In today's product designs, power efficiency is more critical than ever. Cell phones, portable media players and PDAs need to maximize battery usage, while data centers and server farms need to minimize current draw and heat dissipation.
“For server farms, data centers and handhelds, power is a burning issue,” says Laurence McGarry, marketing manager for the Power Management Products Div. at Analog Devices Inc. (ADI). “Energy efficiency constantly comes into play. Our customers are always under pressure to raise it.”
To meet those needs, engineers routinely re-design products to make them more power efficient. At the same time, consumers are asking for more features and functionality, which means next-generation products need to be even more stingy about power use, especially if their designers expect to keep current draw at reasonable levels.
On this page, we're providing a look at some of the most recent products in the power management arena. We've collected products from Analog Devices, Fairchild Semiconductor and National Semiconductor, all of which are designed to regulate power in a power-hungry world.
Fairchild's efficient power supply module
Fairchild Semiconductor's Power-SPM FPP06R001 is an integrated synchronous rectification module that is said to increase power efficiency, system ruggedness and space efficiency in power supplies. Incorporating two PowerTrench MOSFETs and a high-current gate driver, the Power-SPM simplifies board design, eliminates up to 10 discrete components and reduces board space by 20 percent. It reduces on-resistance by 10 percent and stray inductance by 16 percent compared to discrete solutions. The result, according to Fairchild, is lower thermal dissipation and reduced thermal stress.
National's small step-down switching regulators
National Semiconductor's LM34917A and LM34919 are said to be the industry's smallest non-synchronous buck regulators. They feature a supply voltage rating up to 50V and continuous output current of 1.25A, as well as intelligent current limiting and over-voltage protection. The new regulators feature programmable switching frequencies up to 2 MHz. They are targeted at handheld devices and automotive power adaptors. They're also said to be well-suited for use in applications that require high input voltage regulation, such as MP3 players using Firewire (IEEE 1394) connectivity.
ADI's energy-efficient power architecture
Analog Device's ADP1043 digital power controller is made for engineers designing ac-to-dc and dc-to-dc power supplies for servers, storage systems and communications infrastructure equipment. The digital PWM (pulse-width modulated) power controller provides an integrated circuit architecture and an intuitive GUI (graphical user interface) to enable designers to quickly configure power supply system parameters. ADI says power design engineers with no prior programming experience can use the GUI to monitor and quickly adjust power functions, such as frequency, timing, voltage settings and protection limits. The new device also incorporates an integrated circuit design that reduces component count compared to other analog and digital power controllers.