Exar Corp. entered the digital power market with two PowerXR system-level solutions comprised of highly integrated field programmable power regulator ICs that are said to change the design mindset for creating power solutions. These two ICs provide programmable digital power at the same cost as analog with many additional power management features.
Exar has released the XRP7704, a 5A/channel regulator, and the XRP7740 a 16A/channel version. These power ICs are said to integrate the best of both worlds – the low cost and flexibility of digital power management and control, and the robust power capabilities of analog switching power supplies. The company states that the PowerXR products will reduce development time from weeks to hours enabling a significant time-to-market advantage. Both PowerXR devices permit real-time power system adjustments during design, in response to changing requirements or even after field-deployment.
"The XRP7704 and the XRP7740 are the first 5-channel power-system ICs to combine high performance analog technology with advanced, high-speed, proprietary digital control circuitry," said Tim Maloney, Senior Director, Marketing. "These ICs deliver on the promise of Digital Power by providing engineers with a cost effective configurable power solution. Additionally, Exar’s Digital Power Studio ™, an easy-to-use software environment, enables the creation of complex sequencing schemes and power systems, theoretically possible with analog, but too expensive to implement. We are encouraged by early market adoption – clearly our customers understand the value."
Both devices offer a wide input voltage range (6.5 to 20V), and output range (0.9 to 5.0V), with a built-in Low-Drop Out (LDO) for standby power, power sequencing capability, and integrated gate drivers. The 5-output, XRP7704 and XRP7740 digital power system controller ICs each contain four digital pulse width modulator (DPWM) controlled power supplies with an effective 12-bit resolution. Both devices also contain an integrated LDO regulator that provides a fifth voltage supply, which can also be employed as a standby-voltage source. Both chips are fully configurable via an I²C interface for monitoring, control and management of dc-dc point-of-load power conversion. The devices contain integrated gate drivers for the high-current outputs and up to 6 General Purpose Input/Output (GPIO) pins. Exar’s Digital Power Studio enables designers to intelligently configure the power supply’s voltage setting and current thresholds, fault monitoring and response, soft start and active shut-down timing, and channel sequencing, phase shift management, and loop response, amongst other features.
"Digital power has reached price parity with pure analog solutions, with growing adoption of digital power in high-volume and cost-sensitive consumer devices," said Linnea Brush, Senior Research Analyst, Darnell Group. "Exar’s digital PowerXR solution targets these markets with real-time diagnostics and reconfigurability."
The XRP7704 and XRP7740 use a digital PID (proportional, integral, differential) control algorithm which performs full-digital loop control at switching frequencies to 1.5 MHz. The controller supports I²C interface commands for control, configuration, and management of the power supply.
Samples of the XRP7704 are available now. Offered in a RoHS compliant,"green"/halogen free 40-pin QFN package operating within the -40 to +85°C temperature range, the XRP7704 is priced at $4.00 in 1K piece quantities. Samples of the XRP7740 will be available within 30 days.
Offered in a RoHS compliant,"green"/halogen free 40-pin QFN package operating within the -40 to +85°C temperature range, the XRP7740 is priced at $5.50 in 1K piece quantities.