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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Merging power and data: good, bad, or both?

  • 04.25.2017

Putting significant power onto an interconnect system originally intended for data is doable but brings both technical challenges and limitations which may be too difficult to overcome. Read More...

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Batteries safe for use in humans and fish

  • 02.24.2017

There are niche needs and opportunities for highly non-standard power cells, especially for use in living creatures that require biocompatible batteries. Read More...

Is make or buy still a choice for AC/DC supplies?

  • 02.02.2017

The classic make-versus-buy decision for line-operated external supplies is now heavily tilted toward buy due to the many regulatory demands and constraints on supply performance. Read More...

Proprietary AC/DC adapters: Good idea or nasty trick?

  • 12.19.2016

Those simple, often interchangeable AC/DC adapters are now neither in some cases; what's the impact on the end-user? Read More...

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Get ready for even smaller batteries

  • 10.25.2016

Button and coin cells are old news as pin cells power the latest tiny consumer products. Read More...

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Did power problems help kill the modular smartphone?

  • 10.06.2016

Modular, flexible, and expandable sound like great product attributes, but they bring a large list of electrical, power, mechanical, and software headaches to a design. Read More...

(6)

Long-living products defy conventional wisdom

  • 09.23.2016

Winning products can have viable production lifetimes of decades, despite our "here today, obsolete tomorrow" thinking. Read More...

(3)

The gap between renewable energy promises and reality

  • 09.12.2016

Broad statements about the potential of renewable energy may make you feel good, but the harsh reality is that engineers may be faulted for not delivering on them. Read More...

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"Digital" sundial: ancient clock gets clever upgrade

  • 08.23.2016

Even this oldest of time-indicating instruments can be upgraded to "digital," but in a very non-obvious, non-electronic way. Read More...

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Electric plane design offers insight into design constraints

  • 08.08.2016

An aircraft with electric motors offers insight into design constraints but also invites new options. Read More...

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