Felix Martinez, Intersil Corporation
EDN (September 13, 2015)
The proliferation of voltage input rails for delivering point-of-load (POL) power to FPGAs is making power supply designs ever more challenging. As a result, encapsulated power modules are seeing increased use in telecom, cloud computing and industrial equipment because they operate as self-contained power management systems. They are easier to use than discrete solutions and speed time-to-market for both experienced and novice power-supply designers. Modules include all of the major components -- PWM controller, FETs, inductor and compensation circuitry -- with only the input capacitor and output capacitor needed to create an entire power supply.
This article discusses a FPGA reference design generator and walks you through the steps for selecting an FPGA, required power rails, backplane and digital power modules for POL. We will highlight a graphical user interface (GUI) that configures, validates and monitors the FPGA’s power supply architecture, and we will explain the GUI’s sequencing feature to power up the voltage rails, and select the power sequence order and rise and fall times.
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