Digital voltage-regulators now support 93 PMBus commands to reduce energy consumption

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By eeNews Europe

The PMBus digital interface enables the end-user to configure many aspects of device operation and to monitor input and output voltages, output current and device temperature. For compatibility, flexibility and versatility, the BMR462, BMR463 and BMR464 can be used with any standard two-wire I2C or SMBus host device. The module is also compatible with PMBus version 1.1 and includes a SALERT line to help mitigate bandwidth limitations related to continuous fault monitoring.

It is possible to monitor a wide variety of parameters through the PMBus interface. Fault conditions can be monitored using the SALERT pin, which is asserted when any combination of pre-configured fault or warning conditions occur. It is also possible to continuously monitor one or more of the power conversion parameters including, but not limited to, input voltage, output voltage, output current, internal junction temperature, switching frequency and duty cycle.

Integrating a resident memory, the Ericsson 3E voltage regulators also enable systems’ architects to snapshot events at a single point-of-load (POL) level. The information and parameters captured during a snapshot are then stored in Flash memory readable via the PMBus. For example, specific limits or fault conditions can be set to trigger an action when a given threshold level is reached or exceeded. The automatic response could be to send warning or ‘adjust’ command to the board-power-manager (BPM), or creating a mandatory command to shut down the module.

The number of commands supported by the BMR462, BMR463 and BMR464, facilitate optimization of power-module configurations to varying load conditions. This minimizes power losses and reduces energy consumption by sending a command to automatically adjust the output voltage as the load changes; a lower voltage is optimal for low-load demand and a higher voltage as the load increases. It is also possible to shut down selected modules and reactivate them on-demand.

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