As the use of digital power has grown, the industry has clamoured for standards that go beyond the form and fit factor of earlier alliances to include some assurance that the modules are electrically compatible. This will help realise the benefits digital power modules can provide in key functions such as active current sharing, voltage sequencing and tracking, soft start and stop, and synchronisation.

Two of the prevalent power trends in recent years–distributed power and digital power–are the focus of an all-encompassing effort spearheaded by three major power suppliers to ease power system design for OEMs. Thus, Ericsson, CUI and Murata have formed the Architects of Modern Power (AMP) Consortium to establish a framework for digital power modules with common electrical and physical specifications that are readily available through second sourcing.

The AMP Consortium goes beyond previous standardisation efforts that were restricted to physical power supply specifications to define the modules’ monitoring, control and communications functions. The AMP Consortium expects to create common configuration files for plug-and-play interoperability to ensure compatibility between each company’s products.

The alliance has defined two sets of standards for digital point-of-load converters. The “microAMP” specification covers supplies rated at 20 to 25A in vertical and horizontal configurations, while the “megaAMP” specification defines requirements for 40 to 50A vertical and horizontal units. For advanced bus DC-DC converters, the “ABC-ebAMP” standard relates to advanced one-eighth size bricks measuring 58.42mm x 22.66mm and rated from 264 to 300W. For quarter-brick supplies, measuring 58.42mm x 36.83mm and rated 420 to 468W, the consortium has defined the “ABC-qbAMP” standard.

But the true barometer of success of the consortium will undoubtedly be how products are received by OEMs. Thus far, suppliers have kept their promise of introducing a steady stream of products.

Learn more: Download the full application note