ESC Silicon Valley

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.

LTC Design Note: 10A μModule step-down regulator with advanced input and load protection

This switcher design has comprehensive electrical and thermal protection, and high efficiency over wide input-output ranges. Read More...

DIY thermo-electric modules make backwoods power from your wood stove

If you've ever wanted to mess with thermo-electric generators (TEGs), there's a great web site which offers all the parts to make your own wood-fired electron pump. TEGs are basically over-sized thermocouples which convert the heat of your stove or other heat source into electricity – and a great way to generate a bit of power when its dark out or lugging around a bunch of solar panels isn't practical. Read More...

Keeping smart lamps “Energy-Efficiency Smart”

Watch out – that smart light bulb you just purchased may not be so smart after all. Read More...

Picking the right PWM controller for narrow on-time step-down conversion

Selecting a PWM controller has become less straight forward as leading edge DSPs, FPGAs and CPUs run on increasingly lower supply voltages and consume higher current. Sub 1V voltages are becoming ubiquitous while intermediate bus voltages have stayed the same or increased, depending on the application. System frequencies also have steadily increased to support smaller inductor and capacitor (L&C) filtering. Last year’s 500kHz is today’s 1MHz. Read More...

DC/DC converter PCB layout, Part 3

In this final installment, I cover steps 5 and 6: the routing of critical traces for the gate drives, current sense and feedback network; and a review of power and ground (GND) plane design of the multilayer PCB substrate as well as ground separation techniques. Read More...

Powering Ethernet, Part 2: Optimizing Power Consumption during Standby Operation

Power consumption during the standby operation is also of concern, especially when designing to specifications such as the ‘One Watt Initiative.’ Read More...

DC/DC converter PCB layout, Part 2

High efficiency, high density and low production costs drive the continual development of DC/DC converters for an increasingly wide range of power supply applications for automotive, industrial, personal electronics and communications markets. Read More...

DC/DC converter PCB layout, Part 1

Fundamental to careful system design of any DC/DC power converter is a well-planned and carefully executed printed circuit board (PCB) layout. An optimized layout leads to better performance, lower cost and faster time-to-market. Read More...

Powering Ethernet, Part 1: Designing for Low Power Consumption in Operation

Analyzing power consumption in Ethernet circuitry shows it to be far from efficient. This is in part because Ethernet consumes similar energy during both traffic and idle periods, and in fact, idle periods typically account for more than 97 percent of the time. Read More...

Rogue waves can ruin your power

In this video, Steve Sandler explains why power distribution networks need flat impedance to avoid creating unwanted resonant signals. Read More...

Sensor Ganging—Optimize power in a capacitive sensing system--Part 1

Here’s how to optimize power consumption in a capacitive sensing system, utilizing sensor ganging with a capacitive sensing controller. Use cases of sensor ganging are covered. Read More...

Charging batteries rapidly and safely

Any hobbyist can charge a battery quickly, but can you do it without an explosion, excessive heating or major degradation in battery cycle life? Read More...

3D Power Packaging with Focus on Embedded Substrate Technologies

A Special Project of the PSMA Packaging Committee March 2015 Read More...

Product How-to: Measure heat usage in a radiator and gather consumption data for modern “Green” analysis

Tracking energy use is recognized as more and more important in today’s world. It makes perfect sense to see the proliferation of smart energy meters and programmable thermostats that emerged in recent years. Read More...

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AC power measurement uses PWM & PAM

Use clever pulse modulation techniques to multiply signals and measure power. Read More...

LTC Design Note: 10A μModule step-down regulator with advanced input and load protection

This switcher design has comprehensive electrical and thermal protection, and high efficiency over wide input-output ranges. Read More...

LTC Design Note: Monolithic no-opto isolated flyback converter provides versatile solution

This versatile chip handles flyback, buck, boost, and negative input, and features low standby current and up to 18W output. 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...

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...

>> SEE ALL

DIY thermo-electric modules make backwoods power from your wood stove

If you've ever wanted to mess with thermo-electric generators (TEGs), there's a great web site which offers all the parts to make your own wood-fired electron pump. TEGs are basically over-sized thermocouples which convert the heat of your stove or other heat source into electricity – and a great way to generate a bit of power when its dark out or lugging around a bunch of solar panels isn't practical. Read More...

PFC controllers excel under light-load conditions

Aimed at applications with continuous power demands of up to 405 W for universal input and 900 W for high line, the HiperPFS-3 family of power-factor-correction ICs from Power Integrations achieves efficiency levels of better than 95% from 10% load to full load and consumes less than 60 mW under no-load conditions. Read More...

