FAQs

Sales and commercial

Who is Flex Power Modules?

In October 2017, Flex acquired Ericsson Power Modules which was formed in the late 1970s, and since then we have been trading as Flex Power Modules. We are part of the Power cross industry technology group, and we design and manufacture board-mounted DC/DC conversion products for applications within the telecom (including 5G), data center, AI, industrial and railway markets. More details can be found in the About Us section of our website.

How can I keep up to date with news about your products?

We have a dedicated section of our website for new product notifications. You can also sign up for our email Newsletter. We also have a dedicated LinkedIn page where we discuss our latest updates.

How can I get in contact with someone to discuss my needs?

You can reach out to us by completing the Contact Us form. Should you need to send us any documents or files for review, then for Commercial support please email pm.info@flex.com, and for Technical support please email pm.support@flex.com

Where can I purchase your products?

We have a global network of partners and representatives who are technically trained to support the design-in of our products and are able to offer supply solutions. Please visit our partner page in order to find the right partner for your region.

What are your current lead times?

Since this changes from time to time based on prevailing market supply conditions, contacting your regional partner is the best way to get current lead times, as well as discussing additional supply options. If you have a specific urgent need for parts, then please contact us at pm.info@flex.com

How do I get samples for evaluation?

Sample requests can be sent to our partners to support new designs. On our partner page you can find a partner for your region.

Where do I find prices for your products?

Please contact our partners for pricing information. On our partner page you can find a partner for your region.

What is the ECCN classification of your products?

At the time of writing, the Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) of all our products is "EAR99".

What is the Country of Origin (COO) of your products?

The Country of Origin (manufacturing location) of our products is either China or Taiwan, depending on the particular family. Specific details can be discussed by contacting us at pm.support@flex.com

What is the six-digit HS code for your devices?

The six-digit HS (Harmonized System) code for our devices is 8504.40

What if you don't have what I need listed on your site?

Don't see what you need? We are constantly developing new solutions so please let us know your request by contacting us and we can discuss your specific needs.

Technical

How can I get technical support on your products?

We have a global network of partners and representatives technically trained in our products. Please contact our partners. Additionally, you can email your inquiry to pm.support@flex.com, and one of our Application Engineers will respond to your request.

Where do I find life-cycle information about your products?

If you have a question on product life-cycle, please reach out to our partners and representatives or alternatively you can contact us directly. Our representatives can answer questions about the product life-cycle for all the products found on our web pages.

Products that are marked on our site as "Legacy" are not necessarily discontinued, since we continue to support production for our existing customers, but they are not generally recommended for new designs. The most recent Product Discontinuation Notices are listed online under the Resources/Downloads section of the website.

How will I be informed about product/process changes and end of life statements?

When we have a PCN or PDN to issue, these will be shared with our Channel Partners who will feed the information down to affected customers that have been active typically within the previous 3 years or so. The most recent PDNs are also listed online under the Resources/Downloads section of the website.

What is the warranty on your products?

Flex warrants that, during a period of three (3) years from the date of manufacturing of the product, unless another time period is explicitly agreed in the Sales Contract, the product will be free from major defects in material and workmanship, and will meet the agreed technical specification in all major aspects.

How can I arrange an RMA/FAR for your products?

If for any reason you need to return products for failure analysis, this should be done through the originally-sourced channel. If this was via one of our Channel Partners, then you will find their contact information on our partner page. Otherwise, you can contact us directly at pm.support@flex.com to request an RMA.

Where can I find safety certifications for your products?

Please contact us at pm.support@flex.com for information. We will be happy to provide these on request.

Where can I find details about your RoHS and REACH compliance?

Our RoHS statement of compliance can be found HERE, while our REACH statement of compliance can be found HERE

Do your devices meet the 62368-1 safety standard?

Yes, as of the 1st November 2020, ALL of our products have been successfully recertified to meet IEC/EN/UL/CSA 62368-1 (Audio/Video, Information and Communication Technology Equipment - Part 1: Safety Requirements), which will replace the IEC/EN/UL/CSA 60950-1 standard from 20th December 2020. A Product Notice document can be found HERE, and individual certificates are available on request by emailing us at pm.support@flex.com

Do you offer AC/DC products?

