New Buck Converter Design Features Integrated Inductors

-Manas

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  • Fe1038D is a dc-dc buck converter that measures dimensions of 2 mm x 3.2 mm
  • The device has in-built automated protections such as under-voltage lockout, over-current, over-voltage and temperature shutdown

New York-based fabless chip firm Ferric collaborated with TSMC to put magnetic components on the metal layers of integrated circuits. Fe1038D is a dc-dc converter that features a unique fabrication technique to design more compact on-chip circuits.

Features on-chip magnetic and passive components 

According to the company, Fe1038D is a dc-dc buck converter that measures dimensions of 2 mm x 3.2 mm. The chip is made in a flip-flop die that makes a thick layer up to 400μm. It includes all magnetic and passive components within this thickness. It can deliver a current of up to 3A between 0.6V and 1.5V. It can operate at an input voltage ranging from 1.8V up to 2.5V.

Can provide peak efficiency of 85 per cent

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The company informed that the chip can provide peak efficiencies of up to 85 per cent. These chips can also be used parallelly in ganged configurations. In ganged mode, it can deliver a current of up to 12A. Ferric also claims that the device can provide a current density of 20A/mm2 with a utilisation factor near to 100 per cent.

Programmable switching frequency

The internal switching frequency for the chip is programmable in the range between 60 MHz up to 100MHz. A marginal bandwidth below 10MHz is reserved for the technology. The company claims that this magnetic core inductors can be integrated on top of the chip or interposer.

Includes automated protection features

There are several controls that can be interface with the chip using a PMBus 1.3. The device includes feature such as dynamic voltage scaling, programmable soft-start, programmable ramp rates, auto phase shedding and temperature monitoring. It also has automated protections such as under-voltage lockout, over-current, over-voltage and temperature shutdown.

Noah Sturcken, The CEO for Ferric Corp. recently said in a statement, 

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The Fe1038D multi-phase dc-dc buck converter with integrated inductors allows customers to implement designs with significantly smaller form factors. Ferric’s mobile, FPGA, and embedded solutions customers of the Fe1038D are creating their next-generation products.

Ferric also told that the product can be purchased in die form. The target IC can be integrated directly into the packaging of the load IC.  The input/output pitch of the chips is 180μm. Additionally, intellectual property is also available for monolithic integration by TSMC into third party chips.

Ferric also shows its concern regarding the under-development design saying,

Power converter designs are available in single-chip PVR [package integrated voltage regulator, see below] format for in-package integration and also available as licensable hard and soft circuit IP for MVR [monolithic integrated voltage regulator] implementations in TSMC N28 and N7. All necessary circuit sub-systems and interfaces with dedicated integration support for both circuit IP and inductors are offered.

 


 

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