Patent number 8558525 is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "A voltage regulator module (e.g., a VRM) can be used to regulate a DC voltage supplied to a load, such as a microprocessor. A VRM can include a power converter, such as a DC-DC converter, and may include other components such as a controller for controlling operation of the power converter.
"An example of a DC-DC converter is a synchronous buck converter, which has minimal components, and therefore is widely used in VRM applications. In an example application, the input voltage to the buck converter is typically 12V.sub.DC. An output voltage produced by the VRM may be 5.0V.sub.DC, 3.3 V.sub.DC, or lower.
"Multiphase interleaved VRM topologies include two or more power converters operated in parallel with each other to convert power and apply it to a corresponding load. In each of the power converters (or each power converter phase), the filter inductor can be smaller than that of a single phase power converter in order to achieve a faster dynamic response. The large output voltage ripple in each phase due to the small inductance can be cancelled by the ripple of other phases. Use of more phases in parallel reduces the ripple voltage. Implementation of a multiphase voltage converter topology (as compared to a single voltage converter phase topology) can therefore enhance the output current capability of a power supply system.
"A typical configuration of a VRM such as a so-called synchronous buck converter includes an inductor, a high side switch, and a low side switch. A controller associated with the buck converter repeatedly pulses the high side switch ON to convey power from a power source through the inductor to a dynamic load. The controller repeatedly pulses the low side switch ON to provide a low impedance path from a node of the inductor to ground in order to control an output of the buck converter. Thus, the energy stored in the inductor increases during a time when the high side switch is ON and decreases during a time when the low side switch is ON. During switching operation, the inductor transfers energy from the input to the output of the converter."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Conventional voltage converter circuits as discussed above suffer from a number of deficiencies. For example, conventional synchronous buck converters typically dissipate a portion of energy received from a respective power source in lieu of conveying all of the energy received from a respective power source to a corresponding load. This wasted energy precipitates out of the buck converter circuit as unwanted heat, which (if too high) can increase the likelihood of damage to the buck converter or other nearby electronic components. These losses (e.g., dissipation of unwanted heat) increase an amount of power that must be provided to merely operate buck converter. In certain cases, inefficiencies in the buck converter can require that the power supply be oversized to account for losses in the buck converter and increases the cost of energy.
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