DC-DC Power Module, Phase 1 (Technical Specification Development)

Project Lead: Randy Malik, IBM

Project Lead: Rick Fishbune

End-of-Project Webinar

Project Statement and Statement of Work


There was a Statement of Work review session held on February 28-March 1, 2013.

Scope of Work

The first phase of this project will deliver a technical specification that includes a complete assessment of the high-voltage DC–DC module — with UL and other safety certification requirements — that can be used to build a prototype module.  Phase 2 of the project is expected to include the building and testing of prototype modules based on the specification developed in Phase 1.


There is a lack of standardized high voltage DC-DC power module for cheaper, smaller and higher efficiency solution in the area of high voltage DC (HVDC) power systems.  As such, a specification is needed to establish a standardized module that can be used throughout the industry:
  • AC distribution power system for IT equipment
    • Higher cost for AC UPS
    • Lower efficiency and reliability issue for multiple AC/DC conversion
  • 48V DC distribution to Telco equipment
    • Insufficient power delivery due to lower voltage for future Datacenters
  • 380V DC distribution (HVDC) on the horizon
    • Higher efficiency and reliability due to less conversion
    • Higher power distribution due to higher voltage
  • 380VDC – 12V DC module in existing Datacenters AC distribution
    • Low cost Rack solution by AC – 380V Rectifier and 380VDC – 12V DC module

Project Objectives

Address most, if not all, the electrical and mechanical specifications in this project for a DC-DC module.

Provide the participants with a specification that includes a complete assessment of the High Voltage DC-DC module and safety certification requirements.

Will provide many benefits to industry including:
  • Cost benefit - Industry standard product
  • Improvements in time-to-market - Specification and multiple sources for developing the product
  • Introduction of HV technology on system boards that provide Low cost power solution compared to the company proprietary expensive solutions and Overall cost merit of the power system in a Datacenter over the existing AC–DC systems.
  • Cost/Size/Efficiency merits - Narrow input voltage range for 380V DC proposed for higher efficiency and Lower DC distribution losses (I2R) due to lower current
  • Meeting the future power demand (5X more) - 380V DC distribution over 48V DC distribution

Project Focus

Documentation and evaluation on the feasibility of a High Voltage (380V) DC input to a 12V DC output module that included:
  • Feasibility review of size and power capability
  • Research on new devices/materials
  • Technical feasibility study and identification of dependencies for the specification
  • Assessment on time to market of the DC-DC module
  • Development of a technical specification for a 380V DC input to 12V DC output module.

For Additional Information

Mark Schaffer
+1 512-468-9596