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Characterizing and Selecting the VRM

Best Paper Award Winner from DesignCon 2017

The voltage regulator module (VRM) is at the foundation of power integrity, making proper selection essential. There are thousands of VRMs and VRM controllers available from many manufacturers. They are often selected based on size, efficiency, price, or a relationship with the manufacturer. This often leads to a poor VRM selection, requiring additional engineering resources, greater time to market, as well as higher BOM costs to correct the deficiencies.

Even after the VRM or VRM controller is selected, the manufacturer’s guidelines and capacitor selection recommendations can be counterproductive. In this article, we’ll evaluate the choices, define some useful figures of merit, and provide specific selection suggestions.

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