A series of new reference designs from Altera increase power efficiency by up to 35% as well as halve board area and capacitance costs. The reference designs are based on Enpirion’s magnetics technology (Altera acquired Enpirion earlier this year).
The reference designs achieve FPGA power requirements through the use of Enpirion’s PowerSoC dc-dc converters, which include integrated controllers, high-frequency power FETs, and inductors in a tiny thermally efficient package. Low noise and ripple from these converters increase efficiency when powering transceivers and PLLs. High switching frequency and an integrated inductor combined with a control loop boost transient performance, which cuts the required amount of bulk decoupling capacitors required in half.
The reference designs, available as downloadable design packages, contain schematics for the FPGA’s power circuits, application notes, bill-of-materials list, power-tree layout guidelines, and Gerber files for individual power components to simplify board layout. A design package targeting Cyclone V SoCs also can be downloaded, with additional design packages targeting Stratix V and Arria V due to arrive later this quarter. The four 28-nm hardware development kits are designed for the Stratix V GX FPGA, Arria V GT FPGA, the Cyclone V GX FPGA, and Cyclone V SX SoC.