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PWM controllers deliver fastest transient response

Posted: 17 May 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Intersil  PWM  controller  voltage regulator  ISL6326 

Intersil Corp. has introduced a family of pulse width modulation (PWM) controllers that regulates microprocessor core voltage by driving four to six synchronous-rectified buck channels in parallel. The ISL6326, ISL6326B and ISL6327 utilise Intersil's active pulse positioning (APP) and adaptive phase alignment (APA) modulation schemes.

According to Intersil, APP and APA are designed to speed up load transient response, reducing the need for external bulk output capacitors required to supply stored energy to the CPU during load transients. A unity gain, differential amplifier is provided for remote voltage sensing. Any potential difference between remote and local grounds can be eliminated using the remote-sense amplifier. Eliminating ground differences is said to improve regulation and protection accuracy.

The ISL6326 and ISL6326B are 4-phase PWM controllers with an 8bit DAC code for precision dedicated current sense resistance (DCR). The ISL6326B offers an output current pin that is said to enable continuous power monitoring. The ISL6327 is a 6-phase PWM controller with an 8bit voltage identification (VID) code and differential inductor DCR or resistor current sensing. The ISL6327 also offers an output current pin.

The ISL6326 family is designed for desktop and industrial PCs and the ISL6327 is for server platforms. Microprocessors require a tightly-regulated output voltage position versus load current (droop). The ISL6326/26B/27 sense the output current continuously by utilising patented techniques to measure the voltage across the DCR of the output inductor. Current sensing provides the needed signals for precision droop, channel-current balancing, and overcurrent protection.

A programmable integrated temperature compensation function is implemented to compensate for the temperature coefficient of the current sense element. The current limit function provides the overcurrent protection for the individual phase. The threshold sensitive enable input coordinates the start up of these devices with any other voltage rail. Dynamic-VID technology allows seamless on-the-fly VID changes. The offset pin allows accurate voltage offset settings that are independent of VID setting.

"Intersil's ISL6326/26B/27 family provides the highest-performance VR11 multiphase voltage regulator at the lowest possible BOM cost," said George Lakkas, senior product marketing manager at Intersil. "Our APP and APA technology enable the elimination of several bulk capacitors versus competitive solutions, representing huge savings in total solution cost."

The ISL6326 and ISL6326B are available in 40-lead QFN packaging and priced at Rs.171.87 ($3.81) and Rs.181.79 ($4.03), respectively. The ISL6327 is available in a 48-lead QFN package and priced at Rs.206.60 ($4.58). All pricing is in 1,000-unit quantities.

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