Isolation for 48V PoL in data center


I have seen that there are several topologies applicable for data centers that support 48V to 1V conversion for high current ASICs - these include buck, transformer based solutions and switched-caps.

What is the benefit of isolated converter topologies (transformer based) in data centers 48V to 1V? Is there any major benefit to choosing a transformer based solution over a switched-cap or buck? 48V appears to be a low enough voltage that isolation shouldn’t be necessary.

Much Appreciated,

Hello Zkufan,
the topology selection will depend on your exact requirements, as all topologies have different trade-offs in terms of performance, size, complexity, efficiency, cost, etc…
Transformer based topologies utilize the magnetic reduction ratio to help reduce stress on the power devices: typically the secondary components have a lower voltage rating. For 48V systems often the isolation is not required, so even if the converter is using a transformer, the feedback signals might not be isolated.
Some applications like telecom might need isolation, in which case transformer based topologies are the only option.
GaN FETs will work in all these topologies as they have inherently better FOM (Figure of Merit)…