Noctua PWM Specifications White Paper

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Noctua PWM specificationswhite paperScope of this paperThe scope of this white paper is to provide a detailed technical documentation of the PWM(Pulse Width Modulation) speed control features of Noctua’s 4-pin PWM fans. Detailingaspects such as connector types, pin configuration or RPM speed signal output as wellas signal specifications and circuit design questions, it enables engineers to implementPWM based speed control for Noctua fans in custom circuit designs and applications.While using PWM based fan speed control in PC environments is usually straightforwardand does not require any of the background knowledge that is contained in this paper,it can be vital when it comes to controlling fans via PWM in other environments.Unlessotherwise noted, the following information applies to all Noctua 5V, 12V and 24V 4-pinfan models.Designed in Austria, Noctua’s premium cooling components are internationally renowned for their superb quietness, exceptional performance and thoroughgoing quality. Having received morethan 6000 awards and recommendations from leading hardware websites and magazines, Noctua’s fans and heatsinks are serving hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers around the globe.www.noctua.at

Noctua PWM specifications white paperConnectors and cablesThe cables of Noctua’s fans terminate with a female connector that can be connected tocorresponding male connectors or PCB headers. Please refer to the following table for alist of compatible connector models:Female connector (fan)Male PCB headerMale connectorWieson 2510C888-001Wieson 2366C888-007Everconn CH2510CH-04-03Molex 47054-1000Everconn 2510Z seriesMolex 47053-1000Foxconn HF27040-M1Tyco 1470947-1Everconn 2600PSZ seriesNote that female 4-pin connectors are compatible with male 3-pin PCB headers providedadequate space next to the header is available:The default cable length of Noctua fans varies from model line to model line (see tablebelow). If you need extension cables, please purchase the NA-SEC1 set that containsthree 30cm 4-pin extension cables. For industrial clients, 60cm extension cables areavailable on request.Product lineCable lengthStandard20cm 30cm extension includedindustrialPPCchromax40cm1cm 30cm extension includedredux40cmIf you would like to control two Noctua 4-pin PWM fans via a single PWM fan header, youcan use a NA-YC1 y-cable to do so. The NA-YC1 is supplied with many Noctua fans (seescope of delivery specifications on www.noctua.at) and can be purchased in the NASYC1 set (contains two pieces).Designed in Austria, Noctua’s premium cooling components are internationally renowned for their superb quietness, exceptional performance and thoroughgoing quality. Having received morethan 6000 awards and recommendations from leading hardware websites and magazines, Noctua’s fans and heatsinks are serving hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers around the globe.www.noctua.at

Noctua PWM specifications white paperPin configurationTachometer output signal and RPM speed calculationAll Noctua fans provide a tachometer output signal of the following characteristics: two cycles per revolution open collector output Maximum current is 5mA for 5V and 12V fans and 2mA for 24V fans, so for example,when using a 12V fan a resistor value of 2.7K Ohm or larger is suitable.Designed in Austria, Noctua’s premium cooling components are internationally renowned for their superb quietness, exceptional performance and thoroughgoing quality. Having received morethan 6000 awards and recommendations from leading hardware websites and magazines, Noctua’s fans and heatsinks are serving hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers around the globe.www.noctua.at

Noctua PWM specifications white paperIf the fan rotor is locked, the tachometer output signal will remain either at high or lowdepending on the position of the rotor.Wave form examples and RPM speed calculationNote that while the tachometer output signal is in Hertz ( per second), fan speeds areusually specified in RPM ( revolutions per minute). This means that the signal must bemultiplied by 60 in order to convert it to RPM. However, as the fan puts out two impulsesper revolution, the reading must also be divided by 2.Therefore, the formula for obtaining correct RPM speed is:fan speed [rpm] frequency [Hz] 60 2The calculation for the above example waveform is:86 [Hz] 2 60 2580 [rpm]Designed in Austria, Noctua’s premium cooling components are internationally renowned for their superb quietness, exceptional performance and thoroughgoing quality. Having received morethan 6000 awards and recommendations from leading hardware websites and magazines, Noctua’s fans and heatsinks are serving hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers around the globe.www.noctua.at

