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.

Was Tesla for real, or not?

A new book about Nikola Tesla attempts to cast doubt that the mythical engineer's inventions weren't all that original. Instead, history is written by those who patent inventions. Read More...

Memories of Steve Weir

Last week, the signal-integrity community was left stunned when we heard about the death of Steve Weir. 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...

IDT Wireless Power kit: Easing designer’s time to market

Integrated Device Technology, Inc. introduced wireless power kits plug-and-play, Qi-compliant transmitter and receiver reference kits to simplify designer integration. These two-layer boards use IDT’s wireless power IC solutions. Read More...

Using ESD Diodes as Voltage Clamps

When external over voltage conditions are applied to an amplifier, ESD diodes are the last line of defense between your amplifier and electrical over stress. With proper understanding of how an ESD cell is implemented in a device, a designer can greatly extend the survival range of an amplifier with the appropriate circuit design. This article aims to introduce readers to the various types of ESD implementations, discuss the characteristics of each implementation, and provide guidance on how to utilize these cells to improve the robustness of a design. Read More...

USB Power Delivery 2.0 Enables Power Distribution Flexibility

The latest USB 3.1 specification increases the current capability to 900mA if legacy Type-A connectors are used. If the new Type-C connector - which has four power/ground pairs - is employed with USB 3.x, the current rating can be as high as 3A, but still at only 5V. Read More...

U.S. EPA Focuses on Large Network Equipment Efficiency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently published the second draft of a new ENERGY STAR program spec targeting large network equipment (LNE) efficiency. Read More...

NASA Orion’s challenging journey to the Red Planet: Power and Thermal mission planning

Nujoud Merancy’s group is Mission planning; that is, how Orion gets to where it is supposed to go knowing Orion’s capabilities, her team goes over the thermal and power profiles that they have Read More...

Find IGBT degradation through power cycling

A power-cycling experiment, accelerated through temperature cycling, reveals how an IGBT's die-attach materials can break down. Read More...

Data concentrators and the Smart Grid

Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)networks1 are at the heart of the Smart Grid effort. AMI technologies enable the connection between distribution system operators (DSO) and energy consumers enabling energy monitoring, profiling, management and savings. Real-time Smart Grid meters are needed within the AMI to make this work effectively. Read More...

How Cool Is That? DARPA's Thermal Management Programs

As electronic system technology advances – with continual increases in requirements leading to increasing power consumption – there has been increasing pressure on the thermal engineering and cooling technologies used. Read More...

The Batteriser: scam or savior?

The miniaturization is commendable, but is there a strong commercialization market opportunity for this product, aimed at extending the life of disposable batteries? Read More...

New Horizons spacecraft's power issues make yours look trivial

The power subsystem of the New Horizons spacecraft, which just flew past Pluto, didn't get as much attention as the images and data, or the mission, but it's a fascinating story in itself. Read More...

Design a VRM with perfectly flat output impedance in 5 seconds or less

How do we design a voltage regulator module (VRM) specifically for flat impedance? This article will address not only that specific question, but how to accomplish it in 5 seconds or less. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

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...

LTC Design Note: Dual-phase buck controller drives high density 1.2V/60A supply with sub-milliohm DCR sensing

Low output voltages and use of DrMOS integrated FETs+drivers are hallmarks of this switcher design. Read More...

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

IDT Wireless Power kit: Easing designer’s time to market

Integrated Device Technology, Inc. introduced wireless power kits plug-and-play, Qi-compliant transmitter and receiver reference kits to simplify designer integration. These two-layer boards use IDT’s wireless power IC solutions. Read More...

DIP converters fit medical equipment

Enclosed in 1.25×0.8×0.4-in. DIP-24 packages, DC/DC converters in the PXC-M series from TDK-Lambda supply 3 W, 6 W, and 10 W of output power. Read More...

Multiphase controller offers 6-bit VID programming

Voltage identification (VID) control allows the LTC3877 step-down DC/DC controller from Linear Technology to set output voltage in 10-mV steps. Read More...

