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Intersil Unleashes Industry's Most Advanced Solution to Power



Intersil Unleashes Industry’s Most Advanced Solution to Power Multi-GHz CPUs in High-End Servers and Workstations
--New digital multiphase power solution offers precise control for low-voltage, high-current CPUs MILPITAS, CA, April 22, 2003 – Intersil Corporation (NASDAQ: ISIL), a world leader in the design and manufacture of high performance analog and wireless networking solutions, today announced availability of the industry’s most advanced Digital Multiphase Power (DMP) control ICs and development platform. This new ISL6590 and ISL6580 digital multiphase power ICs are designed to meet the strictest power demands of new and future-generation multi-GHz CPUs that operate at very low voltage and high current. The initial application for this advanced technology is for high-end servers, especially those of the 1U form factor, but will soon broaden to other servers and workstations. Bill Collins, author of iSuppli’s new digital control of power report to be released in May, says ―Digital control of power provides compelling new capabilities that promise to solve the unprecedented challenges posed by leading-edge CPU’s. High-end servers are a natural lead application as digital control can enable new breakthroughs in performance, density and scalability.‖ ―Digital multiphase is a revolutionary development in power conversion technology,‖ said Cindy Drapcho, vice president of Intersil’s Desktop and Server Power Products. ―The increasing power control demands of constantly advancing microprocessors require more intelligent conversion algorithms and more precise control than previous generations. Digital processing and control can meet these requirements, where additional functionality can be realized cost effectively in modern submicron process technologies. Coupling the advantages of digital control with optimally partitioned power stages results in the highest-performing power solution for leading-edge CPUs.‖

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What’s Driving This New and Advanced Digital Power Technology? Advancing Microprocessor Trends       Silicon geometries now at 0.18 and 0.13 microns moving toward 60 nm Core voltage now at 1.5 V and moving toward 0.5 V Regulation tolerances now around +/-25 mV moving toward less than +/-15 mV Core static current now at 70 A heading toward 200+ A Transient current now around 100 A/us moving toward 500 A/us Today’s 2+ GHz clock speed moving toward 15+ GHz

As the CPU core voltage continues to decrease, with commensurate increases in current, designers will be faced with ever-increasing power control challenges. One such challenge will be to control point-of-load core supply voltage variations often referred to as overshoots, undershoots, droop and noise. The lower the core voltage becomes, the more serious this problem becomes. It means that the power control system will have to provide extreme accuracy and stability. Related to the voltage stability challenge is the ability of the power control system to deliver high current on demand as the microprocessor changes states. Conventional power control solutions will eventually find it impossible to meet these sudden changes in load with grace and the required precision to avoid system upsets. Intersil’s new digital multiphase control technology is an entirely new paradigm of control that is capable of changing modes of operation in accordance with demand. The two primary control modes are staggered-phase for steady-state operation and in-phase, also known as Active Transient Response (ATR) mode, to meet transient-state current demand. Digital control enables instant eventbased mode change, a flexibility that is not available in the analog world. ―Intersil’s digital multiphase power technology brings a level of control and precision here-to-fore not seen and essential to powering next-generation multi-GHz CPUs,‖ said Steve Rivet, senior manager of product marketing for Intersil’s Desktop and Server Power Management Products. ―This new technology is the result of an investment in, and co-development with, Primarion™, who developed the digital power architecture technology utilized by the ISL6580 and ISL6590. There is no other digital power system on the market that offers the performance and scalability of our solution.‖

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Software Control Provides Optimization, Flexibility and Scalability Intersil’s digital multiphase power solution is not a fixed ASIC solution that quickly stagnates with CPU variations or advancements due to Moore’s Law. Rather, it is a fully programmable architecture easily accessed via the Primarion™ PowerCode™ interface, a user-friendly software tool that enables the designer to change the personality of the ISL6590 digital controller IC to meet requirements of the CPU and application. This allows the entire solution to be optimized for parameters such as loop response, number of phases, phase frequency, input voltage, maximum load and passive filter component characteristics. In addition to rapid optimization, the software enables diagnosis of system performance. Data generated by the software can be ported to PSPICE™ or Matlab™ simulators for more detailed analysis. The entire solution is reusable and scaleable across multiple computing platforms, offering significant savings in both time and costs. Intersil is the sole licensee of the PowerCode™ software. Digital Multiphase Power Architecture Benefits Summary          Software programmable to optimize performance and reduce development time Fast transient and state-change event response Active transient response (ATR) mode enables use of fewer filter capacitors Digital control loop remains precise over time and temperature Higher degree of voltage control – precise load line adherence Reusable and transferable from one platform to another Scaleable to meet advanced processor or multiprocessor needs System diagnostics capability Better noise immunity with digital control loop

Intersil’s Digital Multiphase Power Control Evaluation and Development Kit Intersil’s Digital Multiphase Power Control Evaluation and Development Kit is available now. The kit includes the ISL6590 Digital Multiphase Controller IC that drives six ISL6580 Integrated Power Stage ICs on a plug-in VRM10-form-factor module. The voltage regulator module plugs into an included test platform that provides loading and hardware interface to a PC running the supplied user-friendly PowerCode™ software. The software GUI makes it easy for seasoned analog design engineers to immediately take control of familiar parameters to quickly optimize performance. Data sheets and application notes are provided and the entire solution is fully supported by Intersil’s factory applications engineers and worldwide network of field applications engineers. —more—

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DMP IC Highlights ISL6590 Digital Multiphase Controller         Drives 2 to 6 phases through the ISL6580 driver ICs Digital control bus to drivers offers high-speed control and noise immunity 6-bit digital feedback from drivers offers fast response and noise immunity Digital compensation with programmable coefficients Software-programmable control loop for rapid optimization Programmable 250 kHz to 1 MHz+ switching frequency Optional EEPROM interface to store design coefficients for production Active transient response mode algorithm

ISL6580 Integrated Power Stage          Digitally interfaced to the ISL6590 controller Integrated PMOS high-side switch reduces board space and costs Integrated low-side MOSFET driver Integrated 6-bit A/D provides error voltage feedback Integrated 6-bit A/D high-side current sense feedback Soft start transitioning Thermal fault protection Under-voltage detection and over-voltage protection Pulse by pulse peak current limit

Additional details and the product data sheets are available online. Primarion is the sole second-source supplier of pin-for-pin and function compatible ICs – the PX3530 Digital Multiphase Controller and the PX3510 Integrated Power Stage. Interested designers should contact: Technical Support Center, Intersil Corporation, 2401 Palm Bay Rd. NE, Palm Bay, FL 32905; 1-888-468-3774;


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About Intersil Intersil Corporation is a global semiconductor leader in the design and manufacture of high performance analog and wireless networking solutions. Intersil’s product portfolios address four fast growing markets – flat panel displays, optical storage (CD and DVD recordable), power management and wireless networking. Intersil brings added customer value in providing complete silicon, software and reference design solutions to new products that enhance the computing experience for people wherever they live, work or travel. For more information about Intersil or to find out how to become a member of our winning team, visit the company's web site and career page at:
This release may include "forward looking statements" that are subject to risks and uncertainties. For information identifying economic, political, climatic, currency, regulatory, technological, competitive and some other important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward looking statements, see Intersil’s Safe Harbor Forward Looking Statement disclaimer found at, as well as Intersil’s SEC filings as updated from time to time, found at —30—
Primarion™, PowerCode™ and the Primarion logo are trademarks of Primarion, Inc. All other trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners.

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