With all of the high tech wonders to be seen at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, one of the most interesting items to me may have easily gone unnoticed by the bulk of attendees. I first saw this device while checking out the Mini-ITX goods on display by Logic Supply at the Lunch@Piero's event. Among all of the sleek mini systems and other flashier items was a small bundle of wires with a 20-pin ATX motherboard connection. I picked it up, asked what it was, and learned that this was the world's tiniest DC-DC ATX power supply, the picoPSU-120 12V DC-DC ATX Power Supply.
The picoPSU isn't actually available from Logic Supply, but I guess they thought it was pretty cool too, and wanted to show one off for another Lunch@Piero's exhibitor representing it, Mini-Box.com. Mini-Box.com is an online retailer specializing in embedded systems, Mini-ITX systems and accessories, and the source of the picoPSU. From the Mini-Box.com 'about' page:
"Mini-box.com[tm] is a subsidiary of Ituner Networks Corp. Ituner Networks is a privately owned Corporation, located in Silicon Valley, California. Ituner Networks Corporation formerly known as Ituner Internet Broadcasting Services, was founded in 1996.
Aside of the mini-box small computers series, Ituner is the maker of the MediaBox product line, a professional audio and video streaming server capable of multicast or unicast streaming of high quality video and audio through broadband networks in several concurrent formats at various stream rates."
Before taking a closer look at the picoPSU-120, let's look at some of the published data from the Mini-Box.com website...
» Tiniest DC-DC ATX design
» 12V operation
» 100% silent
» Over 96% efficiency
» Plugs directly into the ATX connector
» Power Ratings (Max Load / Peak Load):
» 5V - 6A / 8A
» 5Vsb - 1.5A / 2A
» 3.3V - 6A / 8A
» -12V - 0.05A / 0.1A
» 12v - 7A /10A
» Max load = 140 Watts
» Peak load should not exceed 60 seconds
» Overload protection
» Size - 44.5mm (l) x 20mm (w) x 30mm (h) (1U compliant)
» Weight - 57 grams
By the overall size and weight, you can sense that there isn't much to the picoPSU, and it is by far smaller than a typical ATX PSU, and even the DC-DC power boards found in most Mini-ITX cases. The power rating of 120 Watts may seem low when referencing today's monster ATX units (500 Watts and up), but as compared to a typical Mini-ITX supply, it is quite a high rating.