EDN met with Akros Vice President of Marketing, James Ashe at APEC 2013. We discussed this digital isolation technology which ranges from 2kV to 4 kV and enables SoC integration in bulk CMOS. I was quite intrigued with this feisty, creative and innovative company. Keep a close eye on them, there is some good talent there, led by some really good board member leadership with proven electronics and semiconductor track records.
Akros Silicon Inc. developed the AS1860, the newest member of the company۪s GreenEdge family of system-on-a-chip (SoC) energy management ICs. The IC is equipped with Akros۪ proprietary GreenEdge digital isolation technology and is suited to support deployments of 60W and above Power over Ethernet (PoE) Powered Device (PD) applications such as thin clients, monitors, industrial Ethernet, IPTV, building management, Industrial Networking and many other high power designs.
A block diagram of the system with AS1860
This single-package solution offers high efficiency and reliability as well as low system costs and board real estate.
Significant board footprint reductions are achieved by the Akros SoC
The solution SoC offers the following features:
- Dynamic power-level adjustment (to 60W and above) without using opto-couplers and their associated complex compensation networks
- Higher power conversion efficiency due to communication across the isolation barrier
- More accurate output-voltage sensing using a resistor-divider sensor on the secondary side
A high level of integration of the full PoE solution is achieved by the Akros architecture on SoC
Other existing approaches to higher power (60W and above) PoE deployments require multiple components, such as two or three power management ICs, several opto-couplers and custom transformers. In addition to adding component cost, consuming board space and increasing design complexity, these approaches are vulnerable to shoot-through issues and losses due to rectifier diode and reverse recovery. Akros۪ approach can accommodate 60W and above PoE applications using just two components: one AS1860 SoC and one external FET. Moreover, by integrating GreenEdge digital isolation, the AS1860 enables the implementation of many advanced diagnostic and high-voltage telemetry features that allow operators to remotely manage power, which in turn enhances reliability and energy efficiency.
60W and above PoE deployments are coming soon and are expected to transform next-generation enterprise workspaces.
Why 60W PoE?
60W PoE advantages are obvious
How much power can a 4-pair system save?
Power savings by implementing a 4-pair system are significant
60W PoE Eliminates need for Power at each Connected Appliance
60W PoE applications
The thin client
A thin client approach is now easily achievable
The AS1860 SoC is offered in a RoHS-compliant, 64-pin 9×9 QFN package. It is priced starting at $4.69 per unit in 3K quantities.