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Achieve higher efficiency at lower loads

07 Apr 2015  | Erwin Seinen

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Both systems used an AC input of 100-240 V and 50-60Hz. The gaming power supply produced a DC output of +12 V / 17 A (18.6 A with only 12 V loaded), and +4.7 V / 3 A. Figure 5 shows the results of benchmark testing, using the original components and the TEA1995 for low-power efficiency. The TEA1995 has a consistently higher efficiency between loads of 5% and 15%.

Figure 5: TEA1995 efficiency in a gaming power supply.

The PC power supply produced a DC output of 19.5 V and 16.9 A. The results for low-power efficiency for the original system and the TEA1995 system are given in figure 6. The efficiency readings for the TEA1995 are higher between loads of 5% and 15%.

Figure 6: TEA1995 efficiency in a PC power supply.

NXP also tested a PC power adapter. In this test, two SR controllers, one older and one newer, were replaced with NXP's previous-generation TEA1795 and the new TEA1995. The power adapter used a standard AC input (100-240 V, 50-60Hz), and produced a DC output of 19.5 V and 150 W. Figure 7 shows that the two systems – the original and the one with two NXP devices – have similar efficiency between loads of 10% and 100%.

Figure 7: TEA1795 and TEA1995 efficiency in a PC power adapter.

But when the output current drops below 5% (0.38A), something interesting happens. The competitor part stops switching. This causes a 3% to 4% drop in efficiency, as shown in figure 8. Both the TEA1795 & TEA1995 controllers continue to switch below 5% and deliver consistent efficiency ratings of well above 85%.

Figure 8: TEA1795 and TEA1995 efficiency at low loads in PC power adapter.

The two configurations provide similar efficiency over most of the operating range, but when operating at very low loads, the NXP components deliver higher efficiency.

Power supplies are complex mechanisms that require careful engineering to perform at peak efficiency. Finding new ways to minimise power losses, especially during light loads, can be particularly challenging, especially when design costs need to be kept in check. The new LLC power platform from NXP Semiconductors is developed to maximise efficiency at low loads and, at the same time, creates a more streamlined design that requires fewer components and lower system cost. Test results from the two first implementations of the LLC platform, the TEA1916 and the TEA1995, show that designers have a new way to make their high-frequency systems, such as PCs, gaming consoles, and high-definition displays, meet the requirements for "green" certifications.

About the author
Erwin Seinen is International Product Marketing Manager at NXP Semiconductors.

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