Consortium Releases PMBus 1.1 Specifications

Members of the Power Management Bus (PMBus(TM)) Implementers Forum introduced version 1.1 of the open communications interface specification for the control of power systems. The new specification offers enhancements that simplify the management of system power supplies, while extending the PMBus protocol to address the needs of AC/DC supplies, as well as DC/DC converters.

The PMBus 1.1 spec simplifies the design and implementation of the PMBus protocol into servers, storage systems, routers and other systems. System original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) now have an improved open standard protocol for DC/DC conversion and AC/DC power supplies. Enhanced fan and cooling management features plus improved fault management capabilities allow designer to have even better control of the power system. The PMBus v1.1 specification’s query and capability command features reduce demands placed on the host-system, and new clarifications make the standard easier to understand and implement.

“The latest version of the PMBus specification extends the 1.0 spec, enabling OEMs to take advantage of the system power management capabilities provided by this open communications standard. These changes are a direct result of continued collaboration among the PMBus adopters and industry stakeholders,” said Dave Heacock, director of the PMBus-Implementers Forum (PMBus-IF).

The PMBus-IF was launched in 2005 by a core group of power management companies to address the market need for an open standard for communication between elements of a power system. Implemented over the industry-standard SMBus(TM) serial interface, the PMBus protocol facilitates the programming, control and real-time monitoring of compliant power conversion products. With over 36 adopter companies, the PMBus protocol has enjoyed industry-wide acceptance by power semiconductor suppliers, power supply manufacturers and system OEMs as a truly open standard for system power management.

As the list of adopter companies grows, the PMBus-IF is committed to continuing education around this popular standard. The group is developing and maintaining an online library of the latest technical information which serves as a resource for systems design engineers and power solution implementers. The website for the organization has been redesigned to enable easy access to technical specifications and the latest information on all PMBus-based solutions.

About PMBus — The Power System Standard
The Power Management Bus (PMBus) is an open standard power-management protocol with a fully defined command language that facilitates communication with power converters and other devices in a power system. The protocol is implemented over the industry-standard SMBus serial interface and enables programming, control and real-time monitoring of compliant power conversion products. This flexible and highly versatile standard allows for communication between devices based on both analog and digital technologies and provides true interoperability which will reduce design complexity and shorten time to market for power system designers. Pioneered by leading power supply and semiconductor companies, this open power system standard is maintained and promoted by the PMBus Implementers Forum (PMBus-IF) comprising 30+ adopters with the objective to provide support to, and facilitate adoption among, users. The PMBus-IF is part of the System Management Interface Forum (SMIF) Inc., a nonprofit industry standards group.