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Power Points

- December 11, 2012

Power Points looks at perspectives and issues related to power sourcing, distribution, consumption, and dissipation, ranging from microwatts to megawatts, and DC to kHz. We'll discuss supply design, topology, system architectures, test, protection, use, and even abuse with an emphasis on points which are relevant, interesting, and thought-provoking to the design engineer.

Bill Schweber is a degreed EE who has designed, used, and burned out his share of supplies including LDOs and switchers, and spanning low- and high-power units. Besides power issues, he is interested in analog design, signal integrity, real world I/O, the history of science and engineering, and the satisfaction of problem solving constrained by design tradeoffs.

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Are we paying a power price for wireless?

  • 04.01.2014

Wireless makes sense in many cases, but you shouldn't ignore the power dissipation and lower link efficiency burden it may bring.Read More...

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There's nothing new about ultralow power and 20-year runtime

  • 03.19.2014

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Overthinking a simple battery problem

  • 03.07.2014

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Is triboelectricity the next harvesting source?

  • 02.10.2014

Advances in triboelectric materials mean that this largely untapped, friction-based phenomenon might become another source of "free" power, perhaps.Read More...

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Battery & connector diversity: Sensible design, or casual engineering?

  • 02.05.2014

Whether your power comes via an AC/DC adapter plug or button cell, there are so many slightly different ones in use, with the result of often needless frustration.Read More...

(7)

Clever harvesting scheme takes a deep dive, literally

  • 01.30.2014

Energy harvesting seems like an easy way to get something for almost nothing, but the reality is often quite different when the source itself has low energy potential. Read More...

LEDing it hang out: The downside of higher efficiency

  • 01.20.2014

The switch to LED and CFL bulbs will certainly save energy in the long run, but as with most technology transitions, there will be some unexpected surprises.Read More...

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Keeping electronics cool in the Antarctic: harder than you think

  • 01.09.2014

Hard to believe but true: it's a challenge to keep electronics properly cooled even near the South Pole - a reminder that good thermal design is rarely as simple as it looks.Read More...

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Digital power: Potential, promise, or peril?

  • 11.21.2013

Digital control of the inner loop of a power-supply regulator is making inroads against one of the last holdouts, the analog closed loop. What benefits and drawbacks will the transition to digital yield?Read More...

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