Design 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.

Well marked yet mysterious coin cell teaches a small lesson

Sometimes what you think will be an easy problem to solve, especially with the power of Internet search, turns out to lead to a dead end; the constant lesson and reminder is "don't assume anything." Read More...

Power module redundancy

The power module is an integral part of the µTCA system. Read More...

Professor wants to change engineering education

Prof. Mark Somerville of Olin College of Engineering explains the culture of engineering education and why it no longer works. Read More...

IBM and Airlight team up to amplify the sun’s power with a Solar Concentrator

It almost seems too obvious that the way to increase photovoltaic panel efficiency is to amplify or magnify the sun’s rays. Read More...

Cree recent surge of SiC Power MOSFETs intros will help Power designers

I have noticed a recent surge of activity by Cree with their SiC line of power MOSFETs over the last two months as well as a new family of 50V GaN HEMT die. Read More...

Linear Technology 2A buck converter is 93% efficient at 2MHz

With many switching buck regulators on the market today that are capable of improving an automotive system design it is hard to choose the optimum one for your design. Read More...

Probes & software enhance impedance measurements

Probes and software from Picotest let you measure the stability of op-amps, filters, and power regulators while in-circuit. Read More...

The delta-q ruggedized industrialized battery charger

I recently found an industrial battery charger built like a tank. Read More...

Three digital power-houses create a new consortium

The founding members of AMP ---CUI, Ericsson Power Modules and Murata -- have formalized a cooperation that has been in place for some time between these power giants. Read More...

Unique battery pack architecture patented by Sendyne

DC/DC Converter and Charging Function in a Single Circuit, Allowing Constant Voltage Battery Packs. Read More...

Get SMU test results from an Android device

The IVy Android app from Keithley lets you set up tests and get data without programming. Read More...

Trends in power supply packaging – advances in component integration

Customers are pushing for increasing power per board and implementing ever more silicon on the PCB with the result that increasing processing density in high-end server designs will continue to have an impact on future power systems. Read More...

Guard-bands reduce MOSFET failures in space, part 2

Plots show how radiation affects ON resistance. Part 2 provides test code for selecting the proper guard band. Read More...

Guard-bands reduce MOSFET failures in space, part 1

MOSFETs that go into spacecraft power modules to drive motors need to functions properly after exposure to radiation. Part 1 explains shy guard bands are needed for dice testing. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

LTC Design Note: Active bridge rectifiers reduce heat dissipation within PoE security cameras

Use an “Ideal diode” in your next design. 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...

Low-side switch with fast turn-off for inductive loads

Ditch the freewheeling diode if you want fast turn off. Read More...

Avago Tech Note: Driving & protecting inverter IGBTs

A special purpose optocoupler can solve your IGBT gate-drive and fault-feedback needs. Read More...

Avago Tech Note: Reduce IGBT drive cost and space

Use an application-specific optocoupler for an elegant solution to IGBT drive and monitoring. Read More...

LTC Design Note: 65V 500mA step-down converter fits automotive and industrial applications

This switcher is happy to drop a 60V input all the way down to 0.8V. Read More...

Avoid problems with multiple DC-DC converters

Improve DC-DC converter design and application, and avoid potential problems with this synchronization circuit. Read More...

LTC Design Notes: Micropower Isolated Flyback Converter with Input Voltage Range from 6V to 100V

A tiny, integrated flyback converter requires minimal support components. Read More...

Smart ripple canceller offers near-zero dropout

Eliminate linear power supply ripple losslessly! Read More...

Design Notes: 60V, Synchronous Step-Down High Current LED Driver

Highly efficient high-power LED controller/driver also facilitates MPPT. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

Power op amp handles voltage levels up to 2500 V

Apex Microtechnology has expanded its portfolio of high-voltage operational amplifiers with the PA99, an off-the-shelf, single-package 2500-V power amp that addresses the demand for high-voltage operation required by power-supply and test-equipment manufacturers. Read More...

