ESC Con 2015

Power Management

Steve Taranovich
Editor
In-depth technical information, product advancements, and industry news for engineers responsible for designing, specifying, or selecting power sources for electronics applications. Topics include power supplies, power management and regulation components, batteries, digital power, and alternative energy technology.

Linear Technology knows how to make a Power uModule

There is an art to designing a power supply that is fully enclosed in a compact molded plastic package. Read More...

New demands on DC-link power capacitors

Due to the continuous development of power electronics following the trends of miniaturisation, increase of reliability, and improve-ment of efficiency, concrete demands on electronic components are claimed. Since new technologies and materials for semiconductors were successful introduced in the market in the last years, an improvement of passive components is mandatory as well. This paper introduces a new robust capacitor technology overcoming limits in the high temperature range and power density. Unique device features and characteristics will be explained enabling new ideas in power electronic designs. Furthermore, low inductive design solutions are discussed and an outlook for further developments is given. Read More...

Medical devices: Where wireless charging has real impact

A very different implementation consumer-product wireless power transfer may allow easier recharging of deeply implanted, tiny medical devices Read More...

Verilog-AMS vs. SPICE view: An SoC verification comparison

It is important to weigh the pros and cons of a Verilog/Verilog-AMS view versus a SPICE view for all the analog blocks and IPs within a SoC. Read More...

Cold Fusion: Still alive & kicking (But perhaps without the fusion)

The history of scientific discovery is littered with examples of "pathological science" - an area of research where experimenters are tricked into accepting false results by a combination of subjective effects, unrecognized experimental errors, and wishful thinking. Read More...

“Booting Up” a California Computer Efficiency Standard?

In March, the California Energy Commission (CEC) published their proposed minimum energy efficiency requirements for computers and displays. Read More...

Unique Intersil thermal design removes heat from encapsulated, compact 50A power modules

Intersil has designed fully-encapsulated switching power supply modules in very small footprints Read More...

Altera’s new Power Management team kicks it into high gear

Who would know how to optimally power Altera FPGAs better than their own power management team? Read More...

More about TI at APEC and other product introductions

While at APEC this year I sat down with Ramanan Natarijan, AC-DC Product Marketing Manager from the High Performance Isolated Power Team and we discussed some interesting new product offerings. Read More...

LTC Design Note: Dual 13A μModule regulator with digital interface for remote monitoring & control of power

Digital power system management (PSM) enables on-demand telemetry capability to set, monitor, change, and log power parameters of dual high-current parallelable regulators. Read More...

7 data-acquisition systems attach directly to sensors

When assembling a data-acquisition system, be sure to compare these systems that require no external signal conditioning. Sensors connect directly to the systems. Read More...

Reversed power converter promises to revolutionize power applications

The new device, the LT-minus-1000, is a reversed power converter. Operating on normal dark input power, it supplies inverse power on the output. Designed for general purpose inverse power applications, it can supply up to inverse 30 watts. Read More...

Switched-capacitor AC-DC/DC-DC converters boost efficiency in power supplies

In the power electronics industry, companies celebrate when gaining a fraction of a percent efficiency in their product. In today’s energy market, efficiency is the “Holy Grail” of specifications. Read More...

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LTC Design Note: Dual 13A μModule regulator with digital interface for remote monitoring & control of power

Digital power system management (PSM) enables on-demand telemetry capability to set, monitor, change, and log power parameters of dual high-current parallelable regulators. Read More...

MOSFET-based Joule Thief steps up voltage

This Design Idea illustrates a novel approach to the Joule Thief circuit. Read More...

Simple SSR has zero-cross on/off switching

This AC solid-state relay enables zero-cross switching with quite a simple design. Read More...

Transient load gives power systems a workout

Verify power supply performance with this transient load generator. Read More...

Series-connected MOSFETs increase voltage & power handling

A constant-current charger for a high-energy capacitor bank uses multiple MOSFETs to increase voltage and power-handling capabilities. Read More...

