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.

Power Integrity: It's not just decoupling caps

The field of power integrity (PI) is exploding. Discover how complicated today's PDNs have become, and consider making yourself into a domain expert so that your next design isn't sunk by a rogue wave! Read More...

EPA views higher display efficiency performance

The U.S. EPA recently published version 7 of its ENERGY STAR Display Program Requirements. It says this new version will result in electricity savings of over $130M annually and reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 225K cars. Read More...

The effects of a hacked power grid

A power blackout in the Ukraine recently affected about 1.4 million people using an espionage Trojan known as BlackEnergy. The attack looks to be first time that malware has been used to create a large-scale power disruption. Read More...

Plants eyed as possible home for electronics

Research into organic electronics has given a whole new meaning to the terms “power plants” and “flower power.” Read More...

Bandwidth 101

Every AC signal has limitations placed on it because of frequency. See how. Read More...

Improving current control for better stepper motor motion quality

Advanced internal current sensing provides better current regulation in bipolar stepper motor drivers, which improves the quality of motion. Read More...

Power management can cause latchup in CMOS chips

Cycling power with inputs applied can blow up your design. Read More...

Circuit remotely adjusts PSU voltage

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

A guideline to success in the challenging MIL/Aero Power arena

In this article we will discuss the military/aerospace grade power supply and what the key differences are as compared to commercial off-the-shelf or COTS designs. We will also discuss some design techniques used to help ensure high reliability which is so critical in these types of designs. Read More...

Teardown: Misfit Shine 2 and the art of power management

At DesignCon 2016, the Misfit Shine 2 Fitness + Sleep monitor went under the knife, exposing the latest in low-power technology, processes, and power management techniques. Read More...

DesignCon 2016: 4 unexpected things

DesignCon 2016 was full of the usual high-speed signals, but these were things you wouldn’t expect to see there. Read More...

The Quest for Quiet: Measuring 2nV/√Hz Noise and 120dB Supply Rejection in Linear Regulators, Part 2

Supply rejection for a linear regulator is just as critical as output voltage noise. With poor supply rejection, even the lowest noise regulator will pass signal through to the output, and this can swamp the noise from the regulator. Read More...

Eric Bogatin: Meet DesignCon’s Engineer of the Year

Engineer and educator Eric Bogatin has been attending DesignCon from the beginning and this year he was voted the DesignCon Engineer of the Year. Read More...

ChipHead theater at DesignCon 2016: NASA/Orion electronics

NASA/Orion electronics at DesignCon 2016 ChipHead Theater Read More...

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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...

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...

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Compact power meters boast 0.1% accuracy

Yokogawa’s WT300E series of digital power meters provides low-current measurements down to 50 µA and a maximum of up to 26 A RMS. Read More...

Rail-mount supplies deliver up to 480 W

The DRF/HL series of power supplies from TDK-Lambda is certified for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. Read More...

Dual controller furnishes current-monitor output

In addition to a load current-monitoring output, the LTC4236 controller from Linear Technology provides ideal diode-OR and hot-swap functions. Read More...

10-W wall-plug adapter is Level VI-compliant

PSM10A power adapters from Phihong offer a high-efficiency, low-cost charging solution for a wide range of consumer electronics. Read More...

DC/DC converter permits voltage margining

A PMBus interface on the LTC3815 step-down DC/DC converter from Linear Technology allows the output voltage to be margined over a ±25% range. Read More...

Quarter-brick converters deliver 504 W

TDK-Lambda has extended its iQG series of DC/DC converters with 504-W models having efficiencies of up to 96.3%. Read More...

Wireless charger-receiver fits tiny hearing aids

Linear Technology’s LTC4123 combines a 30-mW wireless receiver with a constant-current/constant-voltage linear charger for NiMH batteries. Read More...

DC/DC converters boast ultra-small package

Aimed at portable devices, tablets, and optical devices, DC/DC converters in the XCL223/XCL224 series from Torex pack an integrated coil. Read More...

EMI filters work with DC/DC converters

Rated at 10 A, board-mount EMI filters in the iDQ series from TDK-Lambda reduce emissions from high-frequency DC/DC converters. Read More...

Power MOSFETs are AEC-Q101-qualifed

STMicroelectronics’ MDmesh DM2 series of N-channel power MOSFETs has breakdown voltages that span 400 V to 650 V in a variety of package types. Read More...

Buck-boost converter powers wireless sensors

A synchronous buck-boost DC/DC converter with dual input, the LTC3106 from Linear Technology is optimized for multisource, low-power systems. Read More...

DC/DC converters shrink profile to 0.4 in.

Rated at 40 A, POL non-isolated DC/DC converters in the iAH series from TDK-Lambda come in compact 1.3×0.53×0.4-in. packages. Read More...

