Powervation, Inaugural PV3002 Power Conversion Chip Now Available
We first covered Powervation and the company's Auto-Control® DC/DC technology at the beginning of this year, while mentioning several other startups that were developing digital solutions for typically analog problems. A few months have passed and Powervation recently notified us that the company's inaugural product, namely the PV3002 has become available.
The PV3002 is an Auto-Control® Dual Phase Digital Power IC and is targeted at the Computing, NetComms, and Storage markets, although many additional applications will surely take advantage of it. The PV3002 consists of a Digital Signal Processor (DSP), a RISC processor, and several analog blocks to make it a complete mixed-signal System-On-a-Chip (SOC). It can provide 1 or 2 phase operation and several of these ICs can be utilized in parallel to enable load sharing. As mentioned in our previous post, the key feature of this IC is its ability to monitor the output voltage in order to compensate for variations in line, load, capacitance, and inductance.
Performance and stability are provided through the use of a feedback loop for which the compensation level is controlled dynamically. The company's own website has a nice little primer titled DC-DC conversion with Auto-Control®, which examines the typical digital DC-DC converter design, the inherent limitations brought on by the digital feedback loop, and how adaptive control can relax some of the performance constrains while still keeping the system stable. If you want to delve a little deeper and have IEEE access, you can find the following two recently published papers: Current Share in Multiphase SMPCs by Digital Filtering and Current Share in Multiphase DC-DC Converters Using Digital Filtering Techniques.
The PV3002 comes in a 5x5 mm package and can deliver up to 80 A to the load. The key parameters for the IC are specified in the table above. Tests at beta sites have shown a 10% efficiency improvement at light load over existing solutions and a gain of up to 30% in system energy savings. Since the power-converter is completely self-contained, it can be plugged into any board and operate directly without any user intervention – this is referred to by Powervation as Plug-and-Power technology.