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Hot swap controller
21 March 2012, Power Electronics / Power Management

Vicor has unveiled its new Picor Cool-Swap PI2211 hot swap controller and circuit breaker (operating range: +0,9 to +14 V), featuring Picor’s advanced True-SOA and Glitch-Catcher technologies.

The device’s programmable True-SOA feature ensures safe, reliable operation at both the system and MOSFET level during both circuit card insertion and steady state operation. The feature provides MOSFET protection in the most ideal way possible by emulating the transient thermal performance of the specific MOSFET in use.

By emulating MOSFET thermal behaviour and digitally calculating the MOSFET junction temperature rise using the MOSFET manufacturers’ transient thermal impedance data, the PI2211 can adapt its control, startup and thermal cycling to the specific user-selected external N-channel MOSFET requirements, ensuring safe operating limits regardless of load and line conditions. Typical industry practice attempts this level of protection by simple timer-based constant power limiting which does not allow for MOSFET optimisation and forces designers to oversize the MOSFET, increasing board area use and cost.

The device, with its Glitch-Catcher voltage suppression technology, also mitigates the need for large external protection components by diminishing transient overshoot events and maintaining compliance with the specified voltage ratings.

During a circuit breaker event, the PI2211’s internal Glitch-Catcher voltage suppression circuit controls the MOSFET to act as an active snubber, passing potentially high inductive bus energy through the MOSFET to limit over-voltage exposure. By shunting the energy through the MOSFET to the low impedance load, the PI2211 not only eliminates the need for external protection components but further reduces overall cost and total solution size.


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