Quad power-converter-control chip uses PMBus.
By Paul Rako, Technical Editor - November 10, 2009
Maxim’s new MAX16064 monitoring-and-control chip supervises four analog switching power converters. You communicate with the IC over PMBus (power-management bus) to perform sequencing, monitoring, and margining of analog-power supplies. The device controls output voltages with ±0.3% accuracy, and you can power it from 3 to 3.3V rails. Other features include an internal temperature sensor, a reset output and an SMBus (system-management-bus) alert output. You can also store the chip’s user-programmable registers in a low-cost external EEPROM. At power-up, the MAX16064 automatically retrieves the EEPROM data and loads the registers without requiring a system controller. Storing fault data in the external EEPROM also eases the identification and debugging of failures. The part features master/slave-clock options so that you can maintain accurate timing references across multiple devices.
Applications include high-reliability systems, such as servers, storage, base stations, routers, and networking equipment with multiple power supplies. The unit includes a GUI (graphical user interface) for implementing a digitally programmable power supply. The MAX16064 comes in a 6×6-mm, 36-pin TQFN package, operates in the −40 to +85°C range, and sells for $6.34 (1000).