“Gallium nitride power transistors, which can replace silicon metal oxide semiconductor field-effect transistors, enable much higher-frequency switching with greater efficiencies.”
Many of our products are avionics and tactical communication related, so our designs must work reliably for many years in harsh environments and extreme temperature ranges. For that reason, we use proven parts rather than leading-edge technologies. Our critical constraints are size, weight, and power. Cost is not so important because we manufacture highly specialized devices with low production runs.
One challenge we face is power distribution network (PDN) size. On a digital board, the PDN that distributes power to components can take as much as 30 percent of the surface of the printed circuit board (PCB). To make the device smaller, we must optimize the PDN, but conflicting trends make this difficult. For example, we can reduce the size of the PDN by using an integrated circuit (IC) that implements up to eight DC-to-DC converters in one IC package. The resulting component is not a digital component but an electronic power component that is a single package with one power input and up to eight different power rails on the output side. This approach, in combination with much smaller decoupling capacitors in a 0201-inch package size or smaller, helps reduce overall PDN size.
This is an excerpt from 7 Experts on New Approaches for Power Distribution
Network Design. The eBook was generously sponsored by KEMET Corporation and Mouser Electronics.