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Power-supply manager packs NV flash memory

Posted: 01 Dec 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:PMBus-compliant  NV flash memory  thermal managment 

Maxim Integrated Products (Maxim) rolls out the MAX34440/MAX34441 that packs non-volatile flash memory for failure-logging capability which allows it to operate like an airplane flight data recorder, or "black box," to determine root cause and system performance improvements. The PMBus-compliant system-management controller ICs boast of the industry's most comprehensive fault-logging and thermal-management capabilities for enterprise equipment.

The MAX34440 provides six channels of power-supply management with sequencing, voltage monitoring, closed-loop margining, and support for current monitoring. The MAX34441 combines five power-supply management channels with one channel of the most sophisticated closed-loop fan control available. These devices ensure predictable power-supply operation, improve system performance, and extend energy efficiency in complex systems such as network switches and routers, base stations, and servers, as well as high-reliability industrial and medical equipment.


The MAX34440/MAX34441 incorporate a power-supply manager that monitors power-supply output voltages and constantly checks the user-programmable over-voltage and under-voltage thresholds. The power-supply manager can also margin the output voltages up or down to a user-programmable level. Margining is performed in a closed-loop arrangement, whereby the devices automatically adjust a PWM output and then measure the resultant output voltage. The power-supply manager can sequence the supplies in any order at both power-up and power-down. With the addition of an external current-sense amplifier, current can also be monitored.

Both devices support the capture of up to 15 failure logs in nonvolatile (NV) flash memory on user-defined fault events. Fault events can be triggered by any logical combination of over-/under-voltage, over-current, over-temperature, or sequencing errors. Each failure log captures 800ms worth of system history in NV flash memory, including voltage, current, and temperature history. This extensive failure-logging capability allows the MAX34440/MAX34441 to operate like an airplane flight data recorder, or "black box," enabling rapid root cause determination and system performance improvements.

In addition to its five power-supply management channels, the MAX34441 incorporates a fan control channel. This allows the system fan to be operated at the minimum possible speed, thereby minimising power and acoustic noise while maximising reliability through reduced fan wear and dust accumulation. Complementing this fan control channel, the MAX34441's fault management capability includes the ability to trigger a fault on a low fan speed condition and log fan speed history when any type of fault occurs.

The MAX34440/MAX34441 incorporate a PMBus-compliant, industry-standard command interface (SMBus�/I�C) to allow interoperability and software design reuse. The devices implement PMBus-standard commands for sequencing, monitoring, margining, and fault-management functions, which are used across many compliant devices from multiple suppliers.

The MAX34440/MAX34441 are packaged in a 40-pin TQFN and are fully specified over the -40°C to +85°C extended temperature range. Prices start at Rs.131.78 ($2.95) for the MAX34440 and Rs.154.11 ($3.45) for the MAX34441 (1000-up, FOB USA).

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