APEC: Production for Helix switched capacitor dc-dc

MxC200 is a configurable 15W dc-dc power IC from fabless chip firm Helix Semiconductors.

Helix-MxC200

Previously known as HS200, MxC200 is a switched capacitor converter with three voltage halving stages, accepting 12-48V at the input. The three stages have separate inputs and outputs and can be mixed and matched in several configurations.

When configured as a 48V to 12V converter, is offers >97% peak efficiency and >90% at full load.

“MxC200 features a unique three-stage process, each of which divides its input in half,” said CEO Harold Blomquist. “Power can be pulled from any of its three outputs simultaneously up to 15W. The company’s MuxCapacitor technology enables the MxC200 to achieve unprecedented high efficiency and to stay nearly flat from full load down to 5% load.”

Helix-MxC200The three halving blocks can be arranged in series and parallel

Target applications include wireless access points, security cameras, IoT gateways, and VoIP phones – as well as 24V to 48V intermediate bus converter applications and 48V input telecom and other Power-over-Ethernet applications. The MxC200 also targets products with 24V inputs, such as HVAC systems and industrial controllers. In fact, the device is very flexible and can perform voltage conversions on input voltage ranging from 12-48V with output voltage as low as 3.0V.

When regulated outputs are required, the firm proposed following its switched capacitor stages with an inductive converter.

Production of this product was announced at the Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC) in San Antonio, Texas.


Comments

2 comments

  1. Hi Mr Kurt
    The argument is that one of these fixed ratio converters, in series with a variable inductive converter can make make a smaller overall solution if the inductive converter is designed to work specifically from the lower input voltage now available.
    Efficiency can also be higher, because the switched capacitor part can be in the high 90s%
    Of course, the available input range is now much smaller.
    ADI (through linear tech https://www.electronicsweekly.com/news/products/power-supplies/hybrid-dc-dc-converter-stirs-switched-capacitor-buck-step-2018-01/ ) has just done this combination in a single chip, as has TI.

    They are also handy for fixed ratio intermediate bus converters – which are becoming dotted all over some PCBs.

  2. I’m familiar with voltage doublers, but this is the first I’ve heard of capacitive voltage halvers… I’ll have to take a look at this part and see how they do it!
    At first glance, it does seem like a relatively small part to convert 15W of power. Might be handy, although the number of applications will certainly be more limited than a conventional buck converter where the output can be any arbitrary voltage.

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