Startup launches configurable power management ICs

December 05, 2016 // By Peter Clarke
AnDapt Inc. (San Jose, Calif.) – a fabless company founded in 2014 – has launched a range of configurable ICs that combine power MOSFETs, analog and digital circuitry and that can be used to create a wide variety of power circuits.

The so-called Adaptive Multi-Rail Power Platform – or AmP – represents an FPGA-style approach to building power management ICs that can address about 90 percent of the topologies of power management, according to AnDapt CEO Kapil Shankar. These include buck, boost, buck-boost converters, multi-phase regulators, load switches, LDOs, battery chargers, sequencers, supervisors and other point of load (POL) devices. AnDapt ICs can replace multiple discrete components, are application-specific, available on demand and because of the FPGA style of manufacturing and programming, economic in small volumes, Shankar added.

For example, a single device could provide and regulate multiple power rails at 1V, 1.2V, 3.3V and so on. It can also provide telemetry and sequencing to change voltages and turn certain rails to 0V and back on as a part of power management and sequencing. This lowers inventory and saves area at the board level and can save power in operation, Shankar said.

The chips are manufactured for AnDapt by Vanguard International Semiconductor Co. Ltd. (Hsinchu, Taiwan) in a 110nm BCD manufacturing process. They are in effect multiple monolithically integrated power MOSFETs surrounded with wrappers of analog and digital control circuitry and a connection matrix. The configuration is held in SRAM bits – as is the case in most FPGAs – and the devices are effectively programmed in Verilog although that has been abstracted away for most customers.

For greater convenience, the AmP devices are supported by cloud-based tools that include an extensive library of prebuilt power components. The WebAmP design software tools have a graphical user interface that allows users to just drag and drop IP cores on to a component template and the software will take care of all the internal connection and pin assignments. The software comes with a power analysis tool suite to verify performance prior to generating the configuration bit-stream and an AmPLink adapter for downloading the power design to the AmP components.