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Standardized testing for Power Stamp Alliance DC-DC converters

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By Nick Flaherty

The Power Stamp Alliance (PSA) has added a test equipment maker to provide standardized testing for its 48V DC-DC converter designs.

LoadSlammer is a designer and manufacturer of transient load testing devices providing the option for a consistent, standardized testing methodology to users of power stamps.

This is the first time that a multi-vendor alliance around dc-dc power conversion has agreed a testing methodology and tools. Design engineers will be able to use a common, consistent, and repeatable load to significantly reduce validation and integration time, speeding their end-product to market and reducing risk in the design process. LoadSlammer estimates up to 30 per cent saving in development time depending on the user’s specific configuration.

The configurable LoadSlammer Test Tool suite allows designers of DC-DC converter systems, power chips and ASIC/CPU manufacturers to collaborate, with measurable test data in an interchangeable format.

Power Stamp Alliance Founding Members, Advanced Energy, Bel Power Solutions, Flex, and STMicroelectronics  have created and shared a specification for a standard product footprint and functions to create a multi-vendor ecosystem. This assures practical levels of alternate source capability to server and storage system manufacturers, while encouraging a competitive supply chain through differentiation in topology, circuitry, and performance from multiple, independent manufacturers. Power Stamp Alliance 48V direct conversion DC-DC modules – or ‘power stamps’ – primarily target advanced IT and supercomputing equipment and large data processing installations.

LoadSlammer, based in Poertland, Oregon, also has an adaptor from PicoTest.

The LS50 and LS1000 are used for load step testing and optimizing high current, high performance, multiphase power delivery circuits. The LS50/LS1000 can test power management solutions without any additional test equipment. Extremely high-performance circuits can be optimized and verified using the LS50/LS1000. The load steppers feature an intuitive HTML based GUI with configurable slew rate, current and voltage measurement. They offer an easy-to-use method for system designers to perform network analysis and capacitor optimization.

The LS50/LS1000 allow chip suppliers to provide specific design, test, and validation information including complex load profiles for  customer. Power Management IC develoeprscan offer fast verification of performance of their solutions integrated into a customer’s product. The current slew rate can be easily set with the intuitive GUI for up to 1000A/us with a ceiling of 125A for LS1000 and 50A/us with a ceiling of 75A for LS50. Pulse frequency, ON time, and “Slamming” USB connectivity are all controlled by the GUI. Up to 256 LoadSlammers can be controlled simultaneously.

The LoadSlammer Software Control Test Tool suite allows critical engineering power supply specifications to be modeled, measured, and shared easily between multiple partners in a design cycle. The LoadSlammer Test Tool suite enables precise and fast collaboration between all the key stakeholders with proven, measurable test data in an interchangeable format.The result is a faster time to market with an optimized solution.

Particularly pertinent to today’s market is that the LoadSlammer allows for analysis and optimization of existing systems in addition to new designs. Given the shortage of discrete capacitors, supply constraints and costs can be mitigated with the use of the LoadSlammer Tool Suite.

Formally launched in 2018 with the publication of specifications, drawings and pin-out descriptions for main and satellite power stamps, the Alliance has since also published a new Orcad Library and Allegro Footprint Package (Macro) to its website to enable designers to embed Power Stamps into their own schematic, along with the linked Allegro reference footprint for proper layout. The Alliance announced the industry’s first graphical user interface (GUI) that developers can use with products from any member company, and a new reference design board for high-current ASIC and/or FPGA chipsets. Most recently, the Alliance released a Controller Stamp Specification.  

PSA reference design boards, power stamps and the GUI are available from PSA member representatives, who can be contacted via the Power Stamp Alliance at www.powerstamp.org

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