The Point of Load Alliance (POLA) comprises a number of leading companies, including Artesyn Technologies, Emerson's Astec Power Division, Ericsson Power Modules AB, and Texas Instruments. The organization's goal is to promote pin-compatible, advanced non-isolated, POL plug-in power modules. POLs offer pin-compatible footprints that provide the same functionality and form factors, ensuring full interoperability and true second sourcing.
In December 2004, POLA announced that it will jointly design and release products in accordance with the PMBus (Power Management Bus) digital interface and control specification during 2005. PMBus will permit flexibility in the digital control of power-conversion products.
The PMBus founding group consists of companies from POLA and the semiconductor industry, including Intersil Corp., Microchip Technology Inc., Summit Microelectronics, Volterra Semiconductor, and Zilker Labs Inc. Its goal is to release an open protocol supporting communication to power supplies via a digital bus. Implemented over the industry-standard I2C serial bus, this protocol will establish a common command set for configuring, controlling, and monitoring dc-dc converters. However, it will not dictate how those commands are generated.