SOURCE: CHiL Semiconductor

September 16, 2008 07:55 ET

New Technology From CHiL Semiconductor Drives Gaming System Performance to New Heights

CHiL Unveils First Power Management Controller to Allow Overclockers to Optimize Thermal Conditions, Maximize Power Efficiency

TEWKSBURY, MA--(Marketwire - September 16, 2008) - CHiL Semiconductor Corporation, an innovative developer of mixed-signal power management ICs for use in a wide variety of computing devices, today announced a new high performance digital multi-phase buck controller for VR11.1-compliant gaming/enthusiast desktop applications. Combining the industry's first 8-phase architecture with a variety of exciting new overclocking features, the CHL8318 allows gamers, overclockers and other PC users to precisely monitor, control, and optimize key system operating parameters to boost performance while improving power management and efficiency.

"The challenge for gamers and enthusiasts has always been how to extend system performance to the absolute maximum without pushing it too far and initiating a system shutdown," said Larry Spaziani, CHiL's Vice President of Marketing. "To achieve that goal they need highly precise management of overclocking functions. The CHL8318's accuracy and range enables users to have complete overclocking control.

"Using its unique 8-phase architecture and innovative new digital controls, the CHL8318 controller gives users an unprecedented ability to monitor and control CPU operating voltage, clock frequency and thermal conditions directly through the system BIOS and, in the process, push their processors to entirely new levels of performance. Moreover, our controller enables PC enthusiasts to significantly increase power efficiency in idle or standby-modes to meet and exceed recommended energy conservation guidelines. These savings are especially important for gamers who frequently keep their machines turned on 24/7 regardless if the machine is in use."

Precise Control Maximizes Overclocking

The CHL8318 is an Intel VR11.1-compliant digital multi-phase buck controller that supports up to eight programmable interleaved synchronous buck phases. The device allows users to monitor and adjust currents phase-to-phase to maximize CPU performance and minimize heat. To address the fast transients in today's VR11.1-compliant CPU designs, the CHL8318 adds a highly optimized analog-to-digital converter architecture capable of a very fast transient response of > 2000 A/µs.

Custom digital overclocking features allow gaming and enthusiast users to extend voltage range up to 2.3V through the system BIOS via a SMBus interface. VID scaling and offset controls offer extremely fine voltage regulation of 6.25 mV with +/-19mV accuracy within the VID table and +/-25 mV accuracy when VID > 1.6V. Embedded load line controls avoid system shutdown at low voltage by adjusting the load line slope when current goes high. Importantly, none of the gaming features require additional external components.

To control the additional heat generated by its overclocking functions, the CHL8318 also adds advanced thermal management capabilities. Three external temperature sensors supply comprehensive monitoring and control of phase current to balance temperature variations. A VR HOT feature communicates heat levels to the CPU and an OTP feature automatically shuts down VR PWM signals when the operating temperature exceeds a second threshold. The controller also offers a thermal balancing algorithm that automatically balances current across the controller's eight phases during both DC and transient operation to ensure system continuity, improve power efficiency and maximize reliability. With these features users can easily monitor and adjust current from phase-to-phase to maximize gaming capabilities, heat dissipation, and optimize power efficiency.

The CHL8318's extensive digital intelligence also helps deliver over 90 percent power efficiency across virtually all loads. By digitally controlling current across eight programmable synchronous phases, gamers can use the CHL8318 to optimize power efficiency at high load conditions. As current drops the CHL8318 offers dynamic phase control that turns off phases to further improve power efficiency. Finally, a patent-pending adjustable gate drive capability reduces MOSFET gate drive as current drops. These three new functions allow users to maximize power efficiency across high, mid and low load conditions.

Price and Availability

Specified across the 0 to 85°C range, the 8-phase CHL8318 controller is available in a Pb-free, 56-pin QFN package. The IC sells for $3.29 in 1K quantities.

About CHiL Semiconductor

Founded in 2006, CHiL Semiconductor develops high-performance, mixed-signal power management ICs primarily targeted at servers, personal computers and other high-volume computing market segments. CHiL devices tightly integrate digital technology, which provides a number of unique, intelligent features that precisely monitor and control the power management process, yielding significant gains in system power efficiency and performance, while reducing system design and complexity. For more information, please visit www.chilsemi.com.

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