Step-down regulator allows PMBus monitoring

Linear Technology’s LTM4675 dual 9-A or single 18-A µModule regulator is outfitted with a PMBus-compliant I2C serial interface that enables system designers and remote operators to command and supervise a system’s power condition and consumption. Read More...

Mini SIP converters deliver 1 W

DC/DC converters in the ME100SE series from MicroPower Direct come in tiny 4-pin single-in-line packages and provide 1 W of output power for use in a wide variety of board-level power-distribution applications where space is critical. Read More...

800-mA linear regulator boasts extended SOA

A rugged industrial linear regulator, the LT3088 from Linear Technology has a wide safe operating area at a maximum output current of 800 mA, making it well-suited for high input-to-output voltage and high output current applications where older regulators limit the output. Read More...

CUI expands line of Level VI-compliant AC/DC desktop supplies

CUI has added 50-W and 65-W models to its family of AC/DC desktop power supplies, a line that meets the more stringent Level VI average-efficiency and no-load power requirements mandated by the US Department of Energy set to go into effect in February 2016. Read More...

IC manages battery-backup systems

Housed in a low-profile 24-pin QFN package, the LTC4040 from Linear Technology is a 2.5-A lithium-battery–backup power-management system for 3.5-V to 5-V supply rails that must be kept active during a main power failure. Read More...

Power monitor IC provides configurable analog output

The PAC1921 power-monitoring device from Microchip Technologies is a high-side current sensor with both a digital output and a configurable analog output that can present power, current, or voltage over a single output pin. Read More...

300-V MOSFET promotes energy cost savings

Infineon has expanded its medium-voltage MOSFET portfolio with the OptiMOS 300-V device, which cuts energy losses by 50% in hard switching applications like AC/DC converters. Read More...

µModule offers precise regulation for sub-28-nm FPGAs

The LTM4630-1 dual 18-A or single 36-A µModule step-down regulator from Linear Technology furnishes accurate voltage regulation for 28-nm and sub-28-nm FPGAs, ASICs, and microprocessors, providing ±0.8% maximum total DC error over line, load, and temperature (-40°C to +125°C) and ±3% transient error with minimum output capacitance. Read More...

Hybrid IC drives N-channel IGBT modules

Equipped with an internal DC/DC converter and otpocoupler, the IGD1208W N-channel IGBT driver from MicroPower Direct provides the I/O isolation, high speed, drive-voltage stability, and fault protection required to control most MOS-gated power devices. Read More...

DC/DC converter lineup expands down to 3 W

Artesyn Embedded Technologies offers the ATA series of 3-W isolated DC/DC converters, its lowest power-output series comprising 16 variants in mini dual-in-line packages for use in a diverse range of applications, including data communications, telecommunications, and computer peripheral equipment. Read More...

165-W external supplies carry medical certification

Housed in vent-free enclosures with dimensions of 170x85x44 mm, AC/DC adapter power supplies in the DTM165 series from TDK-Lambda furnish 160 W to 165 W of power for use in hospital and healthcare applications, including diagnostic and monitoring equipment. Read More...

Front-end module performs 380-V to 48-V bus conversion

Operating from a nominal input of 380 V, the VIA BCM DC/DC bus converter from Vicor delivers an isolated 48-V SELV (safety extra low voltage) output from a 9-mm thin module that incorporates EMI filtering, transient protection, and inrush current limiting. Read More...

Automotive DC/DC converter needs little quiescent current

Configurable as a SEPIC, boost, or flyback converter, the LT8495 switching regulator from Linear Technology has an internal 2-A, 70-V switch and requires just 9 µA of quiescent current, making it a suitable choice for always-on automotive systems. Read More...

Reference design helps build energy meter PSU

A reference design document, free for downloading from Power Integrations, describes an industrial power supply for energy meter applications using the company’s LinkSwitch-4 family of CV/CC primary-side regulated switcher ICs with a 1200-V bipolar junction transistor. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

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...

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...

>> SEE ALL

Triple LED driver supports LCD backlights in buck, boost or buck-boost modes, delivers 3000:1 dimming ratio

This chapter explores how the LT3496 can be used to drive multiple LED strings in buck, boost, SEPIC or buck-boost modes. You'll learn how to use the features of the device's three independent drivers to implement solutions for driving multiple LED strings which are efficient, color-accurate, compact and cost-effective. Read More...