Linear Technology 2A buck converter is 93% efficient at 2MHz

With many switching buck regulators on the market today that are capable of improving an automotive system design it is hard to choose the optimum one for your design. Read More...

Apps help identify mobile code 'energy hotspots'

A software startup company based on a Purdue University innovation is helping to extend the life of smartphone batteries by helping application developers identify code that drains batteries quickly. Read More...

Chip power inductors suit power circuits of portables

ALPS Green Devices has developed the "GLCLK Series" and "GLCLM Series" Liqualloy Power Inductors, suitable for power supply circuits of displays for smartphones and other compact mobile devices, such as tablets and digital cameras. Read More...

Probes & software enhance impedance measurements

Probes and software from Picotest let you measure the stability of op-amps, filters, and power regulators while in-circuit. Read More...

The delta-q ruggedized industrialized battery charger

I recently found an industrial battery charger built like a tank. Read More...

Get SMU test results from an Android device

The IVy Android app from Keithley lets you set up tests and get data without programming. Read More...

4-kW HVDC supplies feature low noise and ripple

New LH series 4-kW open stack power supplies from Glassman High Voltage feature extremely low ripple – typically less than 0.1% peak to peak of rated voltage at full load - and noise. Read More...

DC/DC converters withstand harsh environments

Small and compact, the PKE3000PI and PKE5000PI series of 1x1-in. encapsulated DC/DC converters from Ericsson are suitable for deployment in industrial and railway/transportation applications, as well as remote power-feed installations. Read More...

DC/DC converters meet RF power-amplifier requirements

Two families of fully regulated DC/DC converters, the AVO100 and AVO250 series from Artesyn Embedded Technologies deliver power output up to 100 W and 250 W, respectively, to supply high-density, low-power radio power-amplifier applications, particularly small-cell systems. Read More...

Mixed-mode DC supplies provide continuous autoranging

Aimed at circuit design and verification, production testing, and quality assurance, the P961xA series of programmable, single-output DC power supplies offers continuous autoranging and power sequencing, as well as other features not found on competing models costing twice as much, according to manufacturer Pictotest. Read More...

300-V GaN transistor targets high-frequency applications

Efficient Power Conversion’s EPC2025 power transistor is a 300-V gallium nitride device capable of 2-ns rise rimes for high-frequency DC/DC converters, medical diagnostic instruments, power inverters, and LED lighting. Read More...

Software turns oscilloscope to motor-drive measurements

Teledyne LeCroy's HDO8000 12-bit oscilloscope now has software specifically for measuring power and efficiency on three-phase motor drives, variable-frequency drives, and the electronics that power them. Read More...

Power supplies combine linear and switching

Autoranging power supplies from Picotest deliver maximum power at any voltage/current setting. Read More...

SiC power module optimizes motor-drive designs

Cree’s SiC (silicon carbide) 1.7-kV half-bridge module—with integrated C2M MOSFET and Z-Rec diode—exhibits an on-resistance of 8 mΩ and 10 times higher switching efficiency than existing Si (silicon) modules, making it capable of replacing silicon IGBT power modules rated at 400 A or more. Read More...

B&K Precision expands power supply line

Model 9111 provides up to 180 of power for bench test. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

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...

Teardown: The power inverter - from sunlight to power grid

This teardown of a solar inverter card traces the path of harvested DC power from the photovoltaic panel, through boost conversion, power inverter and massive filtering of the created AC power signal required by the power grid. Surrounded by monitoring and microcontroller magic along with safety standard adherence, we uncover the mysteries of solar energy harvesting electronics. 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...

>> SEE ALL

Power module redundancy

The power module is an integral part of the µTCA system. Read More...

Single PN temperature sensor executes multiple functions

Here's how, with the addition of one more transistor and a few low-cost components, we can obtain many benefits. Read More...

IBM and Airlight team up to amplify the sun’s power with a Solar Concentrator

It almost seems too obvious that the way to increase photovoltaic panel efficiency is to amplify or magnify the sun’s rays. Read More...

