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Buck controllers maximise power efficiency

Posted: 22 Sep 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:buck controller  8-phase architecture  overclocking features 

CHiL Semiconductor Corp. has released a digital multi-phase buck controller for VR11.1-compliant gaming/enthusiast desktop applications that delivers highly accurate control of overclocking functions. The company claims the CHL8318 is the industry's first to combine an 8-phase architecture with a variety of new overclocking features, the CHL8318, enabling gamers and PC users to precisely monitor, control, and optimise key system operating parameters to boost performance while improving power management and efficiency.

The CHL8318 supports up to eight programmable interleaved synchronous buck phases. The device allows users to monitor and adjust currents phase-to-phase to maximise CPU performance and minimise heat. To address the fast transients in today's VR11.1-compliant CPU designs, the CHL8318 adds a highly optimised analogue-to-digital converter architecture capable of a very fast transient response of >r;2000 A/us, according to CHiL.

Custom digital overclocking features allow users to extend the voltage range up to 2.3 V through the system BIOS via a SMBus interface. VID scaling and offset controls offer extremely fine voltage regulation of 6.25 mV with +/-19 mV accuracy within the VID table and +/-25 mV accuracy when VID is >r; 1.6 V. Embedded load line controls avoid system shutdown at low voltage by adjusting the load line slope when current goes high.

To control the additional heat generated by its overclocking functions, the CHL8318 also adds advanced thermal management capabilities. Three external temperature sensors supply monitoring and control of phase current to balance temperature variations. The controller also offers a thermal balancing algorithm that automatically balances current across the controller's eight phases during both DC and transient operation to ensure system continuity, improve power efficiency and maximise reliability. With these features users can monitor and adjust current from phase-to-phase to maximise gaming capabilities, heat dissipation, and optimise power efficiency.

The CHL8318's digital intelligence also helps deliver over 90 per cent power efficiency across virtually all loads. By digitally controlling current across eight programmable synchronous phases, gamers can use the CHL8318 to optimise power efficiency at high load conditions. As current drops the CHL8318 offers dynamic phase control that turns off phases to further improve power efficiency. In addition, a patent-pending adjustable gate drive capability reduces MOSFET gate drive as current drops. These three new functions allow users to maximise power efficiency across high, mid and low load conditions.

Specified across the 0°C to 85°C range, the 8-phase CHL8318 controller is available in a Pb-free, 56-pin QFN package.

The device cost Rs.141.00 ($3.29) in quantities of 1,000.

- Gina Roos

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