Ericsson’s Digital Voltage Regulators Offer New Levels Of Control And Energy Saving At Up To 40a Ouput

24th May 2011
ES Admin
Ericsson Power Modules' 3E series BMR464 is a new addition to the company's second-generation, digital point-of-load (POL) regulators, that extends the maximum output current from such devices up to 40A.
With unprecedented functionality, the regulator enables systems architects to fully monitor and dynamically control the energy that is delivered to processors, FPGAs, ASICs and other components, ensuring minimum energy consumption under all operating conditions. The BMR464 offers easy paralleling and current sharing. Up to seven modules can be paralleled, offering a maximum output current of 280A. The regulator's easy-paralleling mode even makes it possible to combine its 20A counterpart, the BMR463, thus enabling 'mix and match' optimized efficiency from very low loads up to 60A. The devices are suitable for a wide range of applications including radio base stations, industrial automation, process control, transportation and large data centers. Ericsson's intuitive graphic user interface for the PMBus makes power system configuration fast and simple.

The BMR464 is a small regulator measuring 30.85 x 20.0 x 8.2 mm (1.25 x 0.0787 x 0.323 inches), so it can be used in compact systems with 15mm board pitch. The regulator accepts input voltages from 4.5V to 14V and has an output voltage range of 0.6V to 3.3V with typical efficiency of 97.2% at 5Vin, 3.3Vout and 50% load.

A synchronization feature allows several regulators to be locked to a common switching frequency in order to eliminate beat frequencies that can be reflected back to the input. This reduces EMI filtering complexity and the number of external components needed. Phase spreading reduces input capacitance requirements, and hence losses, because the peak current drawn from the input supply is spread over the whole switching cycle. A current sharing rail can be configured that enables 100% utilization of the output of each device and, during periods of light loading, it's possible to disable one or more phases to eliminate the current drain and switching losses associated with those phases. This process is handled automatically using a PMBus command. Efficiency is further enhanced with adaptive diode emulation that turns off the low-side MOSFET gate drive in the synchronous rectification circuit at low load currents. This prevents the circuit's inductor current from going negative, eliminating the losses that would result.

The BMR464 features comprehensive circuit protection. Signaling is provided for remote control, power good, current sharing, voltage tracking, voltage margining and remote sense. Voltage setting is done via pin strapping or the PMBus.
Demand for these products is growing as the industry recognizes the importance of optimizing efficiency across the entire range of load conditions, not just when systems are operating at maximum throughput. Every aspect of the design of this second generation of BMR voltage regulators focuses on providing features and functions that simplify the role of the power system designer in reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions, said Patrick Le Fèvre, Marketing and Communication Director of Ericsson Power Modules.

Ericsson Power Modules was the first company to launch digitally controlled POL (point-of-load) regulators based on a digital core controller. Through close cooperation with board and systems' designers, the company was the first to release a 21st century power architecture that can be fully integrated into the rest of the digital chain of processors and associated components.

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