Renesas Electronics Introduces Power Factor Correction Control IC Enabling More Efficient Power Supply Circuits for PCs and Digital Home Appliances

Complies with Strict Energy Efficiency Standards such as 80 PLUS® Gold and International ENERGY STAR®

08 Nov 2010

TOKYO, November 8, 2010 — Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), a premier provider of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced the availability of its new R2A20131 continuous conduction mode power factor correction (PFC, Note 1) control IC, designed specifically for smaller power supply units with capacities around 300 watts (W), to enable high power conversion efficiency in low-load periods and reduced standby power to cut overall power consumption. A PFC control IC enhances power supply conversion efficiency by reducing power loss caused by differences between the input voltage and input current waveforms when converting from alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) in the power supply unit. This is done by controlling the input current waveform to match the input voltage waveform.

The new PFC control IC achieves a power conversion efficiency of over 87 percent when AC is converted to DC in the power supply unit during low-load periods when output is approximately 20 percent maximum output power of the power supply. This meets the 80 PLUS® Gold qualifications under the 80 PLUS® (Note 2) program that require enhanced performance specification requirements for energy-efficient power supplies. In addition, the new PFC control IC reduces detection resistance loss, in which power is lost during detection of the input or output voltage. The detection resistance loss in standby mode has been reduced to approximately 26.5 milliwatts (mW), less than one-fifth that of comparable existing products. This enables system manufacturers to build energy-efficient power supply units that meet the standby current requirements of the International ENERGY STAR program for office equipments and the European Union's EuP Directive (Directive on Eco-Design of Energy-using Products).

Recently, active efforts have been made to boost the energy efficiency of electronics products to address the growing demand for energy conservation, and this has created demands for improved efficiency in power supply units as well. To address these demands, power supplies for PCs and computer servers are now required to obtain 80 PLUS certification, meet energy efficiency standards such as those of the Climate Savers Computing Initiative® (CSCI) program and use of computer products with excellent power efficiency, complying with the energy efficiency requirements of International Energy Star, the EuP Directive, and others.

The need to meet such requirements has spurred demand for PFC control ICs with excellent power conversion efficiency at almost all load levels, including light loads, and demands for even greater efficiency and stricter regulations are expected in the years ahead.

Renesas Electronics offers a wide range of PFC control IC products that deliver high power conversion efficiency at virtually all load levels. The R2A20104FP IC (continuous conduction mode, interleaved) for high-output power supplies (1 kW to several kW) and the R2A20132SP IC (critical conduction mode, interleaved) for medium-output power supplies (200 W to 2 kW) are now used in a large number of PCs and servers. The new R2A20131 (continuous conduction mode, single) provides improved power conversion efficiency and reduced standby power for low-output power supplies suitable for the volume sales segment of the PC market.

Key features of the new R2A20131 IC are as follows:

  • (1) Load tracing boost (LTB) function enabling power supply units with high power conversion efficiency

    PFC control ICs control the input current to match the input voltage, normally by boosting inside the power supply circuit to around DC 390V. The LTB function of the new R2A20131 IC enables control at around DC 320V for low load levels. The LTB function accomplishes this by detecting the load current and gradually lowering the output voltage as the load decreases, increasing the power conversion efficiency by about 1 percent at 20 percent load and about 0.5 percent at 50 percent load, compared with Renesas Electronics' existing products. This meets the requirements of both 80 PLUS Gold and CSCI.

  • (2) Less than one-fifth the standby power through reduced voltage detection resistance loss

    International Energy Star and the EuP Directive require that standby input power be lowered to under 500 mW (when the output power is 250 mW), or about half the current level. This requires the detection resistance loss of the PFC control IC to be reduced to approximately 30 mW. The R2A20131 IC supports voltage detection at resistances of 6 megaohms (MΩ) or more, which is about twice that of Renesas Electronics' existing products. This makes it possible to reduce the detection resistance loss from 150 mW to 26.5 mW and enables low standby power to comply with the next-generation International Energy Star and EuP Directive requirements.

  • (3) Built-in protection features for more reliable power supply systems

    The new R2A20131 IC integrates multiple protection circuits, including a brownout function that stops operation when the input AC voltage drops, a power-good function with independent voltage detection, and an over-voltage protection circuit. These protection circuits contribute to the reliability of the power supply system and simplify the design of the power supply unit.

 

Renesas Electronics believes the new R2A20131 IC will support system manufacturers in developing energy-efficient power supply units for PCs, servers, and realizing digital consumer electronics products that meet the strong demand for ever higher efficiency. The company intends to extend its lineup of PFC control ICs for various power bands and applications, for example with products offering lower standby power levels.

 

(Note 1) Power factor correction (PFC) A capacitor input type switching power supply, the input voltage wave is a sine wave and the input current wave has a pulse form. This discrepancy in the current waveforms results in the generation of unnecessary power. The PFC controls the input current waveform to match the input voltage waveform, increasing the power factor (the ratio of effective power). In addition, a low power factor can have adverse effects on commercial power lines, such as an increase in harmonic currents (sine waves at frequencies that are multiples of 50 Hz or 60 Hz, the frequencies used by commercial power supplies). Therefore, standards such as IEC and JIS include restrictions on harmonic currents. Improving the power factor is one method of satisfying these restrictions.

(Note 2) More information on 80 PLUS® and 80 PLUS Gold can be found at http://www.80plus.org/.

Pricing and Availability

Samples of Renesas Electronics' new R2A20131 PFC control IC, mounted on a SOP-16 package, are currently available and are priced at US$0.8 per unit. Mass production has already started in October 2010, and is expected to reach approximately 1,000,000 units per month by October 2011.

(Pricing and availability are subject to change without notice.)

 

Please refer to the separate sheet for the main specifications of Renesas Electronics' new R2A20131 PFC control IC.

 

(Remarks)
80 PLUS® is a registered trademark of Eco-Consulting. Climate Savers® is a trademark or registered trademark of the WWF, an international environmental organization, and CSCI is used under license of the WWF. All other registered trademarks or trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

 

About Renesas Electronics Corporation

Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723) delivers trusted embedded design innovation with complete semiconductor solutions that enable billions of connected, intelligent devices to enhance the way people work and live. A global leader in microcontrollers, analog, power, and SoC products, Renesas provides comprehensive solutions for a broad range of automotive, industrial, infrastructure, and IoT applications that help shape a limitless future. Learn more at renesas.com. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.


The content in the press release, including, but not limited to, product prices and specifications, is based on the information as of the date indicated on the document, but may be subject to change without prior notice.