Dialog Semiconductor Debuts a Family of Automotive PMICs
The new Power management ICs (PMICs) are aimed at powering automotive AI systems on chips (SoC).
The DA914X-A series is a product family of highly efficient, automotive grade, step down DC-DC converters (buck converters) delivering up to 40 amps of power to automotive artificial intelligence (AI) SoCs.
The DA914X-A series. Image courtesy of Dialog
The DA914X-A family presently includes two single channel devices. The DA9141-A is a quad-phase buck converter, delivering a current output of up to 40 amps. The DA9142-A is a dual-phase buck converter with a maximum output of 20 amps. Both devices operate over an input voltage range of 2.8 to 5.5 volts, with output voltage range of 0.3 to 1.3 volts.
Both devices feature a nominal switching frequency of 4MHz. Communication is via an I2C-compatible interface (FM+). There is programmable soft start, remote sensing and both devices feature ±1 % accuracy (static).
Power FETs and Controller in a Single Pre-Designed Package
Unlike most competitive solutions, the members of the DA914X-A family integrates both the power FETs and the necessary control logic into a single monolithic device. Few external components are required for operation, resulting in extremely low system BoM costs. Dialog suggests that complete power solutions can be designed with solution footprints below 170 mm2.
The other great advantage to this type of architecture is that the complex engineering task of designing control logic and linking it to the power FETs has been removed from the designer’s “to do” list. This eliminates the need for specialized power engineering talent and also saves overall system design time, resulting in a far faster time to market for OEM products.
As per Tom Sandoval, Senior Vice President, GM Automotive Business Segment, Dialog Semiconductor, “As electronics in automobiles continue to demand higher performance heterogeneous processing capability, the requirement for cost effective, space saving power solutions becomes more and more critical.” He goes on to state that, “The DA914X PMIC family of products offers automotive customers market leading high current power delivery solutions for multi-core automotive SoCs with embedded high-performance graphics or AI processor cores.”
The Advantages of Multiphase Buck Converters
The members of the DA914X-A family are multiphase buck converters. The basic idea is illustrated below:
Simplified block diagram of a multiphase buck converter. Image courtesy of Texas Instruments
When applied to higher power use cases, single-phase buck converters begin to dissipate more power and lose efficiency. As the reader can glean from the above diagram of a dual-phase buck converter, the two outputs will provide two square waves in the space that a single-phase device will provide only one.
An advantage here is that since each phase’s output current adds up to the total output, each separate phase output need only be one-half the total. The means lower power inductors can be employed, and because the output “frequency” is doubled, they can also be of lower inductive values. The power capacity of the FETs can also be reduced. Another advantage is that lower ripple current currents are produced.
The DA914X-A family members are aimed at powering autonomous vehicle applications including:
- Graphics processors
- AI embedded processors
- Machine learning
- Digital Vision
- The DA914X-A devices are available in 4.5 x 7.0mm, 60-pin FC-BGA packages.
- The units are also available as the DA9141 and the DA9142, which are industrial/commercial grade versions of the DA9141X-A and DA9142X-A
- Operate over a -40 to +125ºC ambient temperature range
- The units are AEC-Q100 Grade 1 qualified