IC monitors multicell battery packs

The ISL94203 three- to eight-cell battery-pack monitor IC from Intersil supports the full range of Li-ion chemistries. Read More...

Dual step-down controller drives DrMOS power stages

Sporting an I2C-based PMBus interface, the LTC3887-1 DC/DC controller from Linear Technology boasts a 70-ms power-up time and a fast ADC mode. Read More...

PMBus-based controller accepts 60-V input

Linear Technology’s LTC3886 dual-output synchronous step-down controller provides a programmable output voltage of up to 13.8 V. Read More...

Industrial supply drives low-voltage equipment

Delivering 2500 W to 3500 W of output power, the HVI 3KP-V9 AC/DC power supply from Absopulse powers 24-V, 48-V, or 125-V heavy-duty equipment. Read More...

Harmonic analyzer provides power waveform measurements

Vitrek’s PA900 Precision Power Analyser is positioned as the first of a new class of affordable graphical power analyzers. Read More...

Buck-boost regulator achieves high efficiency

Using adaptive current-limit PFM control, the ISL9120 switching regulator from Intersil realizes efficiencies of up to 98%. Read More...

Dual regulator squeezes into ultrathin package

The LTM4622 dual 2.5-A or single 5-A step-down regulator from Linear Technology is thin enough to be mounted on the backside of a pc board. Read More...

TDK-Lambda expands DC converter output range

DC/DC power modules in the extended PH-A280 series from TDK-Lambda now offer output voltages of 3.3 V, 5 V, 12 V, 15 V, 24 V, 28 V, and 48 V. Read More...

Converter suits always-on automotive systems

Outfitted with an internal 2-A, 70-V switch, the LT8494 DC/DC converter from Linear Technology requires just 7 µA of quiescent current. Read More...

LDO regulator is qualified for automotive designs

Housed in a tiny 2×2-mm, 6-pin DFN package, the MAQ5300 voltage regulator from Micrel boasts a dropout of only 100 mV at 300 mA. Read More...

Automotive 42V, Quad Output Synchronous Step-Down Regulator, IQ of 30uA

Modern automotive power management ICs continue to require higher performance. As the power requirements for these applications continues to grow, the available space for power conversion solutions continually shrinks requiring even higher power densities. Furthermore, the required electrical performance criteria of these switching regulators becomes more demanding. Offering four independent outputs in the same solution footprint as many single output devices becomes desirable in many applications. Read More...

Power supplies achieve 2 MOPP safety approval

Recom offers the RACM100 and RACM150 series of AC/DC medical power supplies, which furnish up to 135 W of output power without forced-air cooling. Read More...

AC/DC supplies offer medical-safety certification

Single-output and dual-output AC/DC power supplies in the MPM-40Mx series from MicroPower Direct deliver 40 W of output power. 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: 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: 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: 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

Using ESD Diodes as Voltage Clamps

When external over voltage conditions are applied to an amplifier, ESD diodes are the last line of defense between your amplifier and electrical over stress. With proper understanding of how an ESD cell is implemented in a device, a designer can greatly extend the survival range of an amplifier with the appropriate circuit design. This article aims to introduce readers to the various types of ESD implementations, discuss the characteristics of each implementation, and provide guidance on how to utilize these cells to improve the robustness of a design. Read More...

USB Power Delivery 2.0 Enables Power Distribution Flexibility

The latest USB 3.1 specification increases the current capability to 900mA if legacy Type-A connectors are used. If the new Type-C connector - which has four power/ground pairs - is employed with USB 3.x, the current rating can be as high as 3A, but still at only 5V. Read More...

NASA Orion’s challenging journey to the Red Planet: Power and Thermal mission planning

Nujoud Merancy’s group is Mission planning; that is, how Orion gets to where it is supposed to go knowing Orion’s capabilities, her team goes over the thermal and power profiles that they have Read More...

