PhD student Aria Delmar with Advisor Dr. Andrew Stillwell

Delivering power to processors in data centers presents the challenge of completing a high-conversion step-down to a low voltage (1 or 2V) for a given power demand (100-200W). It is desirable to design a power converter capable of delivering high-current power, while being very close physically to the processor. For the hybrid switched-capacitor design, inspiration is taken from the current-type buck converter topology so that input inductors might be connected to the converter externally. The inductors allow for a converter capable of regulation, while this topology prevents the inductors from having to handle the full rated current. A series-parallel switched capacitor configuration is implemented to handle the bulk of the high conversion, while interleaving allows this to be a single-stage design. PCB design for the converter (as seen in Figure 1) is currently being finalized. The physical converter will accomplish a 48:6 step down for a 100 W load on a board of dimensions approximately 5 cm x 12 cm. This work is supported by the UIUC ECE Department and the Grainger Foundation.

Figure 1. 3D model of PCB design for 48:6 hybrid switched-capacitor converter