CMOS single chip voltage regulator targets data centres

June 23, 2020 //By Nick Flaherty
EmPower in California has launched a single chip integrated voltage regulator built in CMOS that can be mounted as a bare die without any external components
EmPower in California has launched a single chip integrated voltage regulator built in CMOS that can be mounted as a bare die without any external components

A startup in California has emerged from stealth mode with a triple output integrated voltage regulator (IVR) in a single CMOS chip measuring 5 x 5mm.

“For the last six years we have been developing the technology to integrate all these components,” said Tim Phillips, CEO and co-founder of EmPower. “We said we were not going to trade off certain things, for example high efficiency at high frequency, using CMOS and standard packaging,”

“The IVR is a high performance switching regulator that integrates all the external components in CMOS,” said Steve Shultis, VP of sales and marketing at EmPower. “It is all CMOS, but its not necessarily fully monolithic. In some ways our technology replaces components, for example we have patents on air core magnetics, and is some cases it is fully monolithic, but we are not disclosing the switch architecture.” The architecture also gives a 91 per cent efficiency across the load curve, he says.

The voltage regulator parts are programmable via I3C and this gives a key advantage says Phillips. “Our dynamic voltage scaling, which we call on demand DVS, means we can move voltages 1000x faster, that gives you a feel for the switching frequency and that also gives a 100x boost in the transient recovery with 3x the accuracy.”

“We made it simple to place the EP70xx on the PCB with no discrete components, select your settings using the provided GUI, and load the device via the I3C/I2C port.  Just like that you have three outputs regulating at high currents with wide bandwidth and high efficiency”, said Trey Roessig, Chief Technology Officer & SVP of Engineering of Empower Semiconductor.  “No input filter design, no output filter design, no feedback resistors, no loop compensation design, no component changes.”

The faster transient recovery allows devices such as NIC cards and optical transceivers in data centres to reduce the voltage guardband, potentially reducing the power losses. The first parts are at


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