A Power Solution for Line Cards

Power systems have been thought of as a commodity in applications such as line cards. Increasing density means that this lack of focus makes it difficult for power engineers to meet their design goals.

Line cards interface with the network, so are critical systems that help to move data on the internet.  Like most telecom infrastructure they are powered by -48 V systems and use industry standard IBCs  to go from the -48 V to 9.6 V or 12 V.  This intermediate voltage is then converted to the low voltages needed by the ASICs and other components on the card by buck converters.

For years, companies in this market have differentiated themselves from the competition by providing systems that can move more data than the next guy.  To do this more I/Os and ASICs are needed in a fixed space.  Over time, this has resulted in systems that have ASICs packed inside like sardines, while the space available to power them has reduced.  But, of course, more ASICs means more power, not less, is required.

To make matters worse, the ASICs are typically cooled by blowing air through the system. With the high density of modern systems, that air can hardly get through, requiring the IBCs to be significantly derated, as the temperature increases and airflow is reduced.

So power developers need to deliver more power from less space and they must derate the IBCs. To make it worse, the fact that IBCs have been seen as a commodity, means that there has been limited innovation in the design of these converters.  A different approach is needed if these systems are to continue to increase in density.

Fortunately, there is a solution.

Using a different approach, our unique family of Bus Converter Modules (BCMs) and Non-Isolated Bus Converter Modules (NBMs) use proprietary sine amplitude conversion technology (SAC) to create extremely dense and highly efficient bus converters that convert 48V to 9.6V or 12V.  By taking a different approach, these power components are able to provide more power in a smaller space, with higher efficiency, which is just what the doctor ordered for line cards.

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