Data centres provide inspiration for new voltage regulator designs

Targeting power hungry data centres as well as telecom, consumer, set-top box and high performance server applications, International Rectifier's second generation SupIRBuck integrated point-of-load (POL) voltage regulators claim high switching frequency and benchmark energy efficiency over the entire load range.

Switching frequency for these POLs is up to 1.5MHz, which allows system integrators to use smaller inductors and fewer output capacitors. Meanwhile, IR claims that SupIRBuck's excellent efficiency and thermal properties will significantly reduce overall system complexity and size – the Gen2 SupIRBuck family has a benchmark peak efficiency of higher than 96 percent. The devices boast a full current rating with no air flow and without heat-sink, allowing back-side mounting on a motherboard , which is ideal for space constrained applications.

The Gen2 SupIRBuck family share a 5 x 6mm footprint and are pin compatible, making for easy upgrades. They are designed for 4, 8 and 12A of output load current at 1.5MHz switching frequency, and offer an input voltage range of 1.5V to 16V with 5V bias. They are, however, optimised for a 12V input voltage, although superior efficiency is said to be achieved in applications with 9.6V, 5V or 3.3V input voltages. Output voltage range is 0.7V to 90% Vin.

Other features include over current and over temperature protection, programmable switching frequency, enable input with input voltage monitoring capability, hiccup current limit, soft-start, power good output, advanced pre-bias start-up, 1% accurate 0.7V reference voltage, sequencing, and a dedicated device for DDR memory tracking.

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