New Industry Products

Silicon Laboratories Introduces POL Reference Design for Digital Power Applications

July 16, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

Silicon Laboratories Inc. announced a single-phase point of load (POL) reference design enabling engineers to easily and quickly implement digitally-controlled POLs for many end applications including servers, telecom, datacomm and storage systems, medical equipment and aeronautical systems.

This reference design is a 20 A POL suitable for packaging as a stand-alone power supply module or can be implemented directly on the end application circuit board by the OEM. Included in the POL reference design is a pre-configured software kernel that features active dynamic dead time control for maximum operating efficiency, non-linear control response for fast transient response, and SMBus port capable of supporting industry-standard communication protocols.

The reference design kit is shipped with a complete development tool suite enabling users to modify the POL application code as desired. This tool suite consists of a powerful GUI-based application builder that initializes the switch timing, loop compensation filter and processor set-up without writing application software. Also included is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that contains an editor, macro assembler, demo C compiler and a special online debugger which allows for manual inspection and adjustment of system parameters during power supply operation.

The POL reference design kit includes full schematics and layout (Gerber) files that facilitate fast time to market and greatly reduce design time and effort. The total area occupied by the POL is only 615 mm2 and delivers a maximum of 20 A for a complete 20 A/100 W power converter. The POL reference design utilizes a 4-layer PCB and is available with all necessary connectors and switches for complete evaluation of the product. Also included in the POL is a USB debug adapter, USB to SMBus communications adapter, USB cable and 2Ω load resistor. The only external hardware required to evaluate the kit is an external input power supply.

The POL reference design is based on the Si8252 digital power controller in a 32-pin QFP package. The POL reference design, part number SINGLEPHSPOL-RD, is now available for $149.