Sleep easy with this desk fan speed reducer

This innovative AC motor control skips cycles. Read More...

LTC Design Note: Versatile industrial power supply takes high voltage input and yields from eight 1A to two 4A outputs

This ultra-flexible, highly-featured switching regulator IC might be perfect for your next complex and/or industrial design. Read More...

Flyback switcher works down to 1.1V, flashes HBLEDs

Check out this DI if you need voltage step-up from a single cell. Read More...

Load switch with self-resetting circuit breaker

Protect both load and driver with this elegant little Design Idea. Read More...

LTC Design Note: High performance single phase DC/DC controller with power system management

This DC-DC controller incorporates power system management and high-precision data converters. Read More...

Improve efficiency of low-cost switcher

Reduce losses by over 30%, and improve Vin(min) too, on a 34063-based or similar switcher. Read More...

Variable HV power supply employs photovoltaic optocoupler

This unusual topology saved the day when a higher-voltage variable supply was needed. Read More...

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Linear Technology knows how to make a Power uModule

There is an art to designing a power supply that is fully enclosed in a compact molded plastic package. Read More...

AC/DC supplies deliver 600 W at high temperatures

Operating from a nominal 110-VAC input, conduction-cooled AC/DC power supplies in the LCC600 series from Artesyn maintain their full rated output power of 600 W up to the maximum baseplate temperature of +85°C without derating. Read More...

Buck converter starts up in just 70 ms

The LTC3887 dual-output synchronous step-down DC/DC converter from Linear Technology differs from its predecessor, the LTC3880, by offering an enhanced feature set that includes a faster 70-ms power-up time, higher output voltage, and a speedy ADC mode that provides an 8-ms update rate for one parameter. Read More...

Unique Intersil thermal design removes heat from encapsulated, compact 50A power modules

Intersil has designed fully-encapsulated switching power supply modules in very small footprints Read More...

High-voltage buck regulators stay cool in tiny packages

A family of pin-compatible synchronous step-down switching regulators with integrated power switches, the MIC28511/12/13 from Micrel, supplies up to 4 A of output current (MIC28513) and accepts a wide input supply range of 4.6 V to 70 V (MIC28512). Read More...

Two-channel SMU sources and sinks

The GS820 source-measure unit from Yokogawa is available in 18 V and 50 V models. Read More...

600-W supplies deliver up to 650 VDC

TDK-Lambda has extended its Z+ series of programmable DC power supplies with the addition of 600-W high-voltage models to address the requirements of deposition processes, remotely operated underwater vehicles, and ATE systems, as well as general laboratory and industrial applications. Read More...

More about TI at APEC and other product introductions

While at APEC this year I sat down with Ramanan Natarijan, AC-DC Product Marketing Manager from the High Performance Isolated Power Team and we discussed some interesting new product offerings. Read More...

PMU IC combines small form factor, high efficiency

A four-channel buck DC/DC converter with a PMBus/I2C digital interface, the TPS65400 from Texas Instruments, is especially well-suited for space-constrained automotive and communication applications that experience high ambient operating temperature without cooling, such as small-cell base stations, infotainment systems, and solid-state drives. Read More...

Buck-boost micromodules accept up to 60-V input

Two buck-boost µModule regulators from Linear Technology, the LTM8055 and LTM8056 integrate an inductor, DC/DC regulator, MOSFETs, and supporting components in a compact 15x15x492-mm BGA, seamlessly regulating an output voltage equal to, greater, or less than the input voltage. Read More...

Reversed power converter promises to revolutionize power applications

The new device, the LT-minus-1000, is a reversed power converter. Operating on normal dark input power, it supplies inverse power on the output. Designed for general purpose inverse power applications, it can supply up to inverse 30 watts. Read More...

Zener-enhanced Dark Emitting Diodes (ZeDEDs) deliver 10X more Dark per Watt

YoYo Dyne Systems' new family of Zener-enhanced dark-emitting diodes (ZeDEDs) features a novel junction structure and an integrated light sink to achieve a 10X boost in performance over equivalent-sized conventional darkness emitters. Read More...

