MINMAX MDWI08 Series DC/DC Converters: A High Efficiency Solution for Space-Critical Applications

By WPG AmericasSeptember 12, 2017

DC/DC Converters: Challenges and Drivers

Designing power systems has become more challenging than before as consumers are increasingly attracted to applications that are minimally designed, deliver high performance and those that are cost-effective. Selecting the most affordable ‘board mounted power solutions’ isn’t enough. Power system designers are constantly under pressure because they are tasked with developing highly adaptive solutions that comply with today’s dynamic operating environments without interrupting ‘design-to- manufacture’ cycles.

Enter DC/DC converters – the swiftly emerging voltage supply modules that can be used as conveniently as plug-and-play solutions. DC/DC converters are designed to comply with high efficiency output in a broad spectrum of space-critical applications such as consumer electronics, mobile devices, battery chargers, gaming consoles, LCD panels and lighting systems and point-of-sales (POS) devices, among others.

DC/DC converters are broadly classified into following two categories: 1) transformers that change one DC voltage into another through output voltage, which is independent of load, and 2) transformers with DC/DC isolation barriers that electrically separates two circuits.

Based on the nature of their construction, unregulated DC/DC converters can deliver up to 70 to 90 percent power efficiency, while regulated ones provide up to 85 percent efficiency.

Owing to the high efficiency that DC/DC converters deliver, they have remained one of the most dynamic segments in the entire power electronics spectrum. There are two major drivers enabling the DC/DC converter market to grow:

  1. Large-scale adoption in modern computing and telecommunications technologies
  2. Abundant scope for power system designers to experiment and innovate at the level of circuit design, converter architecture and topology, which enables them to produce custom converter modules that comply with system-level requirements

Expert opinion shows that the growing rate of DC/DC converter integration in computing and telecommunications technologies demonstrates the superiority of the power architecture, resulting in widespread adoption of these modules. They have further observed that DC/DC converters are instrumental in producing smaller and less complicated printed circuit board (PCB) designs — thanks to the flexibility they offer to designers in terms of experimenting and customization. Such flexibility enables designers to speed up the time-to-market without compromising system-level requirements.

In addition, DC/DC converter-based smaller PCB designs allow original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to optimize the space they have to work with by adding attractive features within a small form factor – a critical attribute that traditional DC/DC converters fail to offer. With due consideration of these factors, it is widely acknowledged that DC/DC converters are becoming the go-to component for high efficiency output in industrial space-critical applications.

MINMAX MDWI08 Series of High Performance DC/DC Converters: Designed for Today’s OEMs

MINMAX has recently introduced its proprietary, all-new MDWI08 series of 8W Isolated / Regulated DC/DC Converters. Reported to comprise the smallest 16 pin dual in-line package (DIP), these converters occupy area space as small as 0.94 x 0.54 x 0.31”, while reliably producing power density as high as 50W/in3. The miniaturized form factor combined with top-class integration enables power system designers to reduce the area of PCB layout and integrate advanced performance features within the available PCB profiles.

Developed to match customers’ expectations with regards to performance efficiency, cost-effectiveness and seamless adaptability with fast changing operational environments, the family of MDWI08 DC/DC converters offers many key features, outlined below.

Industrial Standard DIP-16 Package

Today’s space-critical applications, such as handheld devices, industrial instruments, telecommunication technologies, industrial and consumer electronics and power (including oil & gas) sectors, all have limited PCB space. The traditional converters comprise larger DIP packages that don’t allow designers to shorten the PCB layout area. Because of this, they miss the opportunity to add attractive and technologically advanced features to the power module within space-critical applications.

MINMAX MDWI08’s industry standard compliant, smallest DIP-16 package enables designers to reduce the PCB layout up to 66 percent. This implies that OEMs can accelerate the process of introducing their innovative offerings without compromising on performance.

A smaller PCB layout also means greater scope for adding advanced features within the power module. Consumers, therefore, would receive power efficient items with next-generation functionalities – all comprised within a smaller form-factor than traditional product size.

Ultra-wide 4:1 Input Voltage Range

The strategic inclusion of ultra-wide 4:1 input voltage range in the MDWI08 series of DC/DC converters enables system designers to enjoy superior control over this feature. These modules demonstrate top-notch efficiency in stabilizing a power input source and, therefore, are a natural choice for customers that require reliability in managing both input and output power ranges.

The ultra-wide 4:1 input voltage range of MDWI08 makes it suitable for use in mission-critical applications such as protection against extra current flow, high temperature generation and input transient voltage.

Increased Efficiency

MINMAX MDWI08 Series of DC/DC converters include 14 different models that guarantee up to 86% efficiency in case of real-world usage. This implies that these converters can be deployed reliably in products with high operating temperature range. Due to this attribute, MDWI08 series of converters can demonstrate better stability in comparison to many other competing products that tend to fluctuate in light or high load environment.

Fully Regulated Output Voltage

Each of the fourteen models in the MINMAX MDWI08 series feature two different input ranges, namely 9-36 or 18-75 VDC (volts of direct current) and an entirely regulated output voltage of 8W. System designers will find it convenient to use the converter in space-critical applications that require stable voltage to operate. Such fully regulated output is also instrumental in limiting power supply to an application without voltage fluctuation and ultimately adds to its longevity and reliable performance.

