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Digital controller offers intelligent POL power regulation for high-current memory applications

A digital, multi-phase power controller that offers a dynamic phasing capability to increase efficiency at the light loads used in advanced computing and communications applications has been introduced by Primarion, an Infineon Technologies subsidiary.

Phasing control of the PX3684 is 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. Within the user-controlled mode, a system master controller will drive the PX3684's dynamic phasing features via the controller's I2C-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 reducing the cost of power over the life of the product.

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

The PX3684 is supported with an intuitive and user-friendly graphical user interface (GUI). The new 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.

“In today's computing market, efficiency is everything,” said Deepak Savadatti, vice president of marketing at Primarion. “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. 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.”

The PX3684 is available in a RoHS-compliant, 7mm-x-7mm 48-lead QFN package.

Availability: Primarion's PX3684 is available for general sampling this quarter.

Primarion: www.primarion.com

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