Electronic Design

IBA-Based Power Solutions Demand System-Level Protection

In many computing and communication applications, the intermediate bus architecture (IBA) with non-isolated point-of-load (niPOL) converters continues to displace conventional distributed and centralized power solutions. Key drivers of this trend include the increasing number of system voltages, their higher output currents, tighter regulation requirements, and lower total system cost. While meeting these needs, many IBA/niPOL solutions don't include certain protection mechanisms that come standard in previous conventional approaches.

For example, output overvoltage protection (OVP) and overtemperature protection (OTP) are very desirable in power-system designs. Without them, a failure in the system could lead to smoke and an acrid smell, loud noises as components fail, and visible damage to the product. Many niPOL converters, either as purchased assemblies or discrete designs, don't include comprehensive OVP and OTP circuitry. It's possible to add this protection to each niPOL converter, but a more elegant approach would be to solve it at the system level.

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