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.

High-Frequency Switching Converters reduce cost and board footprint in your next 8-Bit Embedded Design

Reducing bill of materials (BOM) cost and footprint area are among the top design considerations for microcontroller (MCU)-based embedded designs. One way to achieve these design goals in 8-bit MCU designs with switching converters is to drive these switching converters with a high-frequency clock output rather than with a traditional pulse-width modulation (PWM) output at lower frequencies. This technique enables a reduction in the switching converter inductor size, resulting in reduced BOM cost and board space requirements. Read More...

Long-living products defy conventional wisdom

Winning products can have viable production lifetimes of decades, despite our "here today, obsolete tomorrow" thinking. Read More...

ON Semi plus Fairchild Semi equals power management squared for designers

The combined resources of these two companies under strong engineering management and marketing direction will enhance their place in the power industry. Read More...

48V direct-conversion dramatically improves data-center energy efficiency

Direct conversion from 48V down to IC-rail voltages offers an attractive alternative to traditional power-distribution topologies using 48V/12V point-of-load converters. Read More...

Samsung recall: Tech solutions to enhance lithium-ion battery safety

Lithium-ion batteries have exhibited problems in laptops, electric vehicles, hoverboards, on aircraft, and in smartphones. What technology can help prevent such disasters? Read More...

The gap between renewable energy promises and reality

Broad statements about the potential of renewable energy may make you feel good, but the harsh reality is that engineers may be faulted for not delivering on them. Read More...

Power and energy monitor integrates 300μΩ sense resistor

When circuit board designers need to perform an accurate monitoring of a low voltage, high current application, they can now utilize the LTC2947 power and energy monitor from Linear Tech. Read More...

10-bit oscilloscopes adjust to signal conditions

Using a combination of clock and data offsets, the Teledyne LeCroy HDO9000 oscilloscopes can adjust to signal conditions. Read More...

Keeping it green with faster startup and less standby power

Replacing traditional bootstrap startup circuitry, which only dissipates power during power up, can reduce standby power and provide much faster startup when compared to traditional bootstrap circuitry. Read More...

USB Power Delivery: Compliance is essential

USB Power Delivery has many aspects that include protocols, sourcing, and sinking. Compliance test assures that your product will properly deliver and receive power. Read More...

Powering wearable electronics: a new dimension

Wearables is a prime target for a conditioning technology which enables the use of highly efficient PFM DC-DC voltage conversion in noise-sensitive applications. Read More...

LTC Design Note: 42V quad monolithic synchronous step-down regulator with 30μA quiescent current

This circuit impresses with four 2.2MHz bucks in a tiny package. Read More...

New UPS efficiency standards proposed for U.S.

Are uninterruptible power supplies about to become more energy efficient in the U.S.? Read More...

Reach beyond traditional powering scenarios with ultralow IQ buck-boost converters

The buck-boost converter’s three-way flexibility can replace two ICs (a separate buck converter or a low-dropout linear regulator, plus a boost converter), which greatly enhances battery life in portable systems. Read More...

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LTC Design Note: 42V quad monolithic synchronous step-down regulator with 30μA quiescent current

This circuit impresses with four 2.2MHz bucks in a tiny package. Read More...

Charge-pump topology doubles voltage, breaks DC path

This unusual charge-pump voltage multiplier Design Idea not only doubles the input, but has a pseudo-floating output. Read More...

LTC Design Note: Dual 9A, step-down μModule regulator with digital power system management

This power micro-module includes voltage control and telemetry readback (including temperature, Vin/out, & Iin/out) via PMBus. Read More...

Circuit delivers constant power to a load

Here’s a novel way to supply constant power to an ill-defined load. Read More...

LTC Design Note: Determine balancing current for the LTC3305 lead-acid battery balancer

Delve into PTC thermistor intricacies to optimize battery-balancing designs. Read More...

LM317 smooths but doesn't regulate

I once needed to clean up a power supply output, but it didn't need to be regulated. Read More...

UVP protects rechargeable batteries

Protect rechargeable batteries from deep discharge with this UVP & load switch. Read More...

LTC Design Note: Monolithic linear battery charger operates from inputs up to 60V

For lower current, keep-alive battery charging, a simple yet richly featured linear solution can be ideal. Read More...