Picking the right PWM controller for narrow on-time step-down conversion

Selecting a PWM controller has become less straight forward as leading edge DSPs, FPGAs and CPUs run on increasingly lower supply voltages and consume higher current. Sub 1V voltages are becoming ubiquitous while intermediate bus voltages have stayed the same or increased, depending on the application. System frequencies also have steadily increased to support smaller inductor and capacitor (L&C) filtering. Last year’s 500kHz is today’s 1MHz. Read More...

DC/DC converter PCB layout, Part 3

In this final installment, I cover steps 5 and 6: the routing of critical traces for the gate drives, current sense and feedback network; and a review of power and ground (GND) plane design of the multilayer PCB substrate as well as ground separation techniques. Read More...

Powering Ethernet, Part 2: Optimizing Power Consumption during Standby Operation

Power consumption during the standby operation is also of concern, especially when designing to specifications such as the ‘One Watt Initiative.’ Read More...

DC/DC converter PCB layout, Part 2

High efficiency, high density and low production costs drive the continual development of DC/DC converters for an increasingly wide range of power supply applications for automotive, industrial, personal electronics and communications markets. Read More...

DC/DC converter PCB layout, Part 1

Fundamental to careful system design of any DC/DC power converter is a well-planned and carefully executed printed circuit board (PCB) layout. An optimized layout leads to better performance, lower cost and faster time-to-market. Read More...

Powering Ethernet, Part 1: Designing for Low Power Consumption in Operation

Analyzing power consumption in Ethernet circuitry shows it to be far from efficient. This is in part because Ethernet consumes similar energy during both traffic and idle periods, and in fact, idle periods typically account for more than 97 percent of the time. Read More...

Sensor Ganging—Optimize power in a capacitive sensing system--Part 1

Here’s how to optimize power consumption in a capacitive sensing system, utilizing sensor ganging with a capacitive sensing controller. Use cases of sensor ganging are covered. Read More...

Charging batteries rapidly and safely

Any hobbyist can charge a battery quickly, but can you do it without an explosion, excessive heating or major degradation in battery cycle life? Read More...

3D Power Packaging with Focus on Embedded Substrate Technologies

A Special Project of the PSMA Packaging Committee March 2015 Read More...

>> SEE ALL

Dave Freeman: Colleague and mentor

I am very sad to bring you the news about TI’s Dave Freeman passing away over the June 27/28 weekend. Dave was a colleague of mine at Texas Instruments as well as a mentor. I learned a great deal from him regarding Power Management. Read More...

Top Ten Challenges for Solid-State Lighting: Flicker

Take a closer look at flicker, a hot-button topic these days, and one where LEDs tend to struggle. Read More...

Keeping smart lamps “Energy-Efficiency Smart”

Watch out – that smart light bulb you just purchased may not be so smart after all. Read More...

imec Power Model Minimizes Power Consumption of Mobile Networks

Data traffic is increasing sharply, new applications and services are heavily driving energy consumption; networks are optimized for capacity not energy. Read More...

Rogue waves can ruin your power

In this video, Steve Sandler explains why power distribution networks need flat impedance to avoid creating unwanted resonant signals. Read More...

2015 Mergers, acquisitions and change in the global electronics industry

Recent big deals are changing the face of electronics globally. Read More...

Which software automates your tests?

A poll on EE Times asks which of several software packages engineers use to automate tests. Tell us which you use. Read More...

New house brings electric woes

A move to a new old house means mastering new systems, and, FIXING THE ELECTRICS BEFORE WE ALL DIE! Read More...

Microchip acquisition of Micrel: Sanghi and team make a calculated, bold move

Steve Sanghi, President and CEO of Microchip has made many successful acquisitions to strengthen and broaden his company’s product portfolio, especially in the analog area. Read More...

Increase range in 2-port impedance measurements

Adding series resistors or replacing VNA cables can widen bandwidth for measuring low impedances. Read More...

Wood-fired LED lantern converts waste heat into light & power

Don't let the Stove Lite LED lantern's appearance deceive you. Beneath those old-timey looks, lies a modern thermo-electric generator (TEG), which uses the Seebeck effect to convert the heat of your wood stove into enough energy to run its LED lamp. This rugged wood-powered wonder also doubles as a battery charger for your phone or other mobile device. Read More...

DIY thermo-electric modules make backwoods power from your wood stove

If you've ever wanted to mess with thermo-electric generators (TEGs), there's a great web site which offers all the parts to make your own wood-fired electron pump. TEGs are basically over-sized thermocouples which convert the heat of your stove or other heat source into electricity – and a great way to generate a bit of power when its dark out or lugging around a bunch of solar panels isn't practical. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

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