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Vicor debuts 48V Direct-to-PoL sol'ns for GPUs, CPUs

Posted: 11 Apr 2016     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Vicor  GPU  CPU  Direct-to-PoL  module 

Vicor Corp. has introduced additional members of its family of 48V Direct-to-PoL (Point-of-Load) power modules. According to the company, the modules enable power systems with higher density and conversion efficiency than alternative solutions, and are optimised for system loads (CPUs, GPUs, ASICs and DDR memory) requiring operating voltages below 1.25V at load currents up to hundreds of amperes.

Combining best-in-class power density, efficiency and thermal and electrical performance afforded by Vicor's Sine Amplitude Converter (SAC) technology in a rugged, thin 13mm x 23mm ChiP, these modules are geared for a range of 48V power systems applications.

Efficient, dense, cost-effective and reliable power distribution is a critical element in data centres and other applications. It is axiomatic that higher distribution bus voltage reduces distribution bus loss. However, overall system power loss is comprised of both distribution bus loss and the losses in the power converters that power CPUs and other loads. Because conventional approaches to power conversion exhibit decreasing efficiency and power density as bus voltage increases, conventional distributed power system design has required trading off bus voltage, and bus losses, against power converter loss and size.

So, while the 'sweet spot' for distributed power is at 48V, given lower distribution losses, smaller storage capacitors, smaller cables and bus bars, and no special safety precautions, conventional distributed power systems have historically relied on a lower voltage bus (e.g., 12V) and its associated higher losses. By providing efficiencies from a 48V bus that are better than 12V legacy solutions, in a fraction of the space, Vicor's 48V Direct-to-PoL product families eliminate the tradeoff between bus voltage and system efficiency and density, enabling system designers to implement 'green' distributed system solutions featuring high conversion efficiency, high power density, and low distribution loss.

The 48V Direct-to-PoL product family is comprised of non-isolated buck-boost pre-regulator modules (PRMs) and voltage transformation modules (VTMs). When configured in a 'Factorised Power Architecture,' a PRM (e.g., a Vicor Cool-Power P3751-02 Buck-Boost PRM) receives its input from a 48V distributed bus and delivers a controlled, 'factorised' voltage to the input of a VTM. The output voltage of the VTM is the factorized voltage multiplied by a fixed conversion ratio (K) and the output current of the VTM is 1/K times the VTM input current. Current multiplication at the PoL delivers higher efficiency, density and bandwidth, all of which are distinguishing attributes of Factorised Power.

Vicor's PRM/VTM solutions have been designed into advanced CPU/GPU motherboards, including advanced applications incorporating next generation POWER CPU products.

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