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TI's stackable DC/DC buck converter targets communications, enterprise and industrial applications

Texas Instruments (TI) has introduced a 40-A SWIFT DC/DC buck converter, offering first-of-its-kind stackability of up to four integrated circuits (ICs).

The TPS546D24A PMBus buck converter is able to deliver up to 160 A of output current at an 85°C ambient temperature – four times more current than competing power ICs. The TPS546D24A has the highest efficiency of any 40-A DC/DC converter, allowing engineers to reduce power loss by 1.5 W in high-performance data center and enterprise computing, medical, wireless infrastructure, and wired networking applications

With both solution size and thermal performance being key considerations for engineers designing power supplies for modern field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), the device's unique stackability addresses both issues. It comes with a PMBus interface that offers a selectable internal compensation network, enabling engineers to eliminate as many as six external compensation components from the board and shrink the overall power-supply solution size by more than 10% (or 130 mm2) for higher-current FPGA/application-specific ICs (ASICs) when compared to discrete multiphase controllers.

Using DC/DC converters with high switching frequencies allows engineers to shrink the footprint of the power supply and facilitates the design of high-bandwidth systems. The TPS546D24A offers a switching frequency of 1.5 MHz, enabling engineers to deliver 40 A of current per IC while reducing inductance and capacitance by one-third compared to similar converters.

To mitigate the negative impact on efficiency, which is typically associated with high switching frequencies, the TPS546D24A also features a 0.9-mΩ low-side MOSFET, achieving 3.5% higher efficiency than competing DC/DC buck converters.

Engineers designing power supplies for FPGAs are often surprised by the voltage accuracy required to support FPGA DC rails. so the TPS546D24A has been designed to make it easier for engineers to meet these voltage tolerance requirements by offering an output voltage error of less than 1%. Furthermore, its extensive PMBus command set and pin-strapping configurability allow engineers to monitor current more accurately for fault reporting and to avoid overdesign.

Author
Neil Tyler

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