Vicor V·I Chip™ modules improve ATE system design and save space

March 22, 2010

Vicor engineers recently helped an Automated Test Equipment (ATE) customer achieve an advanced distributed power supply architecture that delivers space savings, simplified mechanical design and several other benefits.

The ATE has 13 DC outputs and draws 1.2 kW from a 110 – 220 Vac mains input. The ATE electronics had previously been powered from an externally mounted centralised architecture power supply. By exploiting the V·I Chip module family’s high power density, efficiency and flexibility, the power supply assembly has now been implemented on a single board that slots directly into the ATE chassis and backplane. The board is slightly larger than a dual height, dual slot VMEbus module.

The move from external power supply to internal power board yielded the space savings and simpler mechanical design. It also reduced cabling, with the DC outputs fed directly onto the backplane. The V·I Chip modules offer efficiencies better than 90%, over 5% better than previously achieved. The Micro Modules supplying the higher DC voltages are even more efficient. This reduces the cooling requirement as well as energy costs – the Vicor solution only needs airflow from the chassis cooling fan. The reduced cabling requirement has minimised issues such as radiated noise, ground loops and voltage drops. EMC filtering is also simplified.

The V·I Chip module based power design significantly improves the ATE’s sales features as well. The new equipment has double the test channels of its predecessor, and other architectural improvements besides.


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