At the time of writing we do not offer AC/DC products, and focus all of our efforts on developing the very best DC/DC solutions for your needs.

Do you offer EN50155 compliant DC/DC converters for Railway applications?

Yes we do! We have a wide and growing range of DC/DC converters that meet the requirements of EN50155 which is the global standard in use for electronic equipment used on rolling stock in railway applications. Additional information can be found in this Article, and specific queries can be discussed by contacting us at pm.support@flex.com

What type of input filter do I need to reduce conducted noise?

This is dependent on the particular module in question. Our technical specifications for isolated devices typically provide EMI conducted noise plots both with and without additional external filtering, and the filter suggestions provided are to meet Class B conducted noise emissions according to EN55022/EN55032, CISPR22/CISPR32 and FCC part 15J.

Do you offer filter modules for EMC compliance?

We do not offer dedicated EMC filter modules currently, but we do offer Power Interface Modules or PIMs, some of which do contain EMC filtering as well as many other useful features such as OR-ing, Hot Swap, Hold-Up voltage boost and Auxiliary voltage rails. More details of these products can be found by clicking HERE.

Can I connect your products in series?

It may be the case that a particular module cannot deliver the specific voltage required by a particular application.

In these cases, it's good to know that our products can typically be connected in series to produce these alternative voltages.

For example, it’s possible to connect the outputs of two 30V converters in series to produce a 60V rail. It may be necessary to include protection circuitry however to disable one device if the other one turns off for any reason.

Our FAEs can support your designs by contacting us at pm.support@flex.com

Can I connect your products in parallel?

Sometimes, a single module will not provide the required level of current or power needed in a particular application. In these cases, it's often desirable to connect devices in parallel.

Whether or not this is possible with our products is actually device dependent, so please consult the technical specification of the device in question to check if this is advisable.

Some modules include a voltage droop current share mechanism, while others include an active current share scheme. Some devices are not recommended for paralleling at all, or will need external current share control circuitry.

Design Note DN006 goes into more detail about this, or one of our FAEs can also support you by contacting us at pm.support@flex.com

What do the different ratios of 2:1, 4:1 etc. refer to?

These ratios usually describe the input voltage range of a converter. As an example, a 2:1 input ratio converter suitable for a 48 V nominal supply would have a voltage range of 36-72 V typically, although this is often extended to 75 V. An equivalent 4:1 converter would have an input range of 18-72/75 V, making it actually suitable for both 48 V and 24 V nominal supplies. Another version of a 4:1 range includes 9-36 V, which would be suitable for both 12 V and 24 V nominal supplies. Our product range now even includes devices such as the PKM-W series for the Railway market with >13:1 input ratios, operating over an input voltage range of 12-160 V.

The term can however also be used to refer to the effective transformer turns ratio between input and output of an unregulated converter. For example, for an unregulated device with a 4:1 "turns ratio", and an input voltage range of 40-60 V, the output voltage will range from 10-15 V. For example, when supplied with a 48V input, the output would be at 12 V.

Can I use active trimming on your converters?

The output voltage of many, but not all, of our converters can be trimmed actively using a voltage source. Please consult the specific technical specification for the device in question. Our FAEs can also guide you by contacting us at pm.support@flex.com

Can I generate negative voltages with your converters?

Yes when using our isolated DC/DC converters. If you connect the +OUT pin to the system output ground, a negative voltage will be generated on the -OUT pin.

How do I connect the sense lines?

Many DC/DC modules provide sense pins which enable the output to compensate voltage droops due to the copper resistance of the traces of application boards.

Note that the DC/DC converters accurately regulate the voltage between +sense and -sense pins, not the voltage on the output pins. Voltage droops of up to 0.25-0.5V may be compensated if the sense pins are connected to the corresponding terminals of the load.

However, to avoid noise, the sense traces should be properly routed to minimize the area between them, i.e. they should be as short as possible and close to each other.

If not used, the sense pins should be connected directly to the corresponding output pins.

What standard do you use to calculate MTBF?

The failure rate and mean time between failures (MTBF) are typically calculated at max output power and an operating ambient temperature of +40°C. Our latest products mainly use Telcordia SR-332 Issue 4 Method 1 to calculate the mean steady-state failure rate and standard deviation. Telcordia SR-332 Issue 4 also provides techniques to estimate the upper confidence levels of failure rates based on the mean and standard deviation. Our Technical Specifications therefore typically provide both a standard MTBF figure, and an MTBF figure at 90% confidence factor.

