Energy-efficient design does not just apply to the front-end modules that have embraced the 80 PLUS initiative. Energy-efficient design ripples through the entire system. Most computer and telecom servers, for example, employ distributed power architecture in which one or more front-end PSUs supply electricity to a tree of intermediate and point-of-load (POL) DC/DC converters. The distribution voltage is higher than that required by most digital ICs as this minimizes cabling and PCB track losses.
A commonly used distribution voltage is 12 V and conversion from this level down to the 1 V or 2 V needed at the POL is seeing high levels of innovation from PSU manufacturers not just in power efficiency but density. An example is the EN5339QI made by Enpirion. Essentially a power system-on-a-chip (PowerSoC), the EN5339QI, uses high-speed MOSFET technology to support very ultra-high switching frequencies. This design results in a 20 percent footprint reduction and 40 percent lower profile compared to previous Enpirion 3A design. The PowerSoC integrates the controller, power MOSFETs, compensation network and inductor in a 4 mm x 6 mm package and provides an efficiency rating up to 95 percent.
Another supplier focusing on efficiency is Aimtec a relatively new entrant in both the AC/DC and DC/DC segments. The company offers AC/DC PSUs in chassis mount and units that can be soldered onto the PCB up to 150W.
Aimtec’s AC/DC power conversion range include board mounted and open-frame units
Aimtec’s AC/DC and DC/DC power converters provide outputs from 0.24 to 40 Watts, available in a wide selection of package types, including ultra miniature and low profile models