Unique battery pack architecture patented by Sendyne

DC/DC Converter and Charging Function in a Single Circuit, Allowing Constant Voltage Battery Packs. Read More...

Position encoding in battery-powered electronics

Fast position measurements, like those required for motor control, require fast evaluation and pulsing of Hall sensors, and metering applications need a slow sampling rate. Here’s a solution fit for both. Read More...

Trends in power supply packaging – advances in component integration

Customers are pushing for increasing power per board and implementing ever more silicon on the PCB with the result that increasing processing density in high-end server designs will continue to have an impact on future power systems. Read More...

Nikola Tesla and Wireless Power future

Wireless power transfer, especially for battery charging, is a growing and dynamic market trend in portable electronics and also Electric Vehicles in the near future. Nikola Tesla first ushered in the concept and demonstrated his theory in the late 1800s. Read More...

Top 5 things to know about wireless power design

Recent advances in components, chips, and system architectures allow engineers to readily implement wireless power into their devices. So, let’s examine the top five things to know about wireless power design. Read More...

Is FPGA power design ready for concurrent engineering?

Know what your power designer needs from you. Read More...

Missing datasheet details can cause problems

A lack of information on a datasheet lead to system crashes from a hot-swap controller. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

Testing times for design engineers

Characterising subsystems containing high-power devices switching at megahertz/gigahertz frequencies with very fast edges is stretching the capabilities of measurement equipment, and we all have to become test engineers to understand what's inside the box, the sources of errors, and how to use DSOs, VNAs, TDRs and spectrum analysers properly. Read More...

Well marked yet mysterious coin cell teaches a small lesson

Sometimes what you think will be an easy problem to solve, especially with the power of Internet search, turns out to lead to a dead end; the constant lesson and reminder is "don't assume anything." Read More...

Making things perfectly clear

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently distributed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) for Test Procedures for External Power Supplies (EPSs). Read More...

Cree recent surge of SiC Power MOSFETs intros will help Power designers

I have noticed a recent surge of activity by Cree with their SiC line of power MOSFETs over the last two months as well as a new family of 50V GaN HEMT die. Read More...

Simpler superconducting promised by nanowire device

MIT researchers have developed a new circuit design that could make simple superconducting devices much cheaper to manufacture. Read More...

DesignCon Awards nominations open

DesignCon’s Best in Design & Test Awards and the DesignCon Engineer of the Year Award recognize the best of the best in engineering and new product advancements at the chip, board, or system level, with a special emphasis on signal integrity and power integrity. Read More...

Three digital power-houses create a new consortium

The founding members of AMP ---CUI, Ericsson Power Modules and Murata -- have formalized a cooperation that has been in place for some time between these power giants. Read More...

Guard-bands reduce MOSFET failures in space, part 2

Plots show how radiation affects ON resistance. Part 2 provides test code for selecting the proper guard band. Read More...

Guard-bands reduce MOSFET failures in space, part 1

MOSFETs that go into spacecraft power modules to drive motors need to functions properly after exposure to radiation. Part 1 explains shy guard bands are needed for dice testing. Read More...

IBM 'sunflower' solar concentrator produces energy and hot water

Resembling a 10-m-high sunflower, a high-concentration photovoltaic thermal system from IBM and Airlight Energy can generate 12 kW of power and 20 kW of heat on a sunny day - enough to power several average homes. Read More...

Getting a high score in video game efficiency

Video game consoles could become a lot greener if the European Commission’s (EC) Ecodesign Directive group approves a “self-regulatory initiative” (SRI) to reduce game console energy consumption. Read More...

Guest Blog: New Sensor Hub Capabilities Create More User Context Questions

While new low-power sensors and sensor hubs are ushering in a wealth of new devices, context awareness is becoming more important than ever. The solutions are delivering as much in the way of questions as answers. Read More...

Memory of "memory effect" provides cautionary lesson

Old stories can live long after their reality had changed, and can waste time and energy in a project's design and debug phases. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

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