Some of our devices designed for Industrial and Rail applications also include MTBF calculations based on the MIL-HDBK-217F reliability method. Please check individual Technical Specifications for more details.

How should I accurately measure the Output Ripple?

Please refer to DN022 for detailed information on measuring Output Ripple. Our FAEs can also guide you by contacting us at pm.support@flex.com

How do I convert airflow from LFM or m/s to CFM and vice versa?

Firstly, to convert common values of air velocity in meters per second to Linear Feet per Minute (LFM), you can use the table below which shows common approximations:

0.25 m/s = 50 LFM
0.5 m/s = 100 LFM
1.0 m/s = 200 LFM
1.5 m/s = 300 LFM
2.0 m/s = 400 LFM
2.5 m/s = 500 LFM
3.0 m/s = 600 LFM
etc.

When considering the air volume that is being moved rather than simply its velocity, which is commonly used by fan manufacturers for example, then Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) is often referred to as the unit of measurement.

To convert CFM measurements to LFM, use the following equation:

LFM = CFM/AREA

Where CFM = Cubic feet per minute of air volume and AREA = the area of the opening in square feet.

Do you offer thermal models for your DC/DC products?

Yes, we offer FloTHERM models which are available for many of our products in .PDML file format. Those available are presented both on the relevant product landing pages, and in the Downloads section. If you can't find the specific one you need, then please contact us at pm.support@flex.com

Do you offer 3D CAD files?

Yes, we offer 3D STEP files in .STP format for many of our modules. We don't generally publish them online due to the wide number of different mechanical options that exist (pin types, pin lengths, open frame, baseplated, etc.), but to request a 3D model of the specific part number you need, please contact us at pm.support@flex.com

Do you offer DC/DC converters for 5G RFPA applications?

Yes we offer a wide range of DC/DC converters suitable for 5G RFPA RRH/RRU designs powering both LDMOS and GaN RF transistor technology. As well as providing solutions to the traditional WW Radio manufacturers, we are also actively working with members of both OpenRAN (Telecom Infra Project) and the O-RAN Alliance, and our RFPA product offering can be seen HERE, with many more devices currently in development, so please contact us if you don't see what you need. Of course, these products are also suitable for other 4G-LTE, 4G, 3G and 2G applications, as well as Microwave fronthaul, midhaul and backhaul radios and Point to Point (PTP) and Point to Multipoint (PTMP) designs.

Do you offer DC/DC converters for Gate Drive applications?

Yes we offer both symmetric and asymmetric dual output devices suitable for Gate Drive applications to power Silicon, IGBT, SiC and GaN designs. Available power levels are from 1-2 W, and isolation voltages of up to 6kV are available. An example of a standard output voltage combination is +15V/-9V for IGBT designs, but more variants are being added to this range all the time, so please contact us to discuss your specific needs in this area.

What protection features do your products offer?

Please consult the specific technical specification for the device in question for details, but typically our products include input Under Voltage Lock Out (UVLO), output Over Voltage Protection (OVP), output Over Current Protection (OCP) and Over Temperature Protection (OTP). Digital products offer the ability to configure both the protection parameters as well as the protection behavior.

What does "hiccup mode" protection mean?

The term "hiccup mode" in this case refers to a form of overload protection mechanism, for example over current protection, where if an output over current is detected, then the module will continuously disable the output and then make continuous restart attempts until the fault is removed.

What's the difference between Isolation & Insulation levels?

The isolation level of an isolated DC/DC converter usually refers to the voltage which may be applied between input and output for a short duration without current flowing, usually as a result of the breakdown of the insulation material used to provide the galvanic isolation. For baseplated converters, the isolation level from Output to Baseplate and Input to Baseplate are also usually tested and specified.

The Insulation Level on the other hand refers to the method used to physically provide the galvanic isolation, and is usually characterized in 5 different classes – Functional/Operational; Basic; Supplementary; Double and Reinforced.

More information is available in Technical Paper 018

What is meant by transient response?

