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Auxiliary Variable DC Power Supply Provides Redundancy to Blade Voltage Regulators

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000181348D
Original Publication Date: 2009-Mar-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2009-Mar-30
Document File: 2 page(s) / 31K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Blade systems usually have redundant architectures to insure they keep running. However, blade servers also usually have many onboard voltage regulators which are not redundant because of space and cost. Thus, if one of the regulators fails, the blade will fail. Disclosed is a method by which an additional chassis-level auxiliary variable power supply provides a programmable backup voltage to a blade if one of its onboard voltage regulators fails.

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Auxiliary Variable DC Power Supply Provides Redundancy to Blade Voltage Regulators

The auxiliary power supply is retrofitted to a typical blade system infrastructure. The existing infrastructure consists of:
1) A midplane that supplies a single voltage to the blades, such that the blades must provide their own regulation of other required voltages.
2) A blade design with multiple levels of DC (direct current) voltage regulators. These elements are shown uncolored in the Figure as the primary power supply, mid-plane, voltage regulators VR1, VR2, and VR3, and loads L1 and L2.

These ingredients are then added to complete the idea:
3) An additional variable DC power supply in the rack - the output (Vbackup) is programmable by control input Vreq.
4) An additional set of pins on the blade-to-midplane interface. The backup voltage Vbackup is an input to the blades, and the voltage requests VreqA-N are analog or digital outputs of blades A thru N.
5) A switching circuit behind the midplane to combine Vreq(A) to Vreq(N). This can be a simple logical-OR of the individual Vreq signals, or a more complex arbitration scheme.
6) Multiplexers for each separate regulator on each blade to select either the onboard voltage regulator or Vbackup.
7) A PowerGood Circuit which checks the voltage regulator outputs and sends a voltage request to the backup supply if a voltage is found to be wrong. The PowerGood Circuit also changes the state of the appr...