New Industry Products

ICs for Google’s Next-Gen 48V Datacenter Architecture

March 09, 2016 by Jeff Shepard

STMicroelectronics today announced a new family of power-conversion ICs dedicated to 48V power architectures. These three new products are shipping in volume. To meet ever-growing performance demands, servers and processors have ratcheted up their compute power—and power consumption—with multicore chips. This next-generation power architecture aims to significantly cut wasted power inside datacenter servers and it also meets the requirements of the new 48V architecture announced by Google.

ST has implemented direct digital power conversion from 48V by developing a family of ICs to support the complete range of datacenter power-conversion applications. The direct digital power conversion eliminates intermediate conversion stages to minimize power loss in datacenters from power distribution and reduce space, cooling requirements, and cost.

The ICs are fully compliant with Intel’s VR12.5 (Haswell and Broadwell), VR13 (Skylake) and DDR3/4 voltage-regulation specifications, and all FPGAs and ASICs for datacenter applications. The three new chips, together with ST’s low-voltage StripFET™ power-MOSFET family, assure robust and highly-efficient system operation at input voltages from 36 to 72V, with output voltages between 0.5 and 12V. These specifications confirm best-in-class power efficiency of >97% at 12V/500W and high system bandwidth using minimal PCB space.

“This 48V architecture is ideal for ultra-high-efficiency datacenters in significantly reducing the total cost of ownership,” said Matteo LoPresti, Group VP and General Manager Analog, STMicroelectronics. “ST is already in volume production and supporting this next-generation application with our unique isolated resonant-power converters, demonstrating that this solution offers industry-leading power efficiency, along with outstanding scalability, and flexibility.”

The three ICs are available now and ST offers a demo board to showcase the advantages of the 48V architecture and its three-chip solution. ST’s Isolated Resonant Direct Conversion technology ensures great flexibility in all the possible applications. In particular: STRG02 is a secondary-side controller that features predictive Zero-Voltage Switching and Zero-Current Switching control and while permitting power to be sunk during falling adaptive voltage scaling.

STRG04 is a 60V full bridge that provides driver capability to a wide range of external MOS- or Gallium-Nitride-based switches at high frequency. The chip supports a wide input-voltage range to substantially simplify the power-delivery chain, including allowing direct connection of the battery backup, which enables higher system availability.

STRG06 is a scalable digital power controller that for the 48V datacenter server architecture to manage up to six converters in parallel, supporting output power from 50W to more than 300W. The STRG06 also implements Energy Proportional control, adaptive interleaving, current sharing and a complete set of the extensive PMBUSâ„¢ commands for fault management, primary- and secondary-side telemetry data, and safety system for traceability and analysis, to operate as a datacenter black-box recorder.