Power Stamp Alliance forms for 48V power in data centres and industrial applications

March 20, 2018 // By Nick Flaherty
Power Stamp Alliance forms for 48V power in data centres and industrial applications
Four suppliers of power chips and modules have launched the Power Stamp Alliance for 48V-to-low-voltage on-board DC-DC power converters. 

The 48V direct conversion DC-DC modules - or ‘power stamps’ - primarily target high-performance computers and servers being used in large data centres, many of which follow the principles of the Open Compute Project (OCP). By creating and sharing a specification for a standard product footprint and functions, Artesyn Embedded Technologies, Bel Power Solutions, Flex (the former Ericsson Power Modules business) and STMicroelectronics are providing alternate source capability to server and storage system manufacturers.

The first processor architectures addressed by the Power Stamp Alliance include the Intel VR13 Skylake CPUs, Intel VR13-HC Ice Lake CPUs, DDR4 memories, IBM POWER9 processors and high-current ASIC and/or FPGA chipsets supporting the SVID or AVS protocols. The electrical concept of power stamps uses the principle of a discrete or main stamp unit controlling up to five satellite stamp units that combine to achieve more than 600A in total current capability. The size and powertrain footprint of the main and satellite power stamps are the same, simplifying the design process for OEMs. As the power demands of processor and memory devices increases, the PSA specification provides a scalable solution that can be used in tandem with existing power-conversion devices.

“The Power Stamp Alliance has developed an onboard power solution that meets the needs of hyperscale data centre operators with a particular focus on supporting high-performance compute servers,” said Maggie Shillington, research analyst for IHS Markit. “By setting only the form factor and core functionality of the power stamp, the Power Stamp Alliance enables individual companies to leverage their expertise to provide distinct, yet compatible solutions. This allows for a potential thriving ecosystem of providers in the power stamp market.”

Products already available or in development by the companies target 48V to 1V, 48V to 1.8V, 48V to 0.9V and other direct conversion requirements.

The dimensions of the power stamps have been defined to meet the requirement of being placed near the processor and memory. The size and

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