Summit Introduces SMM766 and SMM764 Linkable Active POL Controllers

9/27/2004 - Summit Microelectronics has raised the bar again in intelligent power management devices with the introduction of the SMM766 and SMM764 linkable active POL (point of load DC/DC power supply) controllers. They implement sequencing, margining, and true differential tracking with a unique linking feature that allows up to 30 channels of operation. The SMM766 is a six channel device, and the SMM764 is a four-channel device. Linking is simply achieved with a single pin that ties all of the devices together for totally coordinated operation.

Ideal applications for the devices include storage, server, networking and communications equipment where as much as 99.999% up-time is essential.

Users can choose either the industry-standard I2C bus or the MicroWire bus standard for control of an add-in card by the host system, and for reporting status from the add-in card to the host system. The devices are programmable with on-chip non-volatile EEPROM memory. The devices integrate the capability to control three positive-voltage feed source supplies and three downstream on-card DC-DC converters. They combine highly programmable hot-swap protection, cascaded sequencing, precision voltage margining, precision ongoing power-supply voltage control and precision monitoring/reset into a highly functional single-chip device.

These products utilize Summit's award-winning ADOCtm technique (Analog Zone 2003 Power Management Product of the Year). This is a new engineering concept called Active DC Output Control that intelligently maintains the output voltage of DC/DC converters on the user's board, dramatically improving voltage accuracy in system use -- typically to +/-0.1% of voltage output.

The SMM766 and SMM764 are highly useful in initial turn-on of the board during production to perform "margining." This is the temporary adjusting of each of the controlled POL supply voltages up to +/-10% in any combination across up to 30 channels of operation-- so that sensitivity of the system to power supply changes can be determined. Margining can be performed either just on prototype boards before production launch, or can be done board-by-board in production to test for manufacturing variations. Summit's precision makes margining highly useful in improving system reliability &endash; as compared to competitor's devices with as much as +/-10% innacuracy where such innacuracy negates the usefulness of margining.

Finally, these devices can be configured to sequence up to 30 voltage supplies in any order during both power-up and power-down transitions. This sequencing can be set by the user to cascade each supply as the prior supply completes its transition, therefore relieving the user of the need to calculate the slew rate of each supply voltage depending on its loading, and specifying a safe delay time before the next supply can be actuated. This guarantees that unwanted crossovers will not occur.

The SMM766 and SMM764 can be accessed by the popular I2C bus to exercise complete control of the board's power characteristics. This can be done during production, or each time that the board is booted up, or during normal operation "on the fly" during normal operation.

For more details of the SMM766 and SMM764 and datasheets, please visit

To speed user product development using the SMM766 and SMM764 and Summit's other programmable products, Summit offers customers the SMX3200 programming system. This is a complete development tool that lets designers easily manipulate the characteristics of their systems. 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 user completes design and prototyping, the SMX3200 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 the device will operate properly in the end application. The design kit software can be downloaded today from Summit's website (

Evaluation cards containing the SMM766 or SMM764 controller, DC/DC converters, all required associated circuitry, and a port for "plug and play" programming via the SMX33200 dongle interface are available. A three-digit digital voltmeter is required to see the voltage accuracy enhancement provided by these devices-- typically as low as +/-0.1% error (guaranteed to +/- 0.2%), compared to the +/-2% or even +/-4% variation of typical converter bricks when ADOCtm control is removed.

Available in volume quantities today, the SMM766 and SMM764 come in a 48-pin TQFP surface-mount package. Commercial temperature range pricing is $9.75 and $7.31 respectively in 1,000 unit quantities. Industrial temperature range pricing is $12.95 and $9.60 respectively for the two products.

About Summit Microelectronics, Inc.
Summit Microelectronics supplies semiconductors that manage power functions in networking/communications, storage/computing, industrial, military and consumer products. Customers can very rapidly tailor Summit's programmable analog technology to multiple applications by programming the same part. Founded in 1997, Summit is headquartered in San Jose, California. The Company is ISO 9001 certified.

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