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Optimization and miniaturization of microprocessor power supplies


Djekić, Ognjen (2000) Optimization and miniaturization of microprocessor power supplies. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/afba-8b98.


This thesis is motivated by the power demands of the modern Intel microprocessors. These microprocessors require a very stable and tightly controlled core supply voltage in order to reliably operate at their correct clock frequency. The core supply voltage has to remain within the prescribed window during normal operation, as well as during power-up and power-down when the processor current can change from almost zero to 16A or more in 200-300ns. Maintaining tight processor voltage regulation during these current transients can be difficult. In addition to stringent load transient specifications, a microprocessor power supply has to meet efficiency requirements, as well as size and cost requirements. Size requirements become especially important in portable computer systems where space is at a premium. The work presented in this thesis deals with the optimization of the microprocessor power supply for performance, size and cost, with the emphasis on size. Every aspect of the power supply is carefully analyzed and optimized through the size prism: the topology, the control algorithm, and the components. Design and optimization tools are developed, and the theoretical calculations are verified in hardware. The result of the optimization is a microprocessor power supply that meets Intel Pentium III electrical performance specs in approximately one-fifth of the specified volume, resulting in a power density of roughly 40W/in^3.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Electrical Engineering
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Electrical Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Cuk, Slobodan
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:9 November 1999
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:10112010-125157508
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:6125
Deposited By: Benjamin Perez
Deposited On:11 Oct 2010 21:33
Last Modified:16 Apr 2021 23:15

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