Power conversion can often be the bane of product designers, regardless of what they are designing. In space-constrained applications such as cutting-edge IoT devices or handheld medical devices, using standard converter modules can be limited by space and discrete power conversion design can be costly and time-consuming. To help designers get their designs to market faster, 3DPP technology offers space-conscious, high-performance turnkey power conversion right out of the box.
What is 3DPP?
3DPP stands for 3D-POWER-PACKAGING which is a new offering of advanced, surface mount DC/DC converters that offer superior performance in a compact footprint. This relatively new assembly process allows for a minimal footprint that is significantly smaller than other power conversion modules while also simultaneously providing maximum power. In addition to their compact size, 3DPP products enable the implementation of modern reflow soldering assembly which may reduce supply chain and manufacturing complexities during production.
How is 3DPP different from other power converter modules?
This 3DPP technology can eliminates the need for an internal PCB by mounting intrinsic components directly to a leadframe, thereby reducing the amount of space required by the components within the module. As an order of magnitude example, a newly available 3DPP switching regulator product is only 3mm x 5mm x 1.6mm making it nearly as small as an IC. This reduction in size allows engineers and designers to have more streamlined PCB profiles with integral power conversion without pursuing costly bespoke conversion design. These 3DPP technology enabled devices are available in several package types including LGA, gull-wing, blocks-and-pillars, and solder balls, which can make a world of difference in space constrained applications.
And while some applications may require a few passive external components, filtering components (such as an embedded inductor) are included internally to the 3DPP products (see Figure 1) . Another benefit of their compact size are the tight switching current loops that inherently reduce EMI, making these products extremely valuable in EMC-critical environments
Although the reduction in size is invaluable to the 3DPP product offerings, there are several other benefits to using a 3DPP product versus a standard potted module that may make 3DPP products even more appealing. 3DPP technology’s compact form factor helps reduce the thermal load of a system, which may reduce the need for other thermal management systems and ultimately reduce design time. The 3DPP technology removes the bond wires on the converter IC and places it directly on a leadframe (see Figure 2), thereby reducing the thermal resistance dramatically. This practice reduces the power paths on the PCB considerably which also allows for higher switching frequencies while still maintaining EMC requirements.
Power Conversion in 5G
In high heat-density applications such as 5G, minimizing thermal load at every opportunity is extremely important for maintaining system performance and maximizing longevity. This 3DPP technology seeks to minimize power conversion heat loss and reduce overall thermal load on systems such as 5G and other high-performance applications. Boundary pushing technologies like 5G may not even be possible without innovative thermal management technology. Therefore, 3DPP technology’s low thermal load is already being taken advantage of in 5G applications and will likely be critical to future technologies with similar high-efficiency requirements.
Where can 3DPP technology be used?
This advanced technology can be used in any application that requires a minimal converter footprint, high switching frequencies, or reduced EMI. Industries such as medical, mobilities, energy, IoT, communication/5G, and automotive have already turned to 3DPP technology given its outstanding performance and footprint.
To learn more about 3DPP products and evaluation boards be sure to visit RECOM Power.
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