Step-down driver furnishes up to 40 A of LED current

The LT3744 synchronous step-down DC/DC converter from Linear Technology delivers constant current to drive high-current LEDs, while its 3.3-V to 36-V input voltage range accommodates a wide variety of applications, including industrial, DLP (digital light processing) projection, and architectural lighting. Read More...

Micro PMIC squeezes into wearable devices

A multiple-rail PMIC (power-management IC) complete with battery-charging circuitry, the AS3701 from ams comes in a tiny chip-scale package that is just 2x2x0.4 mm for use in products that operate from a single lithium-ion cell, such as smart watches, sports bands, wearable medical devices, handheld GPS units, and mobile phones. Read More...

500-W converters tolerate extreme environments

Packaged in watertight IP66-rated enclosures with sealed circular connectors, DC/DC converters in the HVI 500-D3G series from Absopulse are immune to the effects of rain, humidity, sand, dust, oil, and other contaminants found in harsh industrial, marine, military, and power-generation environments. Read More...

15W TRIAC-dimmable, Energy Star-compliant LED drivers work smoothly with nearly any dimmer

Although Phihong USA's new series of 15W TRIAC-dimmable constant current LED drivers sacrifices some efficiency and power quality performance for the sake of compatibility and cost, the drivers are still worth considering for many applications. Read More...

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Teardown: Cell-phone charger: nice idea done right

The Mophie juice pack powerstation mini smartphone and USB-device battery charger demonstrates the ability to provide more than twice the battery life to your smartphone while still keeping a low-profile shape that slips right into your pocket. Read More...

Teardown: Gigabit Ethernet switch shut down by lightning strike

A lightning bolt-generated EMP may have entered through the switch's port(s) and KO'd the controller inside. What are your theories? Read More...

Teardown: Samsung Galaxy S4

TechInsights examines the innards of Samsung's latest and greatest smartphone. Read More...

Cell-phone charger: nice idea, bad implementation

Now and again you come across a device that’s so simple, useful, and functional that you’re glad to add it to your already-overladen workbag; that is, until it breaks, for the dumbest of design reasons. Read More...

Evaluate your application's energy-harvesting vibrational profile with a Slam Stick

To know whether your application is suitable for vibrational energy harvesting, you must determine its vibrational profile. Mide Technology's Slam Stick data logger and open-source software can ease your profiling task. Read More...

What's inside a smart meter? iFixit tears it down

When iFixit's Kyle Wiens had the opportunity to tear down an Elster smart meter, he jumped at it—not to come up with a repair manual but to evaluate the health and safety issues that seem to surround the utilities’ installation of smart meters. Read More...

Simple battery technology packs in more features with complex chemistries

The basic components are the same across all rechargeable lithium-ion cells, the workhorses of portable energy storage. Read More...

Way, way off the grid: Powering the Phoenix Mars lander

Prying Eyes: An inside look at the power-generation, -regulation, and -delivery system for the Phoenix Mars lander. Read More...

Microfuel cell enables ubiquitous computing

Prying Eyes examines a fuel-cell-based power pack for handheld devices, such as cell phones and MP3 players. Read More...

Hybrids mark the end of the stinky city bus

Prying Eyes looks inside a hybrid gas-electric bus powered by 288 ultracapacitors. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

New demands on DC-link power capacitors

Due to the continuous development of power electronics following the trends of miniaturisation, increase of reliability, and improve-ment of efficiency, concrete demands on electronic components are claimed. Since new technologies and materials for semiconductors were successful introduced in the market in the last years, an improvement of passive components is mandatory as well. This paper introduces a new robust capacitor technology overcoming limits in the high temperature range and power density. Unique device features and characteristics will be explained enabling new ideas in power electronic designs. Furthermore, low inductive design solutions are discussed and an outlook for further developments is given. Read More...

