CAES Develops Industry’s First Single-Stage, Isolated DC-DC Converters

By Tiera Oliver

Associate Editor

Embedded Computing Design

November 23, 2021


CAES Develops Industry’s First Single-Stage, Isolated DC-DC Converters

CAES, a provider of mission critical electronics for aerospace and defense, introduced the industry’s first single-stage, isolated DC-DC converters for high throughput satellite payloads.

The new devices provide spacecraft designers with the industry’s most efficient power conversion modules for enabling reprogrammable, software-defined payloads.

Compared to conventional two-stage DC-DC converters, the CAES single-stage converters increase power efficiency from approximately 80 percent to more than 90 percent while simultaneously reducing size, weight, and power requirements in space applications.

The 28V radiation-tolerant converters are also the first satellite single-stage power supplies to incorporate gallium-nitride (GaN) FET technology. These GaN-based converters provide customers with a fully-tested, off-the-shelf power conversion solution. The move to GaN is designed to enable higher performance and switching frequencies, thereby improving response time to changing load currents compared to silicon-based DC-DC converters. These new converters can also be used in parallel for higher-power applications.

By converting power straight from the power bus to the point of load, the new single-stage converters operate within the voltage tolerances of today’s processing devices. This includes deep-submicron ASICs and FPGAs used in software-defined payloads that can be reprogrammed in-orbit to extend the mission life of space applications.

The new CAES converters comply with U.S. Department of Commerce Export Administration Regulations (EAR99) and are commercially available worldwide.

Designed for aerospace and high-reliability space applications, the new 28V SCD51028xx converters have a total dose radiation tolerance of 50krads (Si) and are available in a (2.5L x 1.5W x 0.63H inch) gull-winged power package that enables surface-mount installation and a low-impedance interconnect with the system board. The converters feature a lightweight 50g design and an operating temperature of -40ºC to +125ºC.

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Tiera Oliver, Associate Editor for Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for web content edits, product news, and constructing stories. She also assists with newsletter updates as well as contributing and editing content for ECD podcasts and the ECD YouTube channel. Before working at ECD, Tiera graduated from Northern Arizona University where she received her B.S. in journalism and political science and worked as a news reporter for the university’s student led newspaper, The Lumberjack.

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