New slope compensation method stabilizes switchers

Add slope compensation to any switching controller and topology. Read More...

Circuit remotely adjusts PSU voltage

This DI circuit allows for remote regulator/PSU programmability or trimming. Read More...

LTC Design Note: 55V High efficiency buck-boost power manager and multi-chemistry battery charger

A versatile, efficient, multi-chemistry battery charger design operates in buck & boost modes. Read More...

Shunt circuit clips large transients or regulates voltage

This clipper/shunt Design Idea is scalable from low to very high currents. Read More...

LTC Design Note: Control the voltage of a remote load over any length of copper wire

Read about how a unique component compensates for DC conductor loss without using extra sense wires. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

25-W converters accept 4:1 input range

DC/DC converters in the AXA 25W series from Artesyn come in single and dual-output configurations for a wide range of low-power applications. Read More...

Plug-ins configure 1U power platform

The nanofleX series of AC/DC power supplies from XP Power leverages a 1U mechanical chassis that accommodates up to four single-slot plug-ins. Read More...

Shielded converters supply 15 W

DC/DC converters in TDK-Lambda’s CCG15S series operate over a 4:1 input range and come in tiny six-sided shielded metal cases. Read More...

802.3bt controller supplies 71 W to PDs

The LT4295 PD interface controller from Linear Technology increases the power budget of the 802.3at PoE standard to enable new applications. Read More...

2.5-Gbps MUX eases Ethernet switch upgrade

Microsemi’s PDS-EM-8100 PoE 2.5-Gbps multiplexer allows the use of existing 1-Gpbs switches when upgrading to 2.5-Gbps technology. Read More...

Regulator permits current sharing to 300A

The LTM4650-1 current-mode, step-down regulator from Linear Technology furnishes a dual 25-A or single 50-A output. Read More...

800-V MOSFETs ramp up efficiency

Infineon’s 800-V CoolMOS P7 series offers up to 0.6% efficiency gain, which translates into a 2°C to 8°C lower MOSFET temperature. Read More...

AC/DC supplies boast PFC of 0.95

Residing on a 5×3×1.4-in. open pc board, AC/DC supplies in the MPO-500S series from MicoPower Direct furnish 500 W of output power. Read More...

Isolated converters have 4:1 input range

Housed in 1×1-in. encapsulated modules, the PDQ-D series of DC/DC converters from CUI provides single or dual regulated outputs at up to 30 W. Read More...

IC manages backup-battery switchover

Linear Technology’s LTC4420 dual-input monolithic power prioritizer for 1.8-V to 18-V systems keeps critical circuits alive during power loss. Read More...

Medical power supplies furnish 650 W

Occupying a 4×6-in. footprint, AC/DC power supplies in the CNS650-M series from Artesyn offer no-load power consumption of less than 500 mW. Read More...

10-bit oscilloscopes adjust to signal conditions

Using a combination of clock and data offsets, the Teledyne LeCroy HDO9000 oscilloscopes can adjust to signal conditions. Read More...

Power supplies are Industry 4.0 ready

Rated from 80 W to 400 W, the OBM33, OBM35, OBP37, and OBP38 AC/DC power supplies from Powerbox provide always-on operation. Read More...

Half-bridge power IC packs GaN FETs

The DA8801 from Dialog Semiconductor combines GaN power FETs with analog drivers, logic, and protection to form a 650-V half-bridge. Read More...

Power source delivers 18 kVA

Part of Pacific Power’s AFX series, the 3180AFX provides programmable AC, DC, and AC+DC power to single, split, or three phase loads. Read More...

Buck regulator is resistor-programmable

A current-mode step-down regulator from Linear Technology, the LTC3623 needs a single resistor to adjust its output from 14.5 V to 0 V. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

Teardown: Is the Mighty Charger a good investment?

Is a charger for alkaline batteries a good investment? And what internal circuitry helps it accomplish this objective? This review and teardown project attempts to answer both questions. Read More...

Teardown: Apple iPhone 6 Plus battery

A look at Apple's iPhone 6 battery helps nail down the one variable that determines manufacturing cost. Read More...

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...