Data concentrators and the Smart Grid

Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)networks1 are at the heart of the Smart Grid effort. AMI technologies enable the connection between distribution system operators (DSO) and energy consumers enabling energy monitoring, profiling, management and savings. Real-time Smart Grid meters are needed within the AMI to make this work effectively. Read More...

Design a VRM with perfectly flat output impedance in 5 seconds or less

How do we design a voltage regulator module (VRM) specifically for flat impedance? This article will address not only that specific question, but how to accomplish it in 5 seconds or less. Read More...

Book review: Analog Circuit Design, Volume 3

Linear Technology introduced their Third volume of Analog Circuit Design back in December 2014. I have finally gotten around to reviewing these 1,000+ pages chock full of Application, design and technical insights for designers and I am very pleased with the content. Of note are the editors of this book: Bob Dobkin, co-founder, Vice President of Engineering and Chief Technical officer and John Hamburger, Director of Marketing Communications. Read More...

The microscopic model of discharging in the case of a lead-acid battery

The electrochemical phenomenon that generates electrical energy in the electrode area of a battery can be modeled by simple electrical circuits. This fact will help us to more easily understand these phenomena. This model is in reference to one microscopic area on the negative pole of the battery. Read More...

DesignCon 2016 registration opens

DesignCon 2016 has opened its virtual doors and registration has begun! Read More...

Two simple secondary battery circuits

Over the last couple of decades the use of rechargeable batteries has grown enormously, and for most common applications there are ASICs which control battery management with very little additional circuitry. Read More...

Power MOSFET Basics: Understanding Superjunction Technology

Power MOSFETs based on superjunction technology have become the industry norm in high-voltage switching converters. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

Was Tesla for real, or not?

A new book about Nikola Tesla attempts to cast doubt that the mythical engineer's inventions weren't all that original. Instead, history is written by those who patent inventions. Read More...

Memories of Steve Weir

Last week, the signal-integrity community was left stunned when we heard about the death of Steve Weir. Read More...

New house electric woes revisited

Wow, that's some messed-up electrical stuff. The new-house discoveries and repairs continue. Read More...

Wireless fast-charge capabilities are on the rise

With the introduction of the 15W extension to the Qi specification, a new world of wireless charging products and capabilities has opened up. Read More...

U.S. EPA Focuses on Large Network Equipment Efficiency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently published the second draft of a new ENERGY STAR program spec targeting large network equipment (LNE) efficiency. Read More...

When big data crashes against small problems

"Big data" may mean that the needs of the data template overwhelm common-sense solutions to modest problems. Read More...

How Cool Is That? DARPA's Thermal Management Programs

As electronic system technology advances – with continual increases in requirements leading to increasing power consumption – there has been increasing pressure on the thermal engineering and cooling technologies used. Read More...

New Horizons spacecraft's power issues make yours look trivial

The power subsystem of the New Horizons spacecraft, which just flew past Pluto, didn't get as much attention as the images and data, or the mission, but it's a fascinating story in itself. Read More...

The Batteriser: scam or savior?

The miniaturization is commendable, but is there a strong commercialization market opportunity for this product, aimed at extending the life of disposable batteries? Read More...

GaN gets game

GaN-based power devices are starting to compete effectively against long-standing silicon devices; what's the impact on OEM designers? Read More...

Is Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) hope for deep-space travel?

In today’s space program the Rocket booster propellant of choice is and has been chemical. Chemical propellant has proven to have the high thrust to weight ratio to allow the vehicle to escape Earth’s gravity and enter into space. Read More...

Advanced WEBENCH tools for expert power-supply designers

I have always had great respect for WEBENCH since the day it was introduced on February 17, 1999 by National Semiconductor. It has come a very long way since then, especially since TI merged with National and has valued and improved the WEBENCH solution as an important part of its portfolio. Read More...

Celebrate Pluto and Apollo

The anniversary of the first moon landing and the Pluto flyby provides the perfect opportunity to highlight EDN's space coverage over the years. Read More...

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