“Wrapping” Power

vicor-via-pfmOften getting power to fit your system’s electrical requirements is not the challenging part of the design. There are a multitude of vendors and options to meet almost any source/load combination imaginable, so there is generally something available that will meet most any electrical specification.

Getting power to fit your system’s mechanical and thermal requirement, however, can be a real challenge. Today many applications demand a power system that fits into a smaller and smaller space.  But economies of scale have resulted in commodity solutions, especially in the AC-DC space, that all look and fit the same: a silver “shoe box” or a board mounted BRICK. Although this means that the price may be attractive, what happens when that box doesn’t meet your mechanical specs and there is no room on the board for the BRICK? Or, even worse, when the silver box is the biggest piece in your assembly and defines the size of your product?

Some systems have strict space constraints, but even when there is not an absolute requirement, smaller systems are usually more attractive to customers. If you can incorporate the power into the mechanical system design, or “wrap” your mechanical design into your power architecture, you can create a more integrated and higher performance system.

Vicor’s power component design methodology offers power system engineers high power front ends and point of load converters and regulators as modular power components that can be board or mechanical chassis mounted. These power components can also be distributed around the system, optimizing the use of space and taking advantage of the mechanical design for thermal management while also meeting the mechanical design goals.

Vicor’s power components are efficient, low profile and very dense, and can be hidden or “wrapped” into the mechanical chassis design or placed near to the devices being powered, offering the opportunity of increased performance.

Many large LED video display customers are today taking full advantage of Vicor’s power components, by chassis mounting a distributed array of VIA PFM’s converting universal AC into 48V DC which is then distributed to high efficiency 48V ZVS Buck Regulators placed on the back of the circuit board’s housing the LED arrays, which otherwise would be unused real estate. The ZVS regulators directly convert the 48V to the required LED voltages, further improving efficiency by direct conversion.

Don’t let your power supply define the size of your system or limit the features you can include. Use Vicor’s power components to optimize your system design. Try the Power Component Design Methodology yourself with Vicor’s Power System Designer on our home page to see how you can develop a flexible and compact solution for your next project.

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