Radiation and magnetic tolerant DC-DC converters


The aim of this activity is to deliver DC-DC converters able to work in the hostile environment of the LHC experiments (very high radiation levels and tesla-scale magnetic fields). A DC-DC converter was produced for the phase-1 upgrade of the LHC experiments, namely the FEAST2 ASIC, which converted from 12V to a selectable output voltage and up to 4A as output current.

FEAST2 is now obsolete, and new ASICs have been designed and produced in view of delivering devices able to run at HL-LHC, where the radiation levels are higher. A family of converters is proposed, with bPOL12V as first conversion stage (very similar to FEAST2 but with higher radiation tolerance), bPOL2V5 as second conversion stage, able to convert 2.5V to a selectable voltage and maximum output current of 3A.

A linear regulator, LinPOL12V is also available, regulating from 12V down to a selectable voltage for a maximum output current of around 50mA, depending on the Vout.

A dedicated website on this project is available here. Datasheet of the different ASICs are available in the section “info and Datasheet -> ASICs”.

Dedicated modules hosting FEAST2 ASICs were developed by ESE, with the effort of providing the experiments a reliable, rad-hard, efficient and low noise plug-in object. A few examples of these modules are shown below. Production of these modules is now completed and they are no longer available for order. Design files and other information necessary to fabricate such modules can be shared with interested parties.


The design of the PCB, choice of the toroidal inductor and shield were optimized for reducing the common and differential noise.

R&D on new converters is also starting for future experiment applications, in the framework of the CERN EP R&D programme on technologies for future experiments and thanks also to KT (Knowledge Transfer) department funds. We are looking into new converter topologies and architectures, based also on non-silicon power devices, mainly Gallium Nitride (GaN).


The following products are in prototyping phase:

  • Buck converter with commercial GaN power device and Rad-Hard ASIC controller with input voltage up to 60V and output voltage down to 1.2V. Possible application can be for a conversion from 48V to 12V or 25V to 1.2V with a maximum output current of 12A.
  • Switched tank converter, developed in collaboration with the University of Udine: completely new resonant architecture for a fixed conversion ratio 4 (for example 48V to 12V) with a maximum output current of 30A.

Contact: Stefano Michelis, Federico Faccio