Digital/Mixed-Signal Buck Controller suits Intel processors.

Press Release Summary:

Supporting Intel VR11.x designs that deliver up to 150 A, CHL8100 digital mixed-signal, multiphase, synchronous buck controller can be used with CHL8500 high-frequency dual MOSFET gate driver. Designers can digitally configure switching frequency of each phase from 200 kHz up to 1 MHz. Power Designer GUI can be used to access, set, modify, and monitor parameters, which are stored in embedded nonvolatile memory. Controller uses current balancing algorithm for thermal management.

Original Press Release:

CHiL Semiconductor Brings Digital Power to the Desktop: Announces New Digital/Mixed-Signal Buck Controller for Intel VR11.x Designs

Multi-Phase Controller Uses Digital Intelligence to Dramatically Reduce System Component Count, Improve Efficiency

TEWKSBURY, Mass., June 17 / / - CHiL Corporation, an innovative developer of mixed-signal power management ICs for use in a wide variety of computing devices, today announced the CHL8100, the first in a new family of digital mixed-signal, multi-phase buck converters. By integrating innovative digital control techniques into a mixed-signal multiphase synchronous buck controller, the CHL8100 offers complete support for core voltage and load requirements and increased flexibility for Intel VR11.x processors while dramatically reducing system component count, shrinking board space requirements, minimizing thermal management issues, and lowering manufacturing and inventory costs.

To help designers deliver a complete voltage regulator (VR) solution, CHiL is also announcing the CHL8500, a high frequency dual MOSFET gate driver specifically designed to be used with the CHL81xx family of digital controllers. The CHL8500 improves power efficiency and features a unique high-speed interface to optimize system transient response.

"The CHL8500 is the first digital power solution for high-volume computing. Over the last several generations designers using analog power converters in VR11.x-compliant systems have often been forced to add large numbers of bulk capacitors, resistors and related circuitry to compensate for the limitations of a pure analog approach and manage the fast transients common to high performance microprocessors," says Larry Spaziani, Vice President of Marketing at CHiL. "By taking advantage of advanced digital control techniques, this new controller promises to add flexibility, while dramatically simplify those designs. In preliminary motherboard designs, for example, we have used the CHL8100 to reduce component count by as many as 40 components and bill of materials (BoM) costs by more than 10 percent."

Precise digital control

The CHL8100 is targeted at VR designs using up to four interleaved synchronous buck phases and capable of delivering up to 150A. It allows designers to digitally configure the switching frequency of each phase from 200 kHz up to 1 MHz. By storing device parameters in embedded non-volatile memory, designers can optimize their design without changing external components. To maximize design flexibility and minimize design effort, CHiL Semiconductor provides a customized Intuitive Power Designer GUI that can be used to easily access, set, modify and monitor the parameters.

The key to the CHL8100's ability to simplify VR11.x designs and dramatically reduce component count is the IC's extensive digital intelligence. The controller generates a PWM frequency using a very stable and highly accurate digital clock. Unlike analog techniques that rely on phase-lag-limited feedback loops, the CHL8100 uses new advanced non-linear digital PWM control techniques to reduce jitter and noise and, in the process, address the fast transients generated by modern high performance microprocessors. In most cases, the non-linear response of the CHL8100 allows designers to eliminate two or more bulk capacitors as well as several ceramic capacitors needed in comparable analog solutions.

Thermal management plays a pivotal role in the long term system reliability of VR11.x-compliant system designs. To help minimize that risk, CHiL's CHL8100 controller adds an innovative current balancing algorithm that automatically balances current across each phase during DC as well as transient operation. By controlling the current dynamically across all phases, this new controller allows designers to more effectively avoid the saturation of inductors allowing them to use lower cost components. Moreover, this same capability helps designers minimize the output voltage oscillations common to designs using analog controllers and build more efficient systems.

Buck MOSFET Driver

The companion CHL8500 MOSFET driver supports switching frequencies up to 1 MHz. Each driver is capable of driving at least a 3 nF load with a 3A sink current. A variable adaptive non overlap control helps minimize diode conduction time and prevent both high side and low-side MOSFETs from conduction to deliver reliable and efficient operation.

The CHL8500 also features an innovative tri-level PWM input that boosts converter transient response by quickly enabling or disabling both driver outputs in <30 ns without the need of a dedicated disable pin or hold off time.

Price and Availability

The CHL8100 is priced at $1.49 in 1,000-unit quantities. It is available in a 6 x 6 mm, 40-pin QFN package. The companion CHL8500 is priced at $0.39 in 1,000-unit quantities. It is available in either a Pb-free, 8-pin SOIC package or a Pb-free, thermally-enhanced, 10-pin DFN package. Both devices are specified across the 0-85°C temperature range.

About CHiL Semiconductor

Founded in 2006, CHiL Semiconductor develops high-performance, mixed-signal power management ICs primarily targeted at servers, personal computers and other high-volume computing market segments. CHiL devices tightly integrate digital technology to provide a number of unique, intelligent features that precisely monitor and control the power management process, yielding significant gains in system power efficiency and performance, while reducing system design and complexity. For more information, please visit

Source: CHiL Corporation

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