Tech Insights

Power Module with Exceptional Thermal and Efficiency Performance

January 04, 2017 by Roland R. Ackerman

Exar Corporation´s Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing, James Lougheed, recently in Munich presented the latest and positive business figures after

Exar Corporation´s Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing, James Lougheed, recently in Munich presented the latest and positive business figures after the completion of the IML divestiture. Meanwhile, the continuous investments in power management products are expected to almost double the revenue in Q117 and Q217 and increase the operating income to more than USD 15 million. With around 200 employees the company designs, develops and markets high performance integrated circuits and system solutions primarily for the industrial market (70%), infrastructure (enterprise networking and servers, switches and routers, carrier-class hardware, 20%), the automotive aftermarket and the audio/video market (around 5% each). The broad analogue mixed-signal product portfolio includes power management, sensing and signal conditioning, interface, LED lighting, data compression & security and video processing solutions. The power management portfolio contains numerous focus products and new products, especially modules in the power conversion branch plus universal PMIC controllers and regulators in the programmable power sector.


Exceptional new power module

Tuomas Hollman, Division VP of Power Management Products, presented the new XR79313 dual 13A power module offering exceptional thermal and efficiency performance, that entered the market mid-December 2016. Controller, drivers, bootstrap diode/capacitor, MOSFETs, inductors, CIN, are all integrated in one package. The junction to case thermal performance is twice as good as that of the competing devices, and the efficiency performance is comparatively exceptional, too.


Industrial market

In the industrial market, comprising process control, automation, industrial IoT, point of sale, medical diagnostics and imaging, LED lighting plus force touch, Exar is the number 1 supplier of UARTs globally as well as of multi-protocol serial transceivers, leading supplier of serial transceivers and of single-phase digital power controllers (universal PMICs, including modules); its ASB and Ethernet bridging solutions have the richest feature set in the market, and the company is performance leader of QFN based power modules and pioneer in force sensing technology – an area of significant potential.


Automotive market

Exar supports the automotive market through its power, interface and high performance analogue solutions designed to power, connect and enable applications such as infotainment systems, GPS navigation systems, event data recorders, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), as well as automotive diagnostic equipment. In the automotive market, the company offers low-power, rail-to-rail 2.5V to 12V amplifiers, 40V PoL regulators – the fastest growing sector, where AEC-Q100 qualification will be achieved early in 2017, mainly 3A/5A/8A synchronous buck regulators, with the CR76208 being the highest current version. Moreover, the range covers universal PMICs, 40V power modules, a broad line of LDOs including 2A and 3A uLDOs with 140mV dropout at 1.1V requiring no external bias or charge pumps, plus a large portfolio of RS-232, RS-485, dual- and multi-protocol serial transceivers.


Exar's High-Density Power Modules and XR79106 Efficiency

Figure 1: Exar's High-Density Power Modules and XR79106 Efficiency


Advantages of the offering

Exar’s programmable power modules and universal PMICs offer advanced dynamic control and telemetry along with remote reconfigurability. The PowerArchitect design and configuration software speeds development and significantly reduces overall time to market compared to legacy analogue power solutions. An I2C interface and multiple GPIO pins ensure easy system integration. Configurable warning and fault levels, fault behaviour and power up and down sequencing ensure that any load can be properly powered and protected. The power system design can be completed with confidence long before the final revision of the SOC or ASIC is available.

This family of power modules addresses high-current single-channel solutions for various end applications. Synchronous step-down power modules are complete system-in-package power management solutions with fully integrated power converters including MOSFETs, inductors and internal input and output capacitors. A patented emulated current mode constant on-time (COT) control provides exceptional full-range 0.1% line regulation and 1% output accuracy over the full temperature range. This COT control loop enables operation with ceramic output capacitors, eliminating loop compensation components. Available in a QFN package, the modules provide superior thermal performance and manufacturability, all in the smallest footprint. The QFN package makes visual inspection of solder joints possible and eases electrical debugging. At 85°C with no airflow, no thermal deratings are required for output voltages of 1.8V and below.