Four-quadrant controller supplies up to ±5 A

An 80-V input synchronous DC/DC controller, the LT8714 from Linear Technology, cleanly transitions the bipolar output voltage through 0 V. Read More...

Surface-mount POL converters deliver 20 A

Occupying a tiny DOSA-compatible footprint, non-isolated DC/DC converters in the TDK-Lambda iBH series operate from either a 5-V or 12-V bus. Read More...

Low-side drivers handle up to 1.7 A

Infineon has added three single-channel low-side drivers to its µHVIC family of high-voltage and low-voltage ICs for use in power electronics. Read More...

Step-down modules parallel up to 144 A

The LTM4677 dual 18-A or single 36-A step-down DC/DC regulator from Linear Technology sports a PMBus serial digital interface. 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

Bandwidth 101

Every AC signal has limitations placed on it because of frequency. See how. Read More...

Improving current control for better stepper motor motion quality

Advanced internal current sensing provides better current regulation in bipolar stepper motor drivers, which improves the quality of motion. Read More...

Power management can cause latchup in CMOS chips

Cycling power with inputs applied can blow up your design. Read More...

A guideline to success in the challenging MIL/Aero Power arena

In this article we will discuss the military/aerospace grade power supply and what the key differences are as compared to commercial off-the-shelf or COTS designs. We will also discuss some design techniques used to help ensure high reliability which is so critical in these types of designs. Read More...

The Quest for Quiet: Measuring 2nV/√Hz Noise and 120dB Supply Rejection in Linear Regulators, Part 2

Supply rejection for a linear regulator is just as critical as output voltage noise. With poor supply rejection, even the lowest noise regulator will pass signal through to the output, and this can swamp the noise from the regulator. Read More...

ChipHead theater at DesignCon 2016: NASA/Orion electronics

NASA/Orion electronics at DesignCon 2016 ChipHead Theater Read More...

DesignCon 2016 book signing with expert authors in the electronics industry

DesignCon 2016 book signing with expert authors in the electronics industry Read More...

Understanding linear regulators and their key performance parameters

This article examines the key performance parameters of LDOs and their impact on delivering clean output voltage to the various devices inside an electronic system. Read More...

Nanopower IoT power supply accurately monitors battery discharge

The Internet of Things has manifested itself in industrial settings in the form of wireless sensors arrayed in vast mesh networks. Regardless of their intended use, wireless devices all share a common problem: how do they get their power? Read More...

The Quest for Quiet: Measuring 2nV/√Hz Noise and 120dB Supply Rejection in Linear Regulators, Part 1

A quiet, well regulated supply is important for optimum performance in a number of circuit applications. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

Power Integrity: It's not just decoupling caps

The field of power integrity (PI) is exploding. Discover how complicated today's PDNs have become, and consider making yourself into a domain expert so that your next design isn't sunk by a rogue wave! Read More...

EPA views higher display efficiency performance

The U.S. EPA recently published version 7 of its ENERGY STAR Display Program Requirements. It says this new version will result in electricity savings of over $130M annually and reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 225K cars. Read More...

The effects of a hacked power grid

A power blackout in the Ukraine recently affected about 1.4 million people using an espionage Trojan known as BlackEnergy. The attack looks to be first time that malware has been used to create a large-scale power disruption. Read More...

Plants eyed as possible home for electronics

Research into organic electronics has given a whole new meaning to the terms “power plants” and “flower power.” Read More...

Do grandmas make the best engineers?

Can big global problems be solved by grandmothers who are intent on solving small local problems? Read More...

DesignCon 2016: 4 unexpected things

DesignCon 2016 was full of the usual high-speed signals, but these were things you wouldn’t expect to see there. Read More...

California Energy Commission Shines Light on Lamp Standard

California is lighting the way towards the country’s first mandatory efficiency/quality regulations for LED lamps. Read More...

ChipHead theater at DesignCon 2016: NASA/Orion electronics

NASA/Orion electronics at DesignCon 2016 ChipHead Theater Read More...

DesignCon 2016 book signing with expert authors in the electronics industry

DesignCon 2016 book signing with expert authors in the electronics industry Read More...

Reducing noise in PDN at DesignCon

A crowd of DesignCon attendees gathered to learn more about PDNs and noise reduction techniques. Read More...

A peek into Maxim Integrated Advanced R&D

Power is an important component to Maxim’s focus areas, which include cloud and data centers, mobility, industrial, and automotive. Read More...

The actual father of electricity

You may think that Volta or Ampere would be credited with being the father of electricity, but not so. Read More...

Target impedance, rogue waves: tales from the experts

DesignCon is the place to be for PDN issues. Don’t Miss this ALL STAR panel of PDN experts at DesignCon: Target Impedance and Rogue Waves Read More...

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