Power Electronics / Power Management


Temp monitoring and multiple fan control without compromising on performance or noise levels

19 June 2002 Power Electronics / Power Management

The issue of noise in embedded systems and small form factor designs is becoming topical. As system performance continues to increase and form factors continue to be reduced, thermal challenges are becoming much more of an issue than in the past. In order to deal with this, designers are required to add more fans, which increase acoustics, or they leave the fans running at all times, which decreases the mean-time between failures (MTBF).

Analog Devices is addressing these new thermal/acoustic problems. An addition to ADI's portfolio of thermal management solutions, the ADM1027 dBCOOL thermal management controller, optimises the system to acoustic performance ratio.

The ADM1027 can monitor and control the speed of up to four fans, can monitor critical supply voltages, and can monitor multiple thermal zones including any diode-connected transistor connected on a high-performance IC or discrete transistor. This base functionality is typically available in discrete implementations or embedded on system chips, but such solutions are limited in that firstly, they are not able to rapidly detect and control fan speed to cool the system and thus maintain performance, and secondly, they require loads of software overhead and thus are not as reliable as a 'set and forget' hardware solution.

The ADM1027 offers these features: monitors up to five supply voltages; three-zone temperature sensor; up to five general-purpose input pins; up to four fan speed counters; up to three PWM outputs for fan speed control; SMBus interface; automatic fan speed control loop for acoustic reduction; ability to measure speed of a fan with no tacho output (ie a 2-wire fan).





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