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.


GaN gets game

  • 07.23.2015

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

Powering the autonomous car

  • 07.13.2015

The sensors and algorithms of the driverless car get lots of attention, but the equally important power requirements and subsystem remain much more of a mystery.Read More...

Reprogrammable power: a powerful but risky partner?

  • 05.15.2015

Reprogrammable power supplies bring new opportunities and options—most good, some not.Read More...


Medical devices: Where wireless charging has real impact

  • 04.19.2015

A very different implementation of consumer-product wireless power transfer may allow easier recharging of deeply implanted, tiny medical devices. Read More...


Drivers are driving me crazy

  • 04.15.2015

Are you dumping your unfiltered “everything” into your customer’s laps, thus making more work and aggravation for them while easing your burden?Read More...


Modeling and shrinking design margins

  • 03.23.2015

Modeling tools are powerful, wonderful, and essential, but when used to extreme, can result in designs with tolerance issues and inadequate design margin. Read More...


Can you use supercaps to power electric vehicles?

  • 03.10.2015

The high energy density of supercapacitors makes them seem like a good fit for EVs compared to batteries, and one such suggestion was awarded an honorable mention—but is it really technically viable, or even a good idea?Read More...


Tilting at MEMS Windmills for Energy Harvesting?

  • 02.19.2015

A potential source for the "free energy" of harvesting may be micro-windmills fabricated from nickel-based alloys using MEMS techniques and processes, but there are some difficult questions to answer.Read More...

Don’t neglect the humble battery connector

  • 01.27.2015

We pay considerable attention to batteries and their technologies, but the lowly connector is just as important to a successful, reliable DC supply. Read More...


Obscure AC line connectors challenge designers, consumers

  • 12.04.2014

Basic plugs and connectors are standardized, but there are many specialized ones you'll run into that are a problem when they need to be replaced.Read More...


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