I/O Isolation 1500VDC

Featuring input-output (I/O) isolation of 1500VDC, MINMAX MDWI08 DC/DC converters guarantee the application circuit is protected from high voltage (up to 1500 VDC interference) and high noise frequency. An electrical barrier is automatically created within the integrated circuit, which prevents unnecessary interferences from damaging the application.

Operating Ambient Temp. Range -40℃to +80

The expansive operating ambient temperature range (-40℃to +80℃) of the MINMAX MDWI08 DC/DC converters means these converters can reliably endure temperature fluctuations within -40℃to +80℃ temperature range without a disruption in performance. In addition, each of these converters come in encapsulated packages that use UL94V-0 grade glue, which makes them safe for storage within temperature range of -50℃to + 125℃.

Low No Load Power Consumption (as low as 0.1Watt) and No Min. Load Requirement

Eliminating minimum or dummy load is a prerequisite for enhancing the energy efficiency of any application. As a part of its Green Design, MINMAX ensures that the MDWI08 converters feature minimum (0.1Watt) no load power consumption. MINMAX uses a highly stable feedback loop mechanism that keeps the converters from oscillating in conditions without load or light load. 

Under Voltage, Overload Protection and Short Circuit Protection

Traditional AD/DC converters offer customers limited capability to protect space-critical applications against under voltage, short circuit and overload protection. In its effort to overcome these limitations, MINMAX has incorporated Hiccup Mode and Higher Start-up and Shut-down Precision Mechanisms to the MDWI08 series converters. While the Higher Start-up and Shut-down Precision Mechanism functions as a resistance against under voltage issues, Hiccup Mode protects the converter against short circuit and voltage overload related risks. 

Low Ripple & Noise (40mVp-p)

Noise interference is a major concern; it affects the sensitivity of mission-critical applications. MINMAX MDWI08 series DC/DC converters integrate highly sophisticated noise filtering technology that creates Low Ripple & Noise to manage the entire output load, input line and the range of ambient temperature. Research indicates the MDWI08 converters successfully reduce ripple and noise on ambient temperature, output load and input line up to 35.5%. Owing to this feature, customers are relieved from using any peripheral components to stop noise interference.

Precision in Powering

MINMAX MDWI08 series DC/DC converters feature best-in-class setting accuracy, line and load regulation, high transient response and low temperature coefficient. Traditional converters lack such accuracy and, therefore, create issues for space-critical applications during load charges. Because of this, the output voltage often overshoots and undershoots. MINMAX’s in-depth focus on the details that would stop such fluctuation ensures that output voltage doesn’t fluctuate and maintains the best accuracy, even when input-output voltage, transient load and system’s ambient temperature are unstable.

Quicker Start-up

Long start-up time of the converter is one of the major causes of system performance failure. While traditional converters on the market take almost 200 milliseconds to commence functioning, MINMAX’s innovation has brought down the start-up time for MDWI08 series DC/DC converters to only 20 milliseconds. MDWI08 customers avoid system timing failures.

No Start-up Failure

Most conventional converters demonstrate their inefficiency in driving customer systems in poor and zero output voltage conditions. The result is system start-up failure. MINMAX MDWI08 series DC/DC converters are powered by superior load driving capacity that not many of its competing counterparts can offer. No matter how low output voltage is, customers can be assured of timely start-up of their systems without failure.

Designed-in Conducted EMI meets EN55032/22 Class A & FCC Level A

Electromagnetic interference (EMI), also known as radio-frequency interference (RFI), is often caused externally and creates performance errors for customers’ applications or systems. Many converters on the market do not contain robust mechanisms to resist electromagnetic induction from affecting the circuit.

MINMAX MDWI08 series DC/DC converters, in contrast, include advanced noise filtering technology, creating a barrier around the circuit. This barrier functions as an instrument against electromagnetic conduction and radiation. This noise filtering technology allows MDWI08 DC/DC converters to showcase top level EMI performance and improve the system’s EMI performance. Research findings pinpoint that, without any additional component, MDWI08 DC/DC converters’ EMI performance meets EN55032/22 Class A and FCC Level A standards.

Safety

Strict compliance with safety and sustainability standards is an important aspect that distinguishes MINMAX’s MDWI08 series DC/DC converters from other competing products on the market. Many of the available options do not follow the standard regulatory measures to reduce production cost and accelerate time to market. In today’s business environment it is not only essential to ensure users’ safety; it is also the manufacturers’ responsibility to guarantee that converters do not contain any minerals that aren’t recyclable, affecting environmental sustainability.

Each model in MINMAX’s MDWI08 family is carefully tested to ensure that it is International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components (IECEE) CB scheme compliant. In addition, MINMAX also ensures the converters bear safety approvals, matching UL/cUL/IEC/EN 60950-1 and UL/cUL/IEC/EN 623368-1 standards. To assure customers best-in-class converter performance reliability, the company also offers a 3 year warranty.

Conclusion

As enterprises demand product miniaturization and feature packed products, power system designers are left with no other option but to make the best of limited PCB space. Traditional AC/DC converters lack the flexibility that would allow designers to experiment and innovate custom layouts on given PCB space.

Featuring the smallest DIP-16 package, MINMAX MDWI08 DC/DC converters enable designers to use the PCB space optimally. Designers can now integrate advanced performance features that would improve product performance. The DC/DC converters guarantee steady 8W output, whereas mainstream converters within the same form factor can only deliver 3W.

Opting for MINMAX MDWI08 DC/DC converters implies unmatched efficiency for space-critical applications.

For more information and product queries about MINMAX MDWI08 DC/DC converters, please contact WPGA product specialist.