By Vicor Corporation 74
Vicor's NBM2317 is a bridging converter for 48 V and 12 V systems delivering 800 W at 97.9% peak efficiency. The converter uses a unique switching topology and packaging to enable a high density, high efficiency, and low cost.
The NBM switches at 1.7 MHz, and with dimensions of 23 mm x 17 mm x 7.5 mm, it consumes only a fraction of the space occupied by conventional, slow switching (sub 1 MHz) solutions. The NBM also delivers voltage essentially free of noise without any need for external filters, bulk caps, hot swap, or in-rush current limiting while conventional solutions typically require a large multiplicity of discrete components to provide an equivalent operation.
The NBM is packaged in a surface mount converter housed in package (SM-ChiP) package. This package provides a low thermal impedance to both the top and bottom of the package providing easy thermal management.
Fast transient performance is also achieved by the NBM which responds to transient loads quickly (in 1 microsecond) while maintaining its output within a narrow voltage band. The NBM is also a is bidirectional converter providing 12 V to 48 V or 48 V to 12 V conversion dynamically.
The NBM enables efficient bridging between 12 V and 48 V. Automotive, data center, LED lighting, and various industrial applications all have historically utilized 12 V. Now, more applications are adopting 48 V. In many of these designs there is a mix of legacy 12 V systems and newer 48 V systems requiring the NBM for high efficiency, high density, and low-cost conversion between these two voltages.
The NBM also enables bidirectional conversion enabling energy transfer between the 48 V and 12 V power nets. Automotive vehicles utilize bidirectional conversion between its 48 V and 12 V power nets typically found in mild hybrid cars (utilizing start-stop technology).
The NBM is enabling designs to leverage the benefits of 48 V distribution and newer 48 V based systems while having compatibility with legacy 12 V systems. Distributing 48 V versus 12 V provides a 16x reduction in losses. Lower distribution losses enable more power to be delivered efficiently to the load. This added power is why so many industries are leveraging the advantages of 48 V. Distributing 48 V versus 12 V can reduce cabling width to a third of the cross-section of conventional cabling. In automotive, this translates to lighter weight in the vehicle. In data centers, more power can be delivered in the rack using 48 V distribution. But, while there are 48 V compatible servers, there are also legacy 12 V servers that need to plug into a 48 V server rack. The NBM provides the bridge between the 48 V rack and the legacy 12 V server.