New Industry Products

CamSemi Introduces First Family Of Controller ICs

October 07, 2007 by Jeff Shepard

Cambridge Semiconductor Ltd. (CamSemi) is launching its first products – a family of what is described as "breakthough performance" controller ICs – that it claims will enable power supply designers and volume manufacturers for the first time to develop more energy-efficient products at lower cost than existing solutions.

The C2470 family is based on recent advances in intelligent digital/analogue control, coupled with a neat and simple resonant single-switch topology that the company claims has never before been exploited in an integrated form for off-line ac to dc power conversion. This patented, proprietary approach is claimed to allow manufacturers to secure operating efficiencies in excess of 80% and 100mW standby but at a new low-cost price point. According to CamSemi, products based on the C2470 family are cost competitive with iron-cored linear transformers and significantly cheaper than currently popular Switched Mode Power Supply (SMPS) approaches.

"When we first introduced our mixed signal controller concept and RDFC topology to early-adopter customers, the feedback was so positive that we took the strategic decision to bring them to market in advance of our other product developments. Our goal is to enable energy-efficient off-line power conversion without a cost penalty and the C2470 family of controllers does just that. The devices have been specifically optimized for high volume, low cost, single rail input markets while offering double the efficiency over traditional linear supplies," said David Baillie, CEO of CamSemi.

"The C2470 family is a major advance for power supply designers in using a forward resonant topology with naturally high efficiency and low EMI. Now manufacturers can produce small, lightweight and more energy-efficient supplies without having to design-in complex EMI filtering circuitry typically needed with SMPS," said John Miller, VP of Business Development at CamSemi.

CamSemi’s new controllers are claimed to simplify circuit design by cutting a manufacturer’s bill of materials, improving margins and speeding up product development cycles while also providing built-in protection and other features as standard within the controller. They are said to employ sophisticated mixed signal control allowing the use of lower cost bipolar junction transistors, as opposed to more expensive MOSFETs and lead to lower overall system costs than the currently popular SMPS flyback designs. At output power ratings of around 6W and above they are said to become cheaper than linear power supplies, currently the industry’s lowest-cost standard solution for off-line power conversion but which are claimed to suffer from poor conversion efficiency and are bulky.

CamSemi’s new devices can easily be incorporated into energy-efficient power supplies, for a wide range of applications, with only minimal changes to layouts and components allowing multiple new product developments to be carried out in parallel. By operating in resonant mode, EMI is greatly reduced enabling the replacement of linear power supplies in demanding applications such as audio products and cordless phone chargers. The company states that, as secondary feedback circuitry is no longer required, component counts are lower, circuits are simpler and with no opto-couplers or ’Y’ capacitors safety approval is easier.

The first three members from the C2470 family being announced are for the 6 to 40W power range and are available in volume for applications such as battery chargers, mini adapters, routers, cordless phones and audio systems. Indicative pricing for C2472PX2, the SO23-6 part, is $0.45 each for 1000 piece quantities.