>> SEE ALL

High-Frequency Switching Converters reduce cost and board footprint in your next 8-Bit Embedded Design

Reducing bill of materials (BOM) cost and footprint area are among the top design considerations for microcontroller (MCU)-based embedded designs. One way to achieve these design goals in 8-bit MCU designs with switching converters is to drive these switching converters with a high-frequency clock output rather than with a traditional pulse-width modulation (PWM) output at lower frequencies. This technique enables a reduction in the switching converter inductor size, resulting in reduced BOM cost and board space requirements. Read More...

48V direct-conversion dramatically improves data-center energy efficiency

Direct conversion from 48V down to IC-rail voltages offers an attractive alternative to traditional power-distribution topologies using 48V/12V point-of-load converters. Read More...

Samsung recall: Tech solutions to enhance lithium-ion battery safety

Lithium-ion batteries have exhibited problems in laptops, electric vehicles, hoverboards, on aircraft, and in smartphones. What technology can help prevent such disasters? Read More...

Power and energy monitor integrates 300μΩ sense resistor

When circuit board designers need to perform an accurate monitoring of a low voltage, high current application, they can now utilize the LTC2947 power and energy monitor from Linear Tech. Read More...

Keeping it green with faster startup and less standby power

Replacing traditional bootstrap startup circuitry, which only dissipates power during power up, can reduce standby power and provide much faster startup when compared to traditional bootstrap circuitry. Read More...

USB Power Delivery: Compliance is essential

USB Power Delivery has many aspects that include protocols, sourcing, and sinking. Compliance test assures that your product will properly deliver and receive power. Read More...

Powering wearable electronics: a new dimension

Wearables is a prime target for a conditioning technology which enables the use of highly efficient PFM DC-DC voltage conversion in noise-sensitive applications. Read More...

Reach beyond traditional powering scenarios with ultralow IQ buck-boost converters

The buck-boost converter’s three-way flexibility can replace two ICs (a separate buck converter or a low-dropout linear regulator, plus a boost converter), which greatly enhances battery life in portable systems. Read More...

Let’s clear the air: analog and power management of environmental sensor networks

This overview of a typical environmental sensor network system design for analyzing outdoor air focuses on analog and power management design aspects that can be employed in a smart city or region. Read More...

SiC-based MOSFETs offer dramatic benefits in automotive, power applications

As conventional silicon-based MOSFETs mature, they are now reaching their theoretical limits of performance. Wide band-gap semiconductor devices represent an interesting alternative for improving performance due to their electrical, thermal, and mechanical properties. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

Long-living products defy conventional wisdom

Winning products can have viable production lifetimes of decades, despite our "here today, obsolete tomorrow" thinking. Read More...

ON Semi plus Fairchild Semi equals power management squared for designers

The combined resources of these two companies under strong engineering management and marketing direction will enhance their place in the power industry. Read More...

The gap between renewable energy promises and reality

Broad statements about the potential of renewable energy may make you feel good, but the harsh reality is that engineers may be faulted for not delivering on them. Read More...

New UPS efficiency standards proposed for U.S.

Are uninterruptible power supplies about to become more energy efficient in the U.S.? Read More...

"Digital" sundial: ancient clock gets clever upgrade

Even this oldest of time-indicating instruments can be upgraded to "digital," but in a very non-obvious, non-electronic way. Read More...

The homes of EDN

Take a tour of EDN's office locations through the years, including the home of the print collection. Read More...

1950s vintage Design Ideas

EDN started publishing in 1956, and the Design Ideas section was there from the beginning. But … with a twist. Read More...

Electric plane design offers insight into design constraints

An aircraft with electric motors offers insight into design constraints but also invites new options. Read More...

Pot cores are not perfect

As good as these pot core transformers may be, the unwary can be surprised. Read More...

MAX232: The classic IC lives on since 1988

Maxim Integrated introduced the MAX232, a single 5V powered RS-232 line driver and receiver in 1988 and it's still used in new designs today. Read More...

Why have an internal cal lab?

Internal calibration labs can save money and you can get better service, but there is a significant up-front cost. Read More...

The Moto 360: Premature obsolescence out of design necessity?

Smart watch batteries can’t be user-replaceable without impacting their water resistance, size, and weight, which causes premature obsolescence when battery life issues occur. Read More...

Will tying tuition payments to graduate earnings discourage STEM?

Tying tuition repayment to income of graduates may be a good idea, but it may also be another case of taking advantage of engineers/scientists and their hard course of study. Read More...

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