has an input voltage range of 36-75V and its output voltage is variable from 8.5V to 13.5V.

Applications for the BMR453 series are systems that must use a telecom input voltage with battery backup or both -48V and -60V nominal input voltages. Its inherent load regulation also allows the BMR453 to be used as an IBC in systems where the intermediate bus voltage directly powers devices such as hard drives that cannot tolerate the wide variation in bus voltage provided by a normal IBC.

Suited for use in either traditional or IBC converter applications, the BMR453 series is available both with and without a baseplate. A communication pin header is used for connection to the PMBus. For users that do not need to use the PMBus interface, an optional version is available without the communication pin header.

The converters meet the insulation requirements of EN60950 and come complete with vital industry standard features. The product also offers an extensive set of capabilities and features such as: remote sense, configurable protections (overtemperature, overcurrent and overvoltage), switching frequency synchronization, PMBus interface, power good, extensive power management programmability.

Whereas traditional bricks have just a few connection pins used to control simple functions such as turning them on or off, BMR453 modules feature a PMBus interface for system connection, opening up new control features. The digital control system provides users with access to control, configure and monitor the device itself. Ericsson noted that this is a huge step forward for customers as this level of control has never been available before, and these new capabilities allow for more intelligent energy management that helps reduce energy consumption.

A synchronization facility enables multiple modules to operate at exactly the same frequency to facilitate optimum filter design for quiet runningRF or conducted. A 'power good' pin operates between active low and active high and is a useful feature for event-based programming, for example sequenced startups.

For current sharing duties, BMR453 modules can be operated in parallel without the need for external balancing circuitry. Instead, dedicated pins are simply tied together and current sharing is automatic. A voltage track pin will follow an external device and again is used for event-based programming.

These extra features that have all been added to the previous standard for a DC/DC converter and together with its unprecedented power density, the combination makes the product unique.

BMR453's MCU sweeps up a large quantity of discrete control and overhead components resulting in better integration, lower component count, less PCB area and improved reliability. All this is reflected in the higher power density achieved by this converter. The net result for the customer is gains in virtually all areas; increased power density, greater accuracy, a much higher level of control and integration within a system, and reduced through life cost of ownership as a result of its high efficiency and intelligent use of energy management.

An evaluation kit is available to help designers evaluate and program the modules. It comprises evaluation board, operating manual, CD containing GUI and cables.

This is the first quarter brick DC/DC converter that can handle digital management and for the first time it is possible to actually 'see' inside the module when using a GUI, and track what is happening in the converter, said the company.

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