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Power Delivery Networks at a Crossroads

Author: Henryk Dabrowski, Vicor Corporation

Figure 1. Vicor’s Highest Systems Performance Power Modules

Every electronic piece of equipment or system has a power delivery network (PDN) made up of cables, bus bars, connectors, circuit board copper power planes and AC to DC and DC to DC converters and regulators. Governing the performance of a PDN is its overall architecture, such as the use of AC or DC voltage distribution, specific voltage and current levels and when and how many times the network needs voltage conversion and regulation.

Many PDNs have been standardized in specific industries over many years, such as 270V and 28V in the Defense and Aerospace industry, the negative 48V used in communications infrastructure applications and the 12V PDN used in automobiles which then became a standard in computer servers and industrial applications. As a result, billion dollar industries were built around standard PDNs.

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