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Controller supports multiphase power conversion

Posted: 17 Sep 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:power controller? power conversion? communications market?

Digital power IC manufacturer Primarion has released the PX3684 digital, multiphase power controller targeted for advanced computing and communications markets.

The PX3684 features a phasing control based on the number of dual in-line memory modules (DIMMS) populated, which optimizes system efficiency when the number of DIMMS is below the maximum allowed number. When DIMMS are added, additional phases can be enabled so that the current handling capability of the PX3684-based system will increase, thus driving the additional DIMM populated sockets.

The PX3684 supports two modes of phasing control: user-controlled and autonomous. In the user-controlled mode, a system master controller will drive the PX3684's dynamic phasing features via the controller's I?C-bus serial interface. When in the autonomous mode, phases are dropped and/or added based on the average output current level. The dropping of phases at lighter loads increases the efficiency by several percentage points, while significantly reducing the cost of power over the life of the product.

Added features
In addition, with up to four phases, each capable of up to 1MHz operation, the PX3684 provides voltage regulation for high current memory applications by driving up to four synchronous-rectified buck converter channels in parallel. It can be used to build DC/DC converters that provide up to 130A, low ripple, low component count and excellent efficiency across the entire operating range. Interleaved timing of the phases result in a higher ripple frequency, reducing input and output capacitors.

The PX3684 is also supported with an intuitive and user-friendly GUI. The GUI takes the designer step-by-step through the process of debugging and modifying the power system design. The ease with which the GUI can be used to intelligently manage the design process contributes to reducing the final product's time-to-market. The PX3684 also includes an internal non-volatile memory to store custom configurations and operates at single 3.3V.

"With its built-in autonomous phasing and loop optimization capabilities, the PX3684 addresses this critical industry issue by delivering more than 90 percent efficiency across the entire operating range. The autonomous phasing feature drops phases when the average current falls below a user specified threshold, and adds phases when the average current is above this threshold," said Deepak Savadatti, VP of marketing at Primarion. "The PX3684 allows power supply designers to monitor real-time system performance and quickly optimize designs, meeting the challenge of delivering power on demand, while achieving dynamic energy savings without adding to the overall cost."

Already sampling with customers, Primarion's PX3684 is available for general sampling this quarter. The PX3684 is available in a RoHS-compliant, 7mm x 7mm 48-lead QFN package.

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