Deficiency of power elements for power supply circuits threatens with higher prices for motherboards

Deficiency of power elements for power supply circuits threatens with higher prices for motherboards

Over the past few weeks, Overclock3D has received information from various industrial sources about the emergence of a shortage of power phase doublers (PWM Phase Doublers). Now this information has been confirmed, and some manufacturers have already started redesigning their existing motherboards, excluding the specified components.

It is reported that due to this situation, Gigabyte was forced to release updated versions (with the designation V2) of two motherboards based on the AMD B550 chipset. We are talking about “new products” under the names B550 Aorus Elite V2 and B550 Aorus Elite AX V2, the power subsystems of which are devoid of doublers, unlike the original versions. Gigabyte confirmed that it was the shortage of power phase doublers that prompted it to release new versions of these motherboards.

It is worth explaining what phase doublers are and what they are for. The power supply supplies 12 V to the board, but this is too much for the processor. The task of the power supply subsystem in a simplified sense is to turn these 12 V into the 1.1-1.35 V required for the processor (or whatever it needs). The power subsystem is controlled by a special PWM controller, which is designed to work with a certain number of power phases. And the more phases the controller supports, the more expensive it is. Therefore, to save money, manufacturers use doublers that divide the frequency modulated by the controller between two phases.

For example, if the conditional controller supports 6 phases, then using doublers it can be used for a 12-phase supply circuit. Of course, such a power supply subsystem with half the “virtual” phases will be less efficient and responsive than one where each phase is directly connected to a 12-phase controller. But in mid-range motherboards, this solution allows you to reduce the cost without cutting the number of phases. This makes them more interesting to consumers, and gives them the ability to deliver more power, albeit not as efficiently.

Unfortunately, the shortage of doublers does not bode well for users. Either manufacturers now have to use more advanced and expensive PWM controllers that can directly work with the required number of phases, or there will be a shortage of mid-price motherboards themselves, in which doublers are actively used. And both of these scenarios will inevitably lead to higher motherboard prices.

If we assume that other companies will follow the example of Gigabyte, then updated versions of motherboards, devoid of phase doublers, may soon appear in the range of many manufacturers. But they will cost more.

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