Powering the infrastructure of the cloud: Page 2 of 6

November 30, 2018 // By Nick Flaherty
Nick Flaherty talks to Chris Mann and Rob Chiacchia at Analog Devices on the power trends for infrastructure for cloud computing, 5G and the Internet of Things and its implications for the next generation PMbus specification and even the Internet from space
is key – we are running out of space on the board. The 4644 quad output is in an overmoulded package but the components are all on the top layer of the laminate – we’ve been asked to increase the power of the outputs and instead of increasing the footprint we are using the component-on-package technology to take the inductors off the laminate and that gives us more space on the laminate for switch and boosts the airflow with better thermal capability.

This takes significant optimisation he says. “We are working on four different designs, and each time we do that requires another inductor design. For example the latest generation 4700 is a different inductor design designed with component-on-package in mind.”

“Another direction is to go from 12V to 48V and when you do that you reduce the input losses by a factor of 16 so high power systems that need higher efficiencies are going to higher bus voltages. Yet another direction is 48V to core topologies that allow 48V to core voltages at lots of current.”

ADI has also been looking at different conversion topologies such as switched capacitors.

“One micromodule is based on a switched capacitor front end that very efficiently converts 48V to 12V and then to the core voltage very efficiently – that’s a controller product line developed at ADI,” said Chiacchia. “What’s different is the switch cap front end is 98% efficient at high power levels. We have another topology based on a full bridge primary transformer that is very efficient in delivering large currents to these core voltages. There’s a lot of activity in the market in this area.”


The evaluation board for the LTM4700 micromodule 

Wide bandgap devices

While there is a lot of focus on gallium nitride (GaN) and Silicon Carbide (SiC), the power division is still focussed on mainstream silicon based around its high speed SilentSwitcher architecture says Mann.

“We are


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