The power consumption of electronic equipment such as notebook PCs and servers has been growing rapidly as they adopt a wider range of functions and achieve higher performance. Meanwhile, there are also strong demands to improve the energy efficiency of these devices and low loss power inductors are needed to achieve both lower power consumption and improved performance.
Power inductors are used in DC/DC converters which convert the power supplied to the various circuits in a notebook PC to the required voltage. In particular, because the CPU accounts for the bulk of power consumption in notebook PCs but operates at a low load level for more than 90% of the time, there is a need to reduce power losses under low-load conditions. With inductor loss being the main component of losses in a DC/DC converter, this means reducing the losses in the power inductor is required.
ALPS Green Devices has now developed the "GLMD Series" Liqualloy Power Inductor for high-current applications such as CPU power supplies. The device intends to expand the series in future by adding additional variants suitable for other equipment that requires low losses.
Liqualloy, the core material used in the inductor, is a metallic glass with magnetic properties created through joint research with Tohoku University. Liqualloy is proprietary to Alps Green Devices and features industry-leading low losses. Metallic glass is a type of amorphous metal with a disordered atomic structure that is suited to industrial applications because it has a supercooled liquid region like oxide glass. The adoption of this magnetic material has resulted in lower losses than previous inductors, particularly when operating under light loads.
Similarly, the DC resistance has been reduced by adopting assembly technology and proprietary winding technology that Alps Group has built up through its experience with magnetic devices and RF products. This also provides low losses and low heat generation under heavy loads.
Shipment of samples is to commence from December 2011.
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