These modules, Intersil says, reduce your design complexity and accelerate time to market. For 25/33 Amp applications, the ISL8270M/71M product family is based on Intersil’s fourth generation digital power controller.
The underlying power efficiency advantages enabled by the ISL8270M/71M digital power modules are based on Intersil’s proprietary ChargeMode Control modulation technology. This built-in, compensation-free architecture enables very fast transient response and reduced output capacitance resulting in dynamic performance that minimises the output voltage variation. The prior generation of controller technology (Intersil termed it “third generation”) used auto-compensation in which the controller injected known perturbations into the control loop, measured the response, and adjusted loop parameters to optimise stable operation. These devices do not need to do that, yet maintain stable operation through changing circuit conditions and component ageing. The same technology is employed in the company’s ZL8800 controller IC – which will, Intersil says, be the last product to be distiguished by the “ZL” prefix.
These 25/33 Amp digital power modules are fully PMBus compatible, and report from an extensive menu of parameters as well as allowing external configuration. Specifically, they provide vital information about the power supply, such as how much power is consumed at any given time, and can be optimised accordingly.
Inside the parts, the controller chip, power switches (Intersil is using standard FETs from other semiconductor vendors) and passives are placed directly on a copper leadframe that then carries forms the exposed pads on the base of the package, optimising thermal transfer. Only bulk input and output capacitors are needed to complete a fully digital switch mode power supply, eliminating the need for complex power circuit design. The ISL8270M/71M digital power modules are rated to operate without additional heat sinks or internal fans, making them ideal for low headroom applications, where board space is at a premium. The package measures 17 x 19 mm and has a low-profile of 3.5mm, with its over-mould.
The new digital power modules are supported by the company’s latest release of the PowerNavigator graphical user interface, which allows you to use these digital power products without writing a line of code. The drag-and-drop interface is a free, downloadable GUI that provides the flexibility to set up and control any power supply architecture. PowerNavigator’s "hardware-free" mode lets users select components prior to hardware development, without design risk. The PowerNavigator 5.1 GUI provides access to all commands and setup configurations, including the ability to load predefined configurations for common applications.
A key target market, in addition to supplying any load such as a processor or FPGA that needs high current at low voltage, typically dropped from a 12V local bus, is, “High-end equipment being deployed in data centres and networks worldwide,” – according to Mark Downing, senior vice president of Infrastructure and Industrial Power Products at Intersil. “ISL8270M/71M family was built with these applications in mind and offers an intelligent digital power management and conversion solution that is efficient and easy to use.”
Downing added that this introduction is being made in the context of a re-focussing of Intersil’s overall activities and plans to concentrate on the power conversion and control sector; other areas of Intersil’s operation – such as specialist analogue designs, and rad-hard space products, will continue, but power will be more dominant in the complete product offering.