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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.

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...

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...

B&K Precision expands power supply line

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

DC/DC digital controller aids infrastructure power systems

The ZL8801 DC/DC digital PWM controller from Intersil provides a single dual-phase output for applications ranging from 40 A to 100 A, while parallel operation enables up to eight phases and over 300 A of load current for high-end FPGAs and ASICs employed in densely populated power supplies in servers, storage equipment, and base stations. Read More...

Power management for wearables: Designer options

The wearables sector is growing wildly and demands small, low-power/efficient and flexible functional solutions. Here are some power design options for the very challenging wearables arena. 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...

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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...

Latching power switch uses momentary pushbutton

This could be the cheapest way yet to convert a momentary switch into an on-off power controller. Read More...

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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...

DC/DC digital controller aids infrastructure power systems

The ZL8801 DC/DC digital PWM controller from Intersil provides a single dual-phase output for applications ranging from 40 A to 100 A, while parallel operation enables up to eight phases and over 300 A of load current for high-end FPGAs and ASICs employed in densely populated power supplies in servers, storage equipment, and base stations. Read More...

Power management for wearables: Designer options

The wearables sector is growing wildly and demands small, low-power/efficient and flexible functional solutions. Here are some power design options for the very challenging wearables arena. Read More...

Tiny converters tout adjustable high-voltage output

Housed in miniature epoxy-encapsulated packages, 3-W DC/DC converters in the SAR series from Pico Electronics operate from a 5- V or 12-V input and provide a single isolated 100-V to 1500-V output that is adjustable down to 0 V. 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...

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

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...

Accurate compact thermal models of three-die power packages

Thermal management of electronic systems is becoming more important in a wide variety of electronic applications — including computers, telecommunications equipment and semiconductor devices, as well as aerospace, automotive and consumer electronics. Read More...

Using IGBT thermal calculations to optimize power designs

How to measure the power dissipation in the two components and calculate both the average and peak junction temperatures using the thetas for the IGBT and diode. Read More...

Book Review: Switching Power Supply, Design and Optimization

How do you cover such an extensive subject as Switching Power Supplies in one book? Read More...

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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...

Pesky parasitics

As transistor sizes continue to shrink and more and more logic is placed next to analog circuits, digital-switching noise propagates through the substrate and power distribution network, degrading the functionality of the sensitive analog circuitry. Read More...

Is a shark biting your product?

In the category of unexpected hazards, sharks are biting into undersea optical-fiber cables. Are the sharks sensing the electric field, or just checking out what's new in their play area? Read More...

Tattoo bio-batteries produce power from sweat

Researchers University of California San Diego have designed a sensor in the form of a temporary tattoo that can both monitor a person's progress during exercise and the tattoo biobatteries can also produce power from the perspiration. Read More...

Are your batteries ready to fly?

High-density lithium-based batteries are both a big boon and a large risk; on aircraft, the risk part becomes a larger factor. Read More...

Electric drive moves to two wheels

Just as Tesla brought style to the electric car market, the entry of electric vehicles from Zero and Harley Davidson promise to move the electric motorcycle market away from the traditional scooter look. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

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