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Power solution suppliers form new industry alliance

Four leading supplier of power solutions, Artesyn Embedded Technologies, Bel Power Solutions, Flex, and STMicroelectronics have announced a new industry alliance.

The Power Stamp Alliance has been set up to create collaborative solutions for 48V-to-low-voltage on-board DC-DC power converters.

These modules - or ‘power stamps’ – are used to target high-performance computers and servers being deployed 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, the Power Stamp Alliance has been formed to create a multi-vendor ecosystem to assure practical levels of alternate source capability to server and storage system manufacturers, while encouraging a more competitive supply chain through differentiation in topology, circuitry, and performance from multiple, independent 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 (P9) 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 600 amps 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, it is hoped that the PSA specification will provide 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, a global information provider. “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.”

The PSA has published specifications, drawings and pin-out descriptions for main and satellite power stamps which can be found at the organisation’s website.

Neil Tyler

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