8-phase controller advances gaming operations

Tewksbury, Mass.—CHiL Semiconductor touts its CHL8318 digital multiphase controller as the industry's first to combine an eight-phase architecture with a set of overclocking features to extend system performance for gaming/enthusiast applications.

“The challenge for gamers and enthusiasts has always been how to extend system performance to the absolute maximum without pushing it too far and initiating a system shutdown,” said Larry Spaziani, vice president of marketing. “To achieve that goal they need highly accurate control of overclocking functions. Using its unique eight-phase architecture and innovative new digital controls, the CHL8318 controller gives users an unprecedented ability to monitor and control CPU operating voltage, clock frequency and thermal conditions directly through the system BIOS and, in the process, push their processors to entirely new levels of performance.”

Precise control maximizes overclocking
The CHL8318 is an Intel VR11.1-compliant digital multiphase buck controller that supports up to eight programmable interleaved synchronous phases. By digitally configuring the switching frequency of each phase from 200 kHz to 1 MHz, users can monitor and adjust current phase-to-phase to maximize CPU performance and minimize heat. To address the fast transients in today's VR11.1-compliant CPU designs, the CHL8318 adds an optimized analog-to-digital converter architecture capable of fast transient response (> 2000 A/microsecond, according to the company).

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Custom digital overclocking features allow gaming and enthusiast users to extend voltage range up to 2.3V through the system BIOS via a SMBus interface. VID scaling and offset controls offer a voltage regulation of 6.25 mV with ±19mV accuracy within the VID table and ±25 mV accuracy when VID is greater than 1.6 volts. Embedded load-line controls avoid system shutdown at low voltage by adjusting the load-line slope when current goes high. None of the gaming features require additional external components.

Advanced features
The CHL8318 also includes advanced thermal management capabilities to control additional heat generated by its overclocking functions. Three external temperature sensors supply comprehensive monitoring and control of phase current to balance temperature variations. A VR HOT feature communicates heat levels to the CPU, and an OTP feature automatically shuts down VR PWM signals when the operating temperature exceeds a second threshold. The controller also offers a thermal algorithm that automatically balances current across the controller's eight phases during both DC and transient operation.

The CHL8318 delivers a power efficiency of greater than 90 percent across virtually all loads. By digitally controlling current across eight programmable synchronous phases, designers can use the CHL8318 to optimize power efficiency at high-load conditions. As current drops the CHL8318 adds a phase-shedding feature to further improve power efficiency. Finally, the chip has adjustable gate drive capability to reduce MOSFET gate drive as current drops.

Pricing : The CHL8318, which is specified over the 0 to +85°C range and is available in a Pb-free, 56-pin QFN package, sells for $3.29 in 1k quantities.

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