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Re-examine DC-DC systems

Posted: 25 Mar 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:EnergyStar 5  DC-DC power systems  MOSFET 

With the emergence of important climate saving legislation such as 80 PLUS, Climate Savers and EnergyStar 5, power designers of both the AC-DC and DC-DC power systems are working hard to meet the challenge if total increasing system level efficiency . With AC-DC system efficiencies typically average around a mere 6 per cent, it is understandable that more weight has been placed on AC-DC since it is here that dramatic improvements can be made. However, as every per cent saves energy, it is now time to reexamine DC-DC systems to find creative ways to improve efficiency across the entire load spectrum.

Focusing on a typical notebook personal computer, which is an extremely harsh yet common example as it converts based on a duty cycle of 6 per cent. Typical peak efficiencies for a 46A, 2 phase Notebook VCORE solution with PWM controller and discrete MOSFET implementation are typically at 90 per cent peak at current ratings of 10A per phase, reducing down to at 86 per cent at full loads of 23A. This 10-13 per cent loss in system efficiency is directly proportional to power and thermal dissipation.

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