In-depth analysis of the three major trends of power management IC

In all electronic devices and products, there is no shortage of power management ICs. With the rapid development of digital high-speed IC technology and chip manufacturing technology, the role of high-performance power ICs to help out is becoming more and more important. The ever-changing demand for electronic products and the rise of environmentally-friendly green energy-saving requirements have also placed higher demands on power ICs, stimulating the demand for a new generation of highly integrated, high-performance and energy-efficient power management ICs, and becoming the eternal power management IC manufacturer. mission.

Power IC needs to "up posture"

According to market forecasting agency iSuppli, the power management IC market is expected to reach US$38.7 billion in 2016. Consumer electronics, network communication and mobile internet are the main application markets, and the automotive electronics and new energy sectors are gradually exerting strength. Under the influence of application drive and technological advancement, the technical requirements for power ICs are also constantly rising. And with the continuous innovation of applications, the market for power ICs also presents diversified demand, application segmentation, and the market demand for more high-performance power ICs is also deepening and expanding, better to meet system innovation and performance improvement. And service.

On the one hand, with the continuous upgrading of semiconductor process technology, the chips and components on the PCB board have higher functions, faster operation and smaller size, driving the power management IC to provide lower and more accurate nuclear voltage and greater power supply. Current, tighter voltage feedback accuracy, and higher efficiency performance. On the other hand, power management IC applications continue to expand and deepen, achieving better control functions, smarter control loops, faster dynamic response characteristics, and simplified peripheral layout design are all “indispensable”. Power management ICs need to face these challenges when they want to “get it.”

Mark Davidson, marketing director of Altera's Power Business Unit, said that in order to help customers solve these challenges and simplify design, digital, modular, intelligent power ICs are inevitable.

For example, he said, power management has become a strategic competitive advantage for FPGA customers, especially in communications, computing and industrial applications. As FPGAs and SoCs continue to evolve, designers have added a large number of mixed-signal capabilities to next-generation embedded systems to achieve system-level performance previously unattainable. How to power FPGAs with more and more functions, higher performance and more advanced technology is indeed a very challenging problem. For example, an FPGA with a 14nm process will have higher performance, and accordingly a higher performance power supply will be required to match. Moreover, the 14nm FPGA is more demanding on the power supply, and has higher requirements on the power supply accuracy. If the voltage range exceeds the specification requirements, the FPGA may be invalidated or even burned out.

Deep analysis of power management IC three major trends

This also means that designers must meet their rigorous FPGA power rail requirements, system power and thermal budget constraints, build robust and reliable systems, meet budget requirements, complete their projects on time, and fully meet their board and system pairs. Finding the best combination of functional and performance requirements is no easy task.

Digital power stimulates vitality

In response to this market trend, major power management IC manufacturers are paying close attention to the formation of troops, and digital power has become a "trick" for them to spare no effort. With a flexible, fast-response, highly integrated, and highly controllable advantage, digital power has shown strong momentum.

According to a report by IMS Research, a research institute of IHS, it is estimated that the global digital power market revenue will increase to 12.4 billion US dollars in 2017, and the digital power IC market will reach 2.6 billion US dollars. The digital power market is dominated by server and communications equipment applications, while expanding into other applications, or as a spark.

POL converters typically provide voltage for low voltage, high current digital loads such as FPGAs, microprocessors, DSPs, and other digital circuits with extremely high dynamics. It is becoming more and more difficult to maintain precise voltage regulation around 1V while using pure analog control techniques to meet load transient requirements of nearly 200A/ns. Some digital controllers provide functions that are difficult to achieve in comparable analog ICs such as nonlinear control. In fact, almost all POL digital controllers contain a number of different control techniques designed to improve transient response. These dedicated control algorithms form the threshold for traditional analog power companies to enter digital power development. If the power supply internally uses a digital core to implement the control loop, it can meet extremely stringent transient requirements, achieve extremely low ripple voltage, and achieve extremely high precision regulation over the output voltage range. It also supports the PMbus communication interface for remote, accurate current, voltage and temperature monitoring.

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