New buck regulators offer maximum power density and flexibility for high efficiency point of load DC-DC regulation

July 19, 2012 // By Paul Buckley
Vicor has introduced a new Picor PI33XX Cool-Power ZVS buck regulator series that affords board-level designers maximum power density and flexibility for high efficiency point of load DC-DC regulation.

The integration of a high performance Zero-Voltage Switching (ZVS) topology within the PI33xx series increases point of load performance to provide best in class power efficiency up to 98% peak. Products in the PI33XX series are highly integrated with control circuitry, power semiconductors and support components in a high density 10 mm x 14 mm x 2.56 mm LGA System in Package (SiP).  PI33XX buck regulators can convert input supplies ranging from 8 V to 36 V to output voltages from 1 V to 16 V and output current up to 10 A for power delivery up to 120 W. Power delivery can be further increased by interleaving up to six PI33XX buck regulators using single wire current sharing without the need of any additional components.

The use of a ZVS topology enables high-frequency operation that maximizes efficiency by minimizing the significant switching losses associated with conventional buck regulators that use hard-switching topologies. The high switching frequency of the PI33XX series also reduces the size of the external filtering components, improving power density, while enabling fast dynamic response to line and load transients. The PI33XX series sustains high switching frequency all the way up to the rated input voltage without sacrificing efficiency and, with its 20 ns minimum on-time, supports large step down conversions up to 36 VIN.  

PI33XX series buck regulators require only an external inductor and minimal ceramic capacitors for input and output filtering to form a complete high performance regulator. No frequency compensation, parametric settings or incremental external components are required.  A wide operating temperature range of -40 to 125°C allows for use in almost any environment.

For designers challenged by complex distribution power schemes, Picor PI33XX Cool-Power ZVS buck regulators claim to be the only buck regulators in their class to offer an optional I2C extended fault telemetry capability allowing for six distinct types of fault reporting. Additional device-programmable I2C features include margining, enable pin