Ericsson's 12A Digital Voltage Regulator Completes Flexible Second-Generation Product Family



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Ericsson Power Modules' 3E series BMR462 is the third addition to the company's family of second-generation, digital point-of-load (POL) regulators. Up to 7 of the 12A devices can be paralleled to deliver up to 84A to the load. Like other products in the 3E series, the BMR462 offers an exceptionally wide range of control and monitoring functions. Designers can configure their power systems to dynamically minimize energy consumption under all load conditions. This simplifies thermal management requirements and reduces CO2 emissions. Power system configuration is simplified through Ericsson's PMBus graphical user interface. Although primarily designed to meet the requirements of information communications technology (ICT) applications, which account for some 70% of the market for board-mounted power modules, the BMR462 is equally suitable as a power conversion device for industrial applications and automation systems. The compact BMR462 measures 21.0 x 12.7 x 8.2 mm (0.827 x 0.5 x 0.323 inches), fitting easily into systems with 15mm board pitch. Its input voltage range is from 4.5V to 14V and the output range is 0.6V to 5V. At half-load, 5Vin and 3.3Vout, typical efficiency is 97.1%. The BMR462's synchronization capability means that multiple regulators can be locked to a common switching frequency. This eliminates beat frequencies that can be reflected back to the input, reduces EMI filtering requirements, and minimizes the external component count. Input capacitance requirements, and hence losses, are reduced by spreading the peak current drawn from the input supply over the complete switching cycle and a current sharing rail can be configured to enable 100% utilization of the output of each device. Through a PMBus command, one or more phases can be automatically switched off under light-load conditions, eliminating the current drain and switching losses associated with those phases. Adaptive diode emulation turns off the low-side MOSFET gate drive in the synchronous rectification circuit at low load currents. This gives a further boost to efficiency by eliminating losses that would occur if the circuit's inductor current were permitted to go negative. The BMR462 features integral signaling for remote control, current sharing, voltage tracking, voltage margining and remote sense. Voltage setting is achieved using pin strapping or via the PMBus and the device has comprehensive circuit protection built in. "Nearly every professional power application where minimizing energy consumption is important can now benefit from utilizing one or more digital POL regulators from Ericsson's 3E family," said Patrick Le Fèvre, Marketing and Communication Director of Ericsson Power Modules. "The features, configurability and efficiency of these modules enable engineers to reduce energy consumption to levels that were unimaginable just a few years ago. Digital power control is here to stay and Ericsson Power Modules aims to maintain its position at the leading edge of technical development in this field," he added. Ericsson Power Modules was the first company to launch digitally controlled POL (point-of-load) regulators based on a digital core controller. Through close cooperation with board and systems' designers, the company was the first to release a 21st century power architecture that can be fully integrated into the rest of the digital chain of processors and associated components.