Noctua PWM specifications white paperLocked rotor wave formsDesigned in Austria, Noctua’s premium cooling components are internationally renowned for their superb quietness, exceptional performance and thoroughgoing quality. Having received morethan 6000 awards and recommendations from leading hardware websites and magazines, Noctua’s fans and heatsinks are serving hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers around the globe.www.noctua.at

Noctua PWM specifications white paperPWM control input signalAs specified by Intel (c.f. “4-Wire Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) Controlled Fans”, IntelCorporation September 2005, revision 1.3), the square wave type PWM signal has to besupplied to the PWM input (pin 4) of the fan and must conform to thefollowing specifications: Target frequency: 25kHz, acceptable range 21kHz to 28kHzMaximum voltage for logic low: VIL 0,8VAbsolute maximum current sourced: Imax 5mA (short circuit current)Absolute maximum voltage level: VMax 5,25V (open circuit voltage)Allowed duty-cycle range 0% to 100%The signal is not inverted, 100% PWM duty cycle ( 5V DC) results in maximum fan speed.External pull-up is not necessary as the signal is pulled up to 3,3V/5V inside the fan.WARNING: Connecting 12V or 24V supply voltage to the PWM pin (pin 4) will instantlydamage the fan.Designed in Austria, Noctua’s premium cooling components are internationally renowned for their superb quietness, exceptional performance and thoroughgoing quality. Having received morethan 6000 awards and recommendations from leading hardware websites and magazines, Noctua’s fans and heatsinks are serving hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers around the globe.www.noctua.at

Noctua PWM specifications white paperFan speed response to PWM control signalThe fan‘s speed scales broadly linear with the duty-cycle of the PWM signal betweenmaximum speed at 100% PWM and the specified minimum speed at 20% PWM (seewww.noctua.at for individual fan specifications): For example, the NF-A12x25 PWM hasa maximum speed of 2000rpm and a minimum PWM speed of 450rpm, so it will run at2000rpm at 100% PWM, 450rpm at 20% PWM and around 1100rpm at 50% PWM:Operation below 20% PWM duty-cycle is not officially supported in the Intel specification(undefined behaviour). However, most Noctua PWM fans can be operated at below 20%and will stop at 0% duty-cycle. Only the following models keep running at their specifiedminimum speed when the input is below 20%: NF-A20 PWM, NF-S12B redux 1200 PWMand NF-B9 redux 1600 PWMThe fans operate at full rated speed if there is no PWM input signal.Designed in Austria, Noctua’s premium cooling components are internationally renowned for their superb quietness, exceptional performance and thoroughgoing quality. Having received morethan 6000 awards and recommendations from leading hardware websites and magazines, Noctua’s fans and heatsinks are serving hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers around the globe.www.noctua.at

Noctua PWM specifications white paperDriving circuitThere are no special requirements for the circuits that generate the PWM signal.However, Noctua recommends to use a CMOS-inverter type circuit as shown below. Thisis the very circuit that is used for GPIO pins inside most micro-controllers.There are no special requirements for the circuits that generate the PWM signal.However, Noctua recommends to use a CMOS-inverter type circuit as shown below. Thisis the very circuit that is used for GPIO pins inside most micro-controllers.Additional recommendationsFor applications that only require manual rather than automatic speed control, Noctua’sNA-FC1 is a small, easy and straightforward way to control 5 and 12V PWM fans in nonPC environments.Designed in Austria, Noctua’s premium cooling components are internationally renowned for their superb quietness, exceptional performance and thoroughgoing quality. Having received morethan 6000 awards and recommendations from leading hardware websites and magazines, Noctua’s fans and heatsinks are serving hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers around the globe.www.noctua.at

Fan speed response to PWM control signal The fan‘s speed scales broadly linear with the duty-cycle of the PWM signal between maximum speed at 100% PWM and the specified minimum speed at 20% PWM (see www.noctua.at for individual fan specifications): For example, the NF-A12x25 PWM has a maximum speed of 2000r

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