Circuit & System Protection


X-capacitor discharge ICs

8 October 2014 Circuit & System Protection

Power Integrations’ CAPZero family of two-terminal, automatic X-capacitor discharge ICs has been certified to meet IEC 62368, the new over-arching safety standard covering TVs and IT equipment. The new standard replaces IEC 60950 and IEC 60065 and will become mandatory.

CAPZero ICs are smart, high-voltage switches that are placed in series with the resistors used to provide a safe discharge path for a power supply’s X capacitor. Without this switching mechanism, these discharge resistors cause a constant power drain while AC is connected and therefore contribute significantly to no-load and standby input power consumption.

These devices block current flow to the discharge resistors when AC voltage is applied, cutting the power wasted in these components to zero. When the AC voltage is disconnected, CAPZero automatically and safely discharges the X capacitor by closing the circuit and directing the energy away from the exposed AC plug.

This solution requires minimal modification to system or printed circuit board layout, and allows engineers flexibility in their choice of the X capacitor used, optimising differential-mode EMI filtering and providing a highly cost-effective option for designers optimising no-load consumption, power factor and EMI.

CAPZero ICs can be used before or after the system input fuse, as they inherently meet international safety standards for all open- and short-circuit fault tests. Devices are suitable for all AC-DC converters with X capacitors, and are available with 825 V or 1000 V MOSFETs to support a variety of power supply design needs. Applications include PCs, servers/workstations, monitors and TVs, printers and notebooks, appliances requiring ErP Lot 6 compliance, and adaptors requiring ultra-low no-load consumption.



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