CPES

CPES Power Management Consortium (PMC)

The CPES mini-consortium program provides a unique forum for creating synergy among industries and defining new research directions to meet future industry needs.  The formation of the mini-consortium allows CPES to pool resources and focus on developing pre-competitive technologies to address common challenges, and sharing the research results among mini-consortium members. 

Current PMC members (15)
3M Company, Altera - Enpirion Power, Chicony Power, CSR Zhuzhou Institute Co., Ltd., Delta Electronics, Eltek, Huawei Technologies, International Rectifier, Linear Technology, Macroblock, Inc., Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd., NEC TOKIN Corporation, NXP Semiconductors, Richtek Technology, Texas Instruments

PMC Prospectus (updated: March 2013)

PMC Expanded Work Scope (May 2014)

PMC Achievement Nuggets (updated: April 2013)


Background

In 1997, at the request of Intel, CPES established a mini-consortium to address the issue of power management for future generations of microprocessors, targeting at sub-1 volt and 100-200 amps current. As a result of this focused research, the CPES team has developed a multi-phased voltage regulator module. Instead of paralleling power semiconductor devices in order to meet the current demand and efficiency requirements, the research team has proposed to parallel a number of mini-converters. By paralleling the mini-converters and phase-shifting the clock signal, not only we were able to cancel the significant part of the output current ripple, but also to increase the ripple frequency by N time, where N is the number of channels we parallel. This has resulted in demonstrated improvement, specifically, 4 times improvement in transient response, 10 times reduction in output filter inductors, 6 times reduction in output capacitors, 6 times improvement in power density, and 3 times improvement in profile.

The new generation of Intel's microprocessor is operating at a much lower voltage and higher current, with a fast dynamic response in order to implement the sleep/power mode of operation. This particular mode of operation is necessary to conserve energy, as well as to extend the operation time for any battery-operated equipment. The challenge for the voltage regulator module in this case is to provide a precisely regulated output with fast dynamic response in order to transfer energy as fast as possible to the microprocessor.

Today, every Intel processor is powered by such multi-phased VRMs developed by CPES. CPES researchers are continuing to conduct research in this particular subject by exploring new topologies in power semiconductor devices, magnetics, and integrated packaging concepts in order to improve the transient response and minimize the I2R loss due to continuous reduction in voltage as well as continuous increase in load current. We have been exploring a range of input voltages in VRM technologies, from 12V up to 48V, to accomplish this objective.

Work Scope

  • High Performance VRM/POL Converters
  • High-Frequency Magnetics Characterization and Design
  • High-Frequency Modeling
  • Digital Control
  • High-Efficiency Power Architectures for Laptops, Desktops and Servers
  • EMI
  • Solid State Lighting
  • Power Management for PV System
  • Power Management for Battery System