In 48 V Power Systems, the Fewer Components, the Better

July 29, 2016

As engineers, we’re always looking for an elegant solution. Although project managers seem to judge us on the number of components we add to a schematic, we know that the most effective way to overcome a design challenge generally looks the simplest when it is complete.

The Vicor 48 V Direct to CPU solution is no exception: just a single buck-boost regulator to regulate the 48 V rail to a VTM (voltage transformation module) to transform the voltage to the level needed by the CPU or GPU, typically at about a volt or less. Conventional multiphase solutions, on the other hand, need a small army of converters and inductors to deliver the same output. In contrast, the VTM frees up more than half the space used by multiphase power chains, allowing other critical components to be located more closely to the CPU, simplifying the routing of CPU and I/O signals, making board design easier. With our solution, the PRM and digital controller can be located in non-critical areas towards the edge of the board.

The VTM offers other advantages, in addition to its compact size, when it comes to board layout. The unique ZVS/ZCS resonant Sine Amplitude Converter used in the VTM generates negligible noise. This makes it even easier to site the CPU and route data lines near the power conversion.

By reducing component count and requiring just a single regulator component near to the CPU or GPU, our 48 V solution benefits other parts of the motherboard, as the designer is able to locate critical components more conveniently. Simple and elegant: just how engineers like it!

48 v cpu single converter component

Benefits of Using a Single Coverter in 48 V System (click to enlarge)


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