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Multiphase controllers and smart power for 1000A AI loads

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By Nick Flaherty

Renesas Electronics has laiunched its second generation of multiphase power controller, aiming at boards that consume up to 1000A in the data centre and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The digital multiphase controllers and six smart power stages support from 10A to 1000A+ digital computing loads for advanced CPUs, FPGAs, GPUs and artificial intelligence (AI) ASICs in IoT infrastructure systems. The ISL6822x, ISL6823x, RAA2282xx digital multiphase controllers and ISL993xx, RAA2213xx smart power stages provide support for the rapidly increasing power densities in data centre servers, storage, optical transport, routers, switches, as well as computing and 5G wireless infrastructure equipment.

“Renesas provides customers the industry’s widest digital multiphase portfolio and is the only supplier with 20-phase controllers for ultra-high current 1000A+ GPUs and AI ASICs,” said Andrew Cowell, Vice President, Mobility, Infrastructure and IoT Power Business Division at Renesas. “Our customers appreciate the digital multiphase platform’s patented synthetic current control architecture for fastest transient response, reduced output capacitance and lower system cost. In addition, the digital multiphase controllers significantly reduce time to market with solder-free tuning of any application using Renesas’ PowerNavigator software, the first of its kind for digital multiphase controllers.”

The digital multiphase controllers enable greater scalability and flexibility for adapting to any system requirement without requiring phase doublers. From two phases to 20 native phases, a controller can be configured for a range of applications, depending on output current requirements. In addition, individual setpoints can be set for adding/dropping phases to maximize efficiency across the entire load range. Each controller’s on-chip non-volatile memory allows the entire configuration to be saved to the device, eliminating the need for discrete components for setup and tuning. And a black box captures fault events, allowing faster diagnostics and debugging.

The controllers’ high performance digital engine features a patented synthetic current control architecture that tracks each phase current with zero latency. This allows the device to respond to any load transient with precise current and voltage positioning, and 30 percent less capacitance than competitive devices. Synthetic current control also makes it possible to develop high reliability systems using all ceramic capacitors.

With full digital control of the power supply, the entire system can be monitored and controlled via PMBus and AVSBus interfaces to the system managers. The AVSBus interface allows connection to any general market ASIC or processor for monitoring and adaptive voltage positioning, which delivers energy efficiency by adjusting the power supply to the load requirements. The PMBus interface provides full monitoring of I/O voltages and currents, temperature and fault reporting. Combining the digital multiphase controllers with various smart power stages allows each individual phase to accurately monitor its current.

The smart power stages (SPS) provide 20A to 90A of maximum continuous current and come with integrated driver and FETs in compact packages targeted for space-constrained designs. The SPS devices have a smart driver, as opposed to a regular driver that is common in DrMOS devices. The improvement with the SPS driver is it can provide a reconstruction of the inductor current by sensing the FETs within the device.

The smart power stages also integrate highly precise current sense and reporting, simplifying power designs by eliminating the need for complex temperature and inductor DCR compensation. The SPS’ current reporting is guaranteed at 2 percent accuracy over line, load and temperature. This is a significant improvement over DCR sensing which suffers from lack of temperature compensation, inductor DCR variance and time constant error with load.

The PowerNavigator software provides flexibility, configurability and powerful debugging tools all in a single powerful graphical user interface (GUI). Power designers can easily configure the controller, set the parameters to tune the system and debug/monitor using the black box, high speed command logging, and digital test bus features.

The 15 new digital multiphase controllers are available now in 4mm x 4mm to 8mm x 8mm QFN packages, while the six new smart power stages are available now in 4mm x 5mm to 5mm x 6mm QFN packages. 

www.renesas.com/digital-multiphase-controllerswww.renesas.com/smart-power-stage

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