DN90 - High Efficiency Power Sources for Pentium TM Processors

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High Efficiency Power Sources for Pentium Processors
Design Note 90
Craig Varga
When the processor draws large transient currents,
the 5V supply will be perturbed. In all “buck” type
switching regulators there is an inductor in the path
between the raw input supply and the load. This has
the effect of limiting the rise time of the input currents
and minimizing the disturbance to the 5V supply.
However, the typical cheap off-line “brick” supply has
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100
5VIN
90
EFFICIENCY (%)
In many applications, particularly portable computers,
the efficiency of power conversion is critical both from
the standpoint of battery life and thermal management.
Desktop machines may also benefit from higher efficiency, particularly a “green PC.” While linear regulators
can offer low cost and high performance solutions, they
can only offer 67% efficiency in 5V to 3.3V applications.
Switching regulators are more efficient and minimize
or even eliminate the need for heat sinks at a higher
cost for the components. Efficiencies around 90%
are routinely obtained with Linear Technology’s best
regulator designs (see Figure 2). The LTC®1148 based
circuit (Figure 1) meets the requirements of the P54-VR
specification for output voltage transient response with
the indicated decoupling network.
Selection of Input Source
Several options exist as to where to derive raw power
for the regulator input. In most desktop systems a large
amount of 5V power is available. Also, there is usually
a reasonable source of 12V at hand. The 5V supply will
most likely have the highest power output capability
since it is called upon to power the bulk of the system
logic. This logic can be sensitive to voltage changes
outside of ±5%.
VIN
5V OR 12V
(SEE NOTE 5)
C2
0.1μF
SHUTDOWN
9
10
6
R2
1k
C3
150pF
50V
60
50
5
VFB
1
0
3
4
2
OUTPUT CURRENT (A)
5
DN90 • TA01
Figure 2. Efficiency vs Load
+
VIN
1
PDRIVE
QP1
Si9430DY
QP2
Si9430DY
D1
MBRS140
C4
100μF
16V
AVX
+
C5
100μF
16V
AVX
+
C8
100μF
16V
AVX
+
C8
100μF
16V
AVX
SHDN
14
CT
NDRIVE
ITH
SENSE +
8
INTVCC SENSE –
PGND
SGND
7
12
11
QN1
Si9410DY
C7
1000pF
L1
7μH
R3
100Ω
R4
100Ω
+
C6
330μF
6.3V
AVX
+
C7
330μF
6.3V
AVX
RTN
R5
43.2k
1%
C11
100pF
BOLD LINES INDICATE HIGH CURRENT PATHS
R1
0.015Ω
R7
20k
R6
75k
1%
DN90 • F01
Figure 1
11/94/90_conv
70
U1
3 LTC1148
4
C10
1800pF
12VIN
80
3.3V
5A
RTN
NOTES: UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED
1. ALL RESISTANCES ARE IN OHMS, 1/4W, 5%
2. ALL CAPACITANCES ARE IN MICRO FARADS, 50V, 10%
3. L1 CONSISTS OF 12 TURNS #18AWG WIRE ON A
MAGNETICS, INC. 77130-A7 Kool Mμ CORE
4. ALLOW ADEQUATE AREA OF COPPER FOR COOLING
OF POWER MOSFETS
5. QP2 AND C4 MAY BE OMITTED IF 12V INPUT IS USED
terrible transient response, and the 5V supply may still
be disturbed enough to cause logic problems. This is
especially true as the load currents rise to the levels
expected in multiprocessor systems.
If this is the case, using the 12V supply may prove
advantageous. Since the 12V supply is not directly
regulated, nothing that is terribly sensitive to voltage
level is normally powered off the 12V bus. Moreover,
with switching regulators, as a first order approximation, as the supply voltage rises the input current drops.
As such, even though the input power is nominally the
same whether running from a 5V or 12V supply, the
current requirement is much lower if 12V is utilized for
the input source.
The downside of 12V operation is lower light load efficiency than 5V operation. The efficiency with a 5V
input powering a 3.3V switcher is likely to be several
percentage points better than at 12V due to a reduction
in switching losses. Every situation is somewhat different and a thorough analysis of the trade-offs must be
undertaken to optimize the design. The schematic shown
in Figure 1 offers the option to run from several supply
choices. Each circuit was optimized for the specified
input voltage, but will function well over a fairly wide
range of supply voltages.
Transient Response Considerations
As with a linear regulator, the first several microseconds
of a transient are out of the hands of the regulator and
dropped squarely in the lap of the decoupling capacitor network. In the case of the switcher, the ultimate
response of the regulator will be quite slow compared to
a linear regulator. In the circuits shown, the approximate
time required to ramp the regulator current to equal
the high load condition is 11μs, about 2.4 time that
of an LT1585 high speed linear regulator in the same
application. This means in layman’s terms, that the
LT1585 linear regulator requires less bulk capacitance
than the LTC1148 switcher solution.
Circuit Operation
Figure 1 is a schematic of the two regulators. For the
12V input, omit QP2 and C4. The design is a standard
synchronous buck regulator that is discussed in detail
in several Linear Technology Application Notes as well
as the LTC1148 data sheet. Since the required output
voltage is not the standard 3.3V, which is available
factory set, an adjustable regulator is used. R5 and R6
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Linear Technology Corporation
set the output voltage to the desired level, in this case
3.38V. R7 is used to inhibit Burst Mode® operation at
light loads. If the system were permitted to operate in
Burst Mode, the output voltage would rise by about
50mV at low load currents. If added low load efficiency
is desired and the slightly higher low load output voltage
can be tolerated, this resistor can be omitted.
To meet the transient requirements of the P54-VR, a
fairly large amount of capacitance is needed beyond
what is required to make the regulator function correctly. A viable decoupling scheme is to use 10 each,
1μF surface mount ceramics and 7 each, 220μF, 10V
surface mount tantalums at the processor socket.
In addition to the socket decoupling, two pieces of a
330μF, 6.3V surface mount tantalums are required at
the power supply.
The input capacitors were selected for their ability to
handle the input ripple current. At a 5A load current this
is a little over 4A with a 5V input and 2.6A for a 12V
input. The capacitors are rated at slightly over 1A each
at 85°C. If the input can be switched on very rapidly,
the input capacitor voltage rating should be at least
two times the supply voltage to prevent dV/dt failures.
By running the operating frequency at 150kHz, the
small inductor used is sufficient. Also, since the design
is synchronous, the ripple current may be permitted
to get quite high without causing any problems for the
regulator control loop. This would not be true in a nonsynchronous design. A major advantage of high ripple
current is the regulator’s ability to ramp output current
rapidly. The rate of rise of output current is directly
proportional to input/output differential and inversely
proportional to the inductor value. Using a small inductor
aids in achieving fast response to transients.
5V Input, 0.2A to 4A Load Step
OUTPUT
VOLTAGE
50mV/DIV
LOAD FET
GATE DRIVE
100μs/DIV
DN90 • F03
For applications help,
call (408) 432-1900
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© LINEAR TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION 1994
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