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Designing High Current 48V to Core Voltage Converters

Steve Sandler (Managing Director, Picotest)

Location: Ballroom E

Date: Wednesday, January 31

Time: 9:00am - 9:45am

Pass Type: 2-Day Pass, All Access Pass, Alumni All Access Pass - Get your pass now!

Track: 11. Power Integrity in Power Distribution Networks

Audience Level: All

Format: 45-Minute Technical Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: All

To reduce power consumption and ease cooling requirements, large computer designers are migrating from 12V to core voltage to 48V to core voltage power solutions. 48V to core solutions being introduced do yield significantly increased efficiency, but there are many decisions and tradeoffs to wrestle with. The traditional, well-proven buck regulator topology doesn't perform well in this application, requiring new topologies, perceived as a reliability risk.

This paradigm shift requires rethinking the power converter architecture, topologies and components from the top down. This paper evaluates the key decisions and tradeoffs to assure a high reliability and efficient design.


• Why change from 12V to 48V given the drastic impact on our designs?
• Why we can't just crank up the voltage on existing designs?
• Many options and design choices each have pros and cons, requiring figure of merit assessment
• Component stresses must be carefully considered, often requiring unpublished data
• The PCB plays increasing role in the design

Intended Audience

While attendees with a fundamental knowledge of DC-DC converter topologies and control loop design will get the maximum benefit from this presentation, all engineers will gain an understanding of the interest in the 48V input and the decisions to be made.