Cold Fusion: Still alive & kicking (But perhaps without the fusion)

The history of scientific discovery is littered with examples of "pathological science" - an area of research where experimenters are tricked into accepting false results by a combination of subjective effects, unrecognized experimental errors, and wishful thinking. Read More...

Powering LED Lighting & Other Illumination Devices: Part 3

This third installment of a multi-part series on design issues in LED lighting explores the capabilities of the LT3799, a high-power factor, self-isolated, TRIAC-compatible LED driver. It includes several practical examples of how these properties can be used to solve common design issues for LED applications in a simple, cost-effective manner. Read More...

Altera’s new Power Management team kicks it into high gear

Who would know how to optimally power Altera FPGAs better than their own power management team? Read More...

7 data-acquisition systems attach directly to sensors

When assembling a data-acquisition system, be sure to compare these systems that require no external signal conditioning. Sensors connect directly to the systems. Read More...

Powering LED Lighting & Other Illumination Devices: Part 2 (Updated)

This second installment of a multi-part series includes several practical examples based on the LT3791 is a 4-switch synchronous buck-boost DC/DC converter that regulates both constant-current and constant voltage at up to 98.5% efficiency with a single inductor. Read More...

Switched-capacitor AC-DC/DC-DC converters boost efficiency in power supplies

In the power electronics industry, companies celebrate when gaining a fraction of a percent efficiency in their product. In today’s energy market, efficiency is the “Holy Grail” of specifications. Read More...

Bias power made easy

High-voltage IC technology simplifies AC/DC bias supply designs. Read More...

How to get higher efficiency at lower loads: A new LLC platform makes it possible

A new platform for power supplies helps designers meet regulatory requirements while also saving on the bill of materials Read More...

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Medical devices: Where wireless charging has real impact

A very different implementation consumer-product wireless power transfer may allow easier recharging of deeply implanted, tiny medical devices Read More...

Confessions of a low power addict

Figuring out how to triple battery life using only software changes can get you hooked on low-power design techniques. Read More...

“Booting Up” a California Computer Efficiency Standard?

In March, the California Energy Commission (CEC) published their proposed minimum energy efficiency requirements for computers and displays. Read More...

Can you use supercaps to power electric vehicles?

The high energy density of supercapacitors makes them seem like a good fit for EVs compared to batteries, and one such suggestion was awarded an honorable mention—but is it really technically viable, or even a good idea? Read More...

Tougher Light Bulb Efficiency/Performance Requirements for the U.S.?

The future could get brighter using less power for U.S. consumers if the Department of Energy (DOE) decides to pass tougher General Service Lamp (GSL) standards. Read More...

Linduino Power System Management (PSM)

While many engineers use a dongle and tools to configure Power System Management devices via PMBus, a growing number of designs are adding Board Management Controllers, or connecting their PMBus to an existing microcontroller or application processor. Read More...

Ensuring power efficiency in variable-frequency A/C systems

Active power factor correction can ensure that more of the power delivered to a home is used productively. Read More...

Farewell, Leonard Nimoy

EDN bids farewell to the actor who inspired many to become engineers and scientists. Read More...

It's time to SPICE up your life!

Earlier this year, I decided to get hot and spicy and compare the performance of three graphical SPICE circuit simulators to develop stable voltage regulators for space electronics. Read More...

Where is GaN going?

Alex Lidow looks at the current applications for GaN, the ones on the near horizon, and industry analyst predictions. Read More...

The inductive nature of voltage-control loops

The inductance of a voltage regulator depends on its load current. The math proves it. Read More...

Power electronics rise at DesignCon

What’s so special about DesignCon? With a 20-year history behind it, DesignCon is a conference that inspires fierce loyalty and commitment from its attendees and speakers. Here are some reflections on DesignCon 2015 from Steve Sandler, an engineer focused on power electronics. Read More...

Don’t neglect the humble battery connector

We pay considerable attention to batteries and their technologies, but the lowly connector is just as important to a successful, reliable DC supply. Read More...

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