Electronic Design

The History Of PMBus Products

PMBus products first hit the market in 2005, and since then, we've seen a steady stream of releases.

September 2005: Artesyn Technologies announced its first digital point-of-load (POL) converter. The DPL20C is a non-isolated POL converter in the new family of PMBus-compliant dc-dc converters. The DPL20C is a 20-A output converter that features an extensive set of digital configuration, monitoring, and diagnostic facilities accessible via the PMBus interface. This product introduction precipitated Power-One's legal action. The DPL20C is no longer listed on Artesyn's Web site. Artesyn is now a member company of Emerson Network Power.

September 2005: Astec Power's (of Emerson Network Power) DTX42K48 is an open-frame package with surface-mount termination. It accepts dc input from 36 to 75 V and offers output from 0.96 V to 1.44 V dc with output power up to 50 W. It features integrated digital control with bi-directional PMBus communication. The supply also includes self-diagnostics, efficiency optimization, and output impedance control, as well as dynamic feedback-loop compensation and configuration.

March 2006: Linear Technology's LTC7510 "Digital DC/DC Controller IC with PMBus Interface"” has a 0.7- to 3.6-V output range with a 150-kHz to 2-MHz switching frequency. At the top of the datasheet in big letters is "PRERELEASE," then in smaller letters "Electrical specifications subject to change".”

July 2006: Zilker Labs' single-chip ZL2105 is a 3-A power-conversion IC that integrates full digital power-management capabilities. The synchronous step-down converter includes synchronous power MOSFETs with key power-management functionality in a 6- by 6-mm package. It's configurable with simple pin-strap connections, resistor selection, or via its on-board serial port using the industry-standard PMBus command set.

July 2006: Maxim Integrated Products' MAX8688 is a complete digital power-supply controller/monitor that uses the PMBus to control/monitor 127 power supplies on a single bus. The MAX8688 datasheet currently doesn't appear on the company's Web site.

March 2007: The ISL8601 from Intersil is a single-phase, PMBus-enabled, pulse-width modulation (PWM) controller with integrated FET drivers using analog voltage-mode control. It operates from a 1.8- to 13.2-V input range and has a 0.5-V minimum output. In addition, it integrates 2- to 4-A MOSFET drivers. Yet the top of the datasheet says "*All functional details and specifications are preliminary and subject to change."

April 2007: Texas Instruments' "UCD9240 Digital Point of Load System Controller" is a synchronous buck PWM converter. It can control up to eight power stages in multiphase configuration or up to four feedback outputs with two phases per output. The IC is configured via PMBus version 1.1 with the Power+Designer GUI. There are no qualifying statements with this IC.

April 2007: Primarion added its dual-output, dual-phase PX7522 to its Di-POL IC product family of fully programmable, digital power-conversion and power-management ICs. The PX7522 is configured to regulate two independent outputs or two phases in a single output mode. It supports both DCR and RDS(ON) current-sense topologies and features an output range of 0.5 to 8 V. This configurable control IC utilizes PMBus and on-chip nonvolatile memory (NVM) for control and real-time system monitoring.

May 2007: Texas Instruments' PTD08A010W is a high-performance, 10-A rated, non-isolated digital PowerTrain module. It comprises the power-conversion section of a digital power system. The PTD08A010W must be used in conjunction with a digital power controller such as the UCD9240. The module receives control signals from the digital controller and provides parametric and status information back to the digital controller.

May 2007: Zilker Labs' ZL2005 digital power-conversion and management IC is featured in two experimental digital power-module designs to support a case study presented by Ericsson Power Modules, a unit of Ericsson. Information provided doesn't mention a PMBus interface.

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