14 July 2020
EPC and Microchip co-develop 300W 16th brick 48V–12V DC-DC converter demonstration board
Efficient Power Conversion Corp (EPC) of El Segundo, CA, USA – which makes enhancement-mode gallium nitride on silicon (eGaN) power field-effect transistors (FETs) for power management applications – has announced the availability of the EPC9143, a 300W DC-DC voltage regulator in 16th brick size.
The EPC9143 power module integrates Microchip Technology’s dsPIC33CK digital signal controller (DSC) with the latest-generation EPC2053 eGaN FETs to achieve 96% efficiency in a 48V input to 12V output conversion at 25A.
The switching frequency of 500kHz enables the 300W in the very small 16th brick format, which is just 33mm x 22.9mm (1.3-inches x 0.9-inches). Additional phases can be added to the scalable two-phase design to further increase power. The flexibility of the Microchip digital controllers allows the input voltage to be adjusted from 8V–72V and the output voltage from 3.3V–25V.
Brick DC-DC converters are widely used in data-center, telecom and automotive applications, converting a nominal 48V to a nominal 12V distribution bus among other output voltages. Given that the form factor is fixed, the main trend has been towards higher power density. A main application is high-density 48V-to-12V point-of-load (POL) converters, where a regulated 12V output voltage is required, like those used for commodity PCIe cards and storage.
EPC says that eGaN FETs and integrated circuits provide the fast switching, small size and low cost that can meet the stringent power density requirements of these leading-edge applications with low component count and solution cost.
“Advanced computing applications are putting higher demands on power converters, and silicon-based power conversion is not keeping pace,” says CEO Alex Lidow. “We are delighted to work with Microchip, a leader in this space, to provide customers with a flexible solution to increase the efficiency, increase power density, and reduce system cost for 48V power conversion,” he adds.
“Microchip’s dsPIC DSCs can be programmed to fully exploit the high performance of GaN FETs,” says Joe Thomsen, VP of Microchip’s MCU16 business unit. “The combination of EPC’s GaN technology and our dsPIC33CK controllers will offer engineers the ability to significantly increase power density to meet the demanding requirements of advanced computing and telecom applications.”
The EPC9143 demonstration board is priced $378 each and is available for immediate delivery from distributor Digi-Key Corp.
EPC E-mode GaN FETs Power electronics