Primarion Introduces PX3664 Digital Multi-phase Power Controller

Primarion, a mixed-signal semiconductor company that designs, manufactures and markets digital power integrated circuits (ICs), introduced its PX3664, a digital multi-phase power controller with dynamic phasing for synchronous DC/DC buck converters in computing and communications applications. The highly configurable and easy-to-use controller improves overall system efficiency across the entire operating load range with its autonomous phase dropping/adding capability.

“Today’s power systems are optimized to provide high efficiency at full load, however, most of the time computing, communications and datacom equipment run at very light loads,” said Deepak Savadatti, vice president of marketing at Primarion. “Power supplies are designed and optimized to deliver high efficiency at full load, which results in very low efficiency at light loads. The PX3664 addresses this important issue by delivering over 90 percent efficiency across the entire operating range. The controller automatically drops phases as the load decreases to maintain very high efficiency over the entire operating range. Additionally, being a digital controller, it also optimizes loop compensation while operating with a lower number of phases to maintain system stability. With the PX3664 designers can meet the challenge of delivering power on demand and achieving dynamic energy savings without adding to the cost of the overall power solution.”

Digital Multi-Phase Controller for Power Conversion
With up to four phases, each capable of up to 2 MHz operation, the PX3664 can be used to build DC-DC converters that provide up to 120A, low ripple, low component count and excellent efficiency across the entire operating range. Interleaved timing of the phases result in a higher ripple frequency, reducing input and output capacitors.

Phase Dropping Capability Helps Increase Efficiency at Light Loads
The PX3664′s dynamic phasing capability allows the system to shed one or more phases based on the user defined average current. The autonomous phase feature drops phases when the average current falls below a specified threshold, and adds phases when the average current is above the threshold. The dropping of phases at lighter loads increases the efficiency by several percentage points and significantly reduces the cost of power over the life of the product. The PX3664′s autonomous loop optimization makes it possible to meet the transient and ripple requirements, while operating at the lower phases.

The PX3664 uses two bits via PD1 and PD2 or a I2C-bus serial interface to control and monitor phase dropping. The interface also allows the power supply designer to monitor real time system performance and quickly optimize designs.

Primarion’s Graphical User Interface Simplifies Design Process
The PX3664 is supported with an intuitive and user-friendly graphical user interface (GUI). The GUI takes the designer step-by-step through the process of debugging and modifying the power system design. The ease with which the GUI can be used to intelligently manage the design process contributes to reducing the final product’s time to market.

One-Stop Shop for Digital Power Management
Primarion is the only company in the industry to address all the digital power needs of CPUs, ASICs, FPGAs and memory in computing, datacom and telecom. Through continuous innovation in digital technology and with a broad product portfolio. Primarion continues to drive the mass adoption of digital power management, by providing power supply designers with easy-to-use products that improve the efficiency, stability and flexibility of the systems they are building.

Primarion at APEC
Learn more about Primarion’s power on demand digital multi-phase controller – the PX3664 at the Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC) February 25-28 in Austin, Texas. Primarion will be located in booth #708.

Summary of Features:

  • Multiphase power conversion
    • 1-to-4 phase operation
  • Supports dynamic phasing on multi-phase power stages
    • Autonomous add or drop one or more phases via PD1 & PD2 control bits based on average current
    • Commanded through I2C
  • 100 kHz to 2 MHz switching frequency Internal high precision voltage reference
    • +/-12.4mV voltage set point accuracy
  • Startup and maximum voltages set through external resistor
  • 2-bit VID input for additional voltage control
  • Driver detect prior to soft-start disables unpopulated phases
  • Precise digital current balancing with programmable offsets for thermal balancing
  • Digitally programmable loadline and loop compensation
  • Differential voltage sense
  • Digital temperature sensor compensation
  • Active Transient Response (ATR) enables meeting transient requirements with reduced output capacitance
  • I2C-bus interface for monitoring, control and configuration
  • Internal non-volatile memory (NVM) to store custom configurations
  • Extensive fault detection capability with two user configurable output fault pins (FAULT1, FAULT2)
    • Configure FAULT2 to monitor and output average current (IMON)
    • Input under-voltage, output under-/over-voltage
    • Output under-/over-voltage
    • Per phase and total output current
    • Current balance
    • Multiple internal and external temperature limits
  • Configurable latched fault or autonomous recovery shutdown
  • Single +3.3V supply operation
  • RoHS compliant 48-lead MLF plastic package

Already sampling with customers, Primarion’s PX3664 is now available for general sampling. The PX3664 is available in a RoHS-compliant, 7mm-x-7mm 48-lead QFN package.

About Primarion
Primarion is a mixed-signal integrated circuit company that addresses key inflection points in power conversion and power management driven by the exploding demand for digital content and information. Primarion’s Digital Power ICs are positioned to beat traditional analog power ICs in cost per amp, performance and features with advantages that grow with each new processor generation. Headquartered in Torrance near Los Angeles, California (USA), the company also has an Asian regional office in Taipei, Taiwan. Primarion has received venture funding from eminent venture funds such as Accel Partners, Lehman Brothers, APV Technology Partners and W Capital Partners. More information about the PX3664 is available by contacting Primarion at (866) 321-7746.