Summit Microelectronics Expands Power Management Family

8/5/2002 - Summit Microelectronics expanded its innovative family of programmable power management chips with the sampling of the new SMS64 six-channel sequencing power supply monitor/controller. Using the Summit SMS64, system designers can determine the timing, on-off order, and over-voltage or under-voltage thresholds of as many as six system power supply channels used in point-of-load applications.

The SMS64 is ideal for control of the multiple core and I/O power rails required by advanced processors, DSPs, FPGAs and ASICs. These devices often require specific power-on and power-off sequences for their various core and I/O voltages in order to prevent latch-up or damage to the part. In the typical point-of-load architecture, the required lower voltages (2.5V, 2.0V, 1.8V, 1.5V, 1.2V) are derived from an intermediate system supply voltage of 3.3V, 5V or 12V using low-cost DC:DC converters or LDO regulators. The SMS64 has been designed to interface directly with these devices and, in addition, provides high-side drive outputs to directly drive MOSFETs. Typical end-equipment applications include communications, networking, storage, and server systems.

The SMS64 has six power-supply managers that can be programmed to act independently or in concert with the other managers. Each manager can be assigned any sequence position for power-on sequencing and timing delays are also programmable from 1.5ms to 200ms. The power supply managers are also designed to monitor power threshold voltages and ensure that they remain within a defined range. The monitored voltage threshold can be programmed in 20mV increments between a range of 0.9V and 6.0V.

If an application circuit moves into an under- or over-voltage condition, the SMS64 can be programmed to signal a fault condition or an interrupt request. The trigger sources include multiple combinations of under-voltage/over-voltage conditions and programmable watchdog and long-dog timers. In addition, the SMS64 can be programmed to immediately initiate power-off operations if a fault is detected. The SMS64 can sequence off the supplies in the same order or reverse order from the power-on sequence.

Programming is performed over an industry-standard I2C-bus, 2-wire serial data interface. It allows configuration of the device, real-time control of the power-on/power-off processes and instant access to the power supply status of the application circuit. The bus also interfaces the host to the device's nonvolatile memory block and the programmable configuration registers.

"Summit's goal is to make the power engineer's job significantly easier," said Art Swift, vice president of marketing at Summit. "By providing a programmable sequencing device which has a great deal of flexibility, we enable the designer to make late-stage design changes and even future-proof their design. Plus, we improve reliability and eliminate the potential for inadvertent damage to expensive system devices."

Design Kit for Automated Prototype Development
To speed design and product development using the SMS64, Summit offers customers the SMX3200 programming system. As with all Summit design kits, the SMX3200 kit is a complete development tool that lets designers easily manipulate analog characteristics of their system. The SMX3200 design kit includes menu-driven Microsoft Windows® graphic user interface (GUI) software to automate programming tasks and also includes all necessary hardware to interface to the parallel port of a laptop or PC.

Once a company completes the design prototyping phase, the kit software automatically generates a HEX data file that can be transmitted to Summit for review and approval. Summit then assigns a unique customer identification code to the HEX file and programs the customer's production devices prior to final electrical test operations. This ensures that device will operate properly in the end application. The design kit software can be downloaded.

Packaging, Price and Availability
Summit's highly-integrated, programmable analog technology allows the company to offer the SMS64 in a space-saving 48-pin TQFP package. Sample quantities are available now, and production is planned for September. The SMS64 is priced at $7.95 each in quantities of 10,000 devices.

About Summit (
Summit Microelectronics supplies semiconductors that manage the power functions in communications, networking, storage and server systems. Using Summit's programmable analog technology, customers can achieve carrier-class availability, the highest standard of reliability available today for telecommunications, data communications and Internet applications. Founded in 1997, Summit is headquartered in Campbell, California. The Company is ISO 9001 certified.

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