Step-down DC/DC converter offers high power density

11th March 2015
Posted By : Barney Scott
Step-down DC/DC converter offers high power density

Altera is adding a 30A PowerSoC DC/DC step-down converter to its growing portfolio of Enpirion power solutions for FPGAs. The 30A EM1130 is the first in a family of integrated digital DC-DC step-down converters that will provide power management for Altera’s Generation 10 FPGAs, specifically for Arria 10 and Stratix 10 FPGA core and transceiver power supply rails.

The result of the successful acquisition of the Enpirion power IC company by Altera in 2013, the EM1130 digital power management device represents a major milestone in Altera’s endeavour to bring unprecedented optimised power solutions the programmable logic market.

DC/DC converters from Altera deliver a high density, high performance, and easy-to-use power supply solution. To help save board space while meeting tight power budgets, Altera's converters provide an elegant PoL solution. Altera DC/DC converters are available in small, enhanced packaging with high switching frequencies and an integrated inductor to reduce total solution size. Low RDS(ON) integrated MOSFETs, tight output voltage regulation accuracy, and an advanced feature-set allow Altera DC/DC converters to keep up with powering the most advanced FPGAs in the industry.

The EM1130 offers the industry’s most dense footprint, and offers high, tight output regulation, and fast transient response. These features enable FPGA-based systems to meet the most stringent performance, power budget, and solution size requirements. PMBus provides the interface for Altera SmartVID technology which allows the converter to provide the Arria 10 and Stratix 10 FPGAs with a lower VCC for significant power savings while maintaining the performance of the specific device speed grade. Additionally, the PMBus interface allows the EM1130 to communicate with the system to provide telemetry - measurement of key parameters such as current, voltage and temperature.

Benefits of the EM1130 include a 30-50% improvement in telemetry accuracy, easy-to-use GUI that simplifies programming and a 50% size reduction compared to other modules in its grade, with a 2-4% efficiency point improvement. The EM1130 also features adaptive control technology, which reduces external compensation components and adjusts automatically to provide a robust solution regardless of changing operating conditions.

“With this innovation, we will provide integrated power management for our high-end portfolio,” said Jeff Waters, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Altera Business Units. “We are pleased with the progress we’ve seen in the 18 months following the acquisition of Enpirion, and we expect our customers to continue to benefit from the tight coupling of power and industry-leading FPGA platforms.”

“System architects and designers need to plan for power use earlier for performance-driven applications in order to be able to achieve maximum system performance, while reducing energy consumption and thermal loads.  When this is accomplished, the cost of ownership is dramatically reduced not only for Altera’s customers, but also for our customers’ end users,” said Mark Davidson, Marketing Director, Power Business Unit, Altera. “As a building block for a more intelligent system, the EM1130 architecture allows communication between the FPGA, the system power supply, and the rest of the customer’s application providing the most flexible configuration, that can speed time-to-market with lower risk.”


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