Addressing the Trends in Power Design with the Power Component Design Methodology

September 18, 2015

Power distribution and management are now crucial elements of many different electrical systems, from electric vehicles to data centers. When designing power systems, engineers need to optimize efficiency, minimize the space used and maintain competitive overall system cost. These often contradictory requirements present significant challenges to power system developers, and even if they can be overcome, this must be done within shorter development timeframes than before and with changing system specifications.

Traditional approaches to power design, which typical rely on integrated power supplies with many outputs, struggle to meet the challenges presented in modern applications. Meeting the efficiency, density and cost metrics is difficult, and the inherent inflexibility of the approach means that it’s almost impossible to accommodate changes to the power system within tight project timescales.

Example Power Chain Designed Using the Power Component Design Methodology

Click image to enlarge

Vicor has taken a different approach. Vicor’s Power Component Design Methodology is a scalable and modular building block approach to power system designs. Utilizing online tools, power system designers can select from an extensive portfolio of proven power components, to architect, optimize and simulate their power source to point of load designs. This innovative approach to power system design, reduces time to design verification while delivering leading edge density, efficiency and cost targets.

We have also developed a comprehensive portfolio of power components that lets power designers create power chains based on this approach. Each power component performs a specific function and is optimized to deliver outstanding performance. The optimization of the components is critical if the overall system is to meet the design goals. The innovations that allow Vicor to create such power components include novel topologies, such as zero voltage switching (ZVS) and new packaging technologies with excellent mechanical, electrical and thermal characteristics.

Optimizing the packaging is essential if power components are to deliver on their promise, particularly in terms of power density, efficiency and cost. At Vicor we’ve invested heavily in packaging R&D, allowing us to create some of the most innovative, high-performance packages in the industry. The Vicor System in Package (SiP) is a compact platform for PoL converters, while our Converter housed in Package (ChiP) technology allows extremely high power throughput with unprecedented power density of up to 2750 W/in3 with a throughput of 1.75 kW. More recently we launched our VIA Packaging Technology, which is an electrically and thermally adept platform for front-end power components.

The Power Component Design Methodology is a game-changing approach to power design, which has been made possible by the development of power components that offer high performance and great ease of use. By combining the right functionality with novel switching topologies and innovative packaging, Vicor helps engineers overcome power design challenges now and in the future.

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