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ZVS technology applied to point of load regulators

In a move to boost power density and efficiency, Vicor has launched the Picor PI33XX Cool-Power ZVS buck regulator series and is targeting the devices at point of load applications.

The family, based on Zero Voltage Switching (ZVS) topology, is said to offer a peak power efficiency of 98%. Products in the family feature control circuitry, power semiconductors and support components integrated in an lga package measuring 10 x 14 x 2.56mm.
Initially, six PI33XX buck regulators are being launched. These can convert input supplies ranging from 8V to 36V to outputs ranging from 1V to 16V. Output current can be up to 10A, to a maximum of 120W. These parts will be followed by a range handling inputs from 5 to 18V and another group covering 8 to 75V.
Power delivery can be increased by interleaving up to six PI33XX parts using single wire current sharing without the need of any additional components.
Claudio Tuozzolo, Picor's president, said Picor is focused on innovative and integrated solutions based on control, power conversion and packaging. This has resulted in products with high levels of integration, a high performance architecture for power conversion and high performance packaging.
"I'm not aware of many companies that can innovate at all three levels," he added. "We have the opportunity to provide customers with incremental value on all three fronts."
The use of a ZVS topology enables high frequency operation that maximises efficiency by minimising the switching losses associated with hard switching topologies. "Customers are looking for higher efficiency, density, power processing with a higher Vin/Vout ratio and faster switching," claimed Tuozzolo. "However, switching losses affecting performance. While you can get better efficiency, it's often a trade off against density. ZVS gets around this and that's why deployed the technology at the point of load."

Graham Pitcher

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