PMIC steps up power density, efficiency for mobile CPU supplies

June 03, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Dialog Semiconductor’s 20A DA9312 power management integrated circuit (PMIC) claims to shrink comparable notebook power design by 50% while delivering a 98% efficiency

DA9312 is a power management IC that enables the design of power provision for applications such as smaller, thinner notebook computers and tablets powered by dual cell stacked (2S) Li-ion or Li-Polymer batteries. The notebook industry is moving towards designs powered by 2-cell, rather than 3-cell batteries and tablets are moving from single cell to 2-cell batteries. Dialog is supporting these trends with the most integrated power management solution currently available.

Using the DA9312 with a just few external components requires only 80 mm ² of board space, a fraction of that of discrete component power converters. The device delivers efficiency of 98%, minimising thermal management challenges and boosting product reliability.

“Delivering the most highly integrated PMICs transformed the power management architecture of the smartphone and later the tablet industry, giving Dialog its leadership position today,” said Udo Kratz, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Mobile Systems Business Group. “Adopting this integration approach for computing will replace the discrete power management solutions which have dominated computing systems to date and significantly increase the total addressable market for our power saving technologies.”

Rated at 90W, the DA9312 is presented as the first high power device of its type. It accepts an input voltage from 5.5V to 10.5V, which then feeds three independent power supplies. The main power converter uses capacitors to store charge and requires no external inductor. The device’s two high-frequency buck converters switch at a frequency of 1.5 MHz, so tiny 1 mm high inductors and very small capacitors can be used on the outputs.

The power converter, which outputs half the input voltage, is rated at up to 10A and the two buck converters can each deliver up to 5A at between 2.8V and 5.35V. Alternatively, the buck converter outputs can be combined to turn the device into a dual phase regulator capable of supplying up to 10A on each output. All power supplies within the