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Digital voltage regulator cuts up to 50% component count

Posted: 11 Nov 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:voltage regulator? digital controller? PWM?

Ericsson Power Modules has launched BMR450 voltage regulator with integrated digital pulse-width modulation (PWM) controller that enables increased current density while decreasing footprint, cutting component count by 50 percent.

The device also features embedded dynamic and adaptive controls, which reduces power consumption by adjusting critical parameters to match load conditions, resulting in higher efficiency throughout the whole range of operation.

The BMR450 is a digitally controlled, non-isolated voltage regulator rated at 20A. It has a high current density of 7.38A/cm3. For a similar in/out performance, an analog voltage regulator would offer a much-reduced figure of 2.37A/cm3. Indeed, a higher current density and lower footprint are two important factors for designers when considering board space to accommodate other vital components of their core application. Smaller voltage regulators are easier to locate close to FPGAs, DSPs and other processors, reducing power losses and parasitic inductance issues.

The product is designed for the new generation of information and communication technology equipment where systems' architects are optimizing board designs for optimized control and reduced power consumption. The most important application areas are wireless and fixed networks!optical network equipment!data server and data storage, as well as in a broad range of industrial applications, medical and process control and automotive applications.

Ericsson's BMR450 offers monitoring functions (read-back data) through the open standard interface, PMBus. For designers and system architects, having access through PMBus to strategic information such as load current, load status, temperature, voltage deviations, and many other parameters make it possible to monitor down to core functions level, without adding external components or circuitry.

Besides cost saving and simplicity resulting from less external components and embedded control, system architects now have the possibility to monitor, through the power delivered to each voltage regulator, how low level functions perform.

The BMR450 features a wide input voltage range from 4.5V to 14V making it easier to operate under most of the common intermediate bus voltages i.e. 5-, 8-, and 12V. The output voltage range is adjustable from 0.7V!5V, with an output current of 20A providing up to 100W of power. Offering high efficiency!typically 96.8 percent at half load, 5Vin, 3.3Vout!the BMR450 has a very small package size of 25.65mm x 12.9mm x 8.2mm.

Digital advantage
Another important benefit of having a digital controller is the possibility for customers to buy tailor-made preset modules that perfectly fit their applications' requirement e.g. ramp-up time, output voltage, alarms, etc. The BMR450 also features a complete range of standard functions such as remote on/off, over-temperature protection, output over-current/over-voltage protection, input under-voltage protection, and remote control monitoring that can be used for redundancy control. It has a high MTBF of 5 million hours.

The BMR450 has a unique serial number that relates to its chipset. This offers traceability as well as simplifying on-board part identification when performing board diagnostics during the full lifetime of the final equipment.

Technologies employed by the BMR450 include digital PWM associated with the most recent components such as ultra low resistance MOSFETs, new ferrites, but also PCB layout optimization. In this respect the BMR450 introduces a brand new layout concept, Digital Point of Load interconnect, reducing power losses within the unit and in interconnections to end-users' boards.

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

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