Design, Modeling, and Analysis of a 3-D Spiral Inductor With Magnetic Thin-Films for PwrSoC/PwrSiP DC-DC Converters

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A solution architecture for monolithic system-on-chip (SoC) power conversion is in high demand to enable modern electronics with a reduced footprint and increased functionality. A promising solution is to reduce the microinductor size by using novel magnetically-enhanced 3-D design topologies. This work presents the design, modeling, and analysis of a 3-D spiral inductor with magnetic thin-films for power supply applications in the frequency range of 3–30 MHz. A closed-form analytical expression is derived for the inductance, including both the air- and magnetic-core contributions. To validate the air-core inductance model, we implement a 3-D spiral inductor on PCB. The theoretical calculation of air-core inductance is in good agreement with experimental data. To validate the inductance model of the magnetic-core, a 3-D spiral inductor is modeled with Ansys Maxwell electromagnetic field simulation software. A winding AC resistance model is additionally presented. We perform a design space exploration (DSE) to investigate the significance of the 3-D spiral inductor structure. Two important performance parameters are discussed: dc quality factor (Qdc) and ac quality factor (Qac) . Also, a 3-D spiral inductor structure with magnetic thin-films is characterized in Ansys Maxwell to estimate its potential, and a novel fabrication method is proposed to implement this inductor. The measured relative permeability ( μr ) and the magnetic loss tangent ( tan δ ) of Co-Zr-Ta-B magnetic thin-films, developed in-house, are used to simulate the proposed structure. The promising results of the DSE can be easily extended to improve the performance of other 3-D inductor topologies, such as the solenoid and the toroid. The numerical simulations reveal that the 3-D spiral inductor with magnetic thin-films has the potential to demonstrate a figure-of-merit (FOM) that is significantly higher than traditional inductors.

Published in the IEEE Magnetics Society Section of IEEE Access.

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