New Solution Helps Designers Create VR12.5 Server Power Solutions

April 29, 2014
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Vicor VR 12.5 SolutionToday we announced a solution for the Intel processor power standard VR12.5, which enables peak efficiency of 94% for Haswell-based x86 systems, even at low load, without the need for complex power management schemes like dynamic phase shedding.

Our solution uses two new products: a new Picor Cool-Power® PI3751 ZVS buck-boost regulator and a VI Chip® 1323 VTM® current multiplier. By configuring these components in a Factorized Power Architecture® (FPA®), the regulation and voltage transformation is separated between the two components, which enables much more effective use of the valuable board space near the processor.

Other solutions on the market use an intermediate voltage, converting 48 V to 12 V to 1 V. This new approach is much simpler: it uses the VTM to step down from 48 V to 1 V directly, reducing the number of active components by a factor of four compared with brick multiphase solutions. Our direct 48 V-to-processor power conversion solution delivers a significant improvement in the performance of power delivery in servers, driving an evolution in processor power delivery to match the rapid increase in computing efficiency in the data center.

The new regulator is based upon our zero-voltage switching (ZVS) topology, allowing the device to deliver best in class power efficiency of up to 98% with up to 200 W continuous output power (384 W peak). Power chain design is further simplified with a wide input voltage range of 38 V to 60 V (48 V nominal) and the wide output voltage range of 38 V to 50 V allows a variety of processor voltages to be delivered.

External components are a major factor in determining the board space required. The PI3751 buck-boost regulators save board space by reducing the filtering components to only an external inductor and minimal ceramic capacitors. The solution makes use of our packaging innovations, with the regulator housed in the Vicor System in Package (SiP) and the VTM built on our Package (ChiP) platform. These packages both improve thermal efficiency and further reduce board space required.

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