When the load current at the output of a converter changes suddenly, there will be a reaction by the output voltage falling or rising suddenly too. The ability of the converters control loop to correct this change to the output voltage quickly and controllably back to the setpoint value is known as its transient response. The key parameters to consider in terms of transient response are typically the overshoot/undershoot voltage and the settling/recovery time, both of which should be minimized.

More information on optimizing transient response in Digital POLs can be found in Application Note 306

How should I store and handle your products?

Products intended for Pb-free reflow soldering processes are delivered in standard moisture barrier bags according to IPC/JEDEC standard J-STD-033 (handling, packing, shipping and use of moisture/reflow sensitivity surface mount devices).

Using products in high temperature Pb-free soldering processes requires dry pack storage and handling. In case the products have been stored in an uncontrolled environment and no longer can be considered dry, the modules must be baked according to J-STD-033.

Please note that our products are to be stored and handled as ESD sensitive devices and are delivered as such.

Can I use reflow soldering to mount your through hole parts?

This manufacturing technique is often referred to as "Pin-in-paste" (PiP). The holes in the host PCB are overprinted with solder paste, then the DC/DC device is pressed down through that paste into the mounting holes, before the entire board then goes through a reflow solder process where the solder is then drawn up through the fillet to complete the solder joint.

Some of our products have been qualified for use with this manufacturing method. Those that are suitable will be highlighted in the Ordering Information section of the Technical Specification. To ensure reliable mounting, these devices are baked before being packed in a hermetically sealed dry pack before shipment. Options exist for the types of tray that the devices are shipped in. An example can be seen within the BMR480 series as shown HERE.

Can I use water washing during manufacturing?

Products are qualified for water washing according to IEC 60068-2-45 XA, method 2. However, it is imperative that sufficient drying time is considered to avoid any problems. Our FAEs can also guide you by contacting us at pm.support@flex.com

Where could I find a list of technical abbreviations?

We have produced a handy list of common technical abbreviations used within the power industry, and those industries of our typical customers for your reference. The list can be found HERE

Flex Power Designer

What is the Flex Power Designer tool?

We have developed the Flex Power Designer tool in order to help you to sketch, simulate, configure and monitor your digital power system. It is free to download the Flex Power Designer Tool. You can watch a short demonstration video HERE.

What are the key features of the Flex Power Designer tool?

Flex Power Designer (FPD) goes beyond simple converter configuration, and provides an overview of your whole power system, enabling you to define relationships across rails, including Phase Spreading, Sequencing and Fault Spreading.

The built-in simulation enables power-stage analysis to optimize tuning and visualize design behavior against your particular power requirements such as Transient Response, Output Impedance and Power Dissipation.

The software also includes thermal behavior simulation, graphically showing the dependencies between multiple user defined parameters such as ambient temperature, board temperature, wind speed, board thickness and copper thickness.

An additional feature recently added is a numerical conversion calculator which enables designers to work with the various alternative number formats for monitoring data allowed in the SMBus/PMBus standards. It also includes a display address resistor suggestion feature, which calculates suggested values for the PMBus address resistors SA0/SA1, as well as offering the ability to monitor common parameters from other vendors' power products.

It is free to download the Flex Power Designer Tool

A brief introduction to the key features of Flex Power Designer can be seen below.

How does the Flex Power Designer tool interact with Xilinx's Power Estimator tool?

The latest major upgrade to Flex Power Designer (4.0 and above) has now added the ability to import the .xpe output files from Xilinx's Power Estimator Tool to allow for easy power tree creation and optimization for Xilinx FPGAs. Families such as the Virtex Ultrascale+ and Kintex Ultrascale+ are currently supported, and more families will be added continuously. You can view a demo of the new features of this version of Flex Power Designer in the webinar recording below.

Website

How do I use parametric search?

The parametric search is a tool to help you to quickly find products that meet your specific requirements. You can easily access the parametric search from the homepage. Parametric search has many different search fields, which by filling in your needed criteria will automatically return only matching products to enable you to hone in on the optimum solution(s).

Why should I create an account?

By creating your own account, you can immediately access the Flex Power Designer Tool rather than having to enter your full contact details again. In future updates to this section, we will also include the ability to save details of your selected products in one place, as well as adding other useful functions.

I forgot my password! How do I reset it?

You can easily reset your password by clicking HERE