Power Management

Steve Taranovich
Editor/Tech Writer
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.

Find the right PMIC for your wearable systems

As smart watches become must-have devices, manufacturers are demanding smaller-size, lower-power circuitry with higher functionality. Read More...

MCU power logger spans nanoamps to milliamps

The STM32 Power Shield expansion board from STMicroelectronics lets developers check the power consumption of their embedded designs. Read More...

Resurrecting a 6-amp battery charger

It was time to refurbish this stately old battery charger, before it shorted and electrocuted someone. Read More...

Reference design demos no-neutral BLE wall switch

Power Integrations’ DER-622 document illustrates a wireless wall switch that does not require a neutral return wire to power the unit. Read More...

Magnetising the next generation of high-throughput satellites

Satellite manufacturers are designing and making proprietary isolated DC-DCs and switching point-of-loads. Power transformers and inductors are fundamental to the design of these regulators respectively. Read More...

Power Tips #81: Make sure your optocoupler is properly biased

When you are designing an isolated feedback network, you must consider the tolerance of the optocoupler and all other components that determine the large signal gain. Read More...

Simple 3.3V power backup supply: ADI Power by Linear Design Note

Simplify backup supplies by employing low cost electrolytic capacitors as the energy storage component, leveraging higher energy density by running at much higher voltage than the supply rail. Read More...

Bang-bang photovoltaic regulator needs no magnetics

You don’t always need a sophisticated MPPT controller to extract and regulate photovoltaic power. This elegant little circuit may do just fine. Read More...

The Pythagorean theorem: engineering applications

I was not even aware that there was such a day as Pythagorean Day until this year, but it brought to my attention some really interesting engineering applications. Read More...

SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition: design from creative young minds, Part 1

Arizona students developed an economical, sustainable, and scalable pod for the SpaceX Hyperloop transit system concept. Read More...

So, where’s pin 1 on those common 0.156” connectors?

A whole range of commonly used 0.1” & 0.156” SIL connectors (e.g., Molex) have never defined which end is pin 1. Confusion ensues. Read More...

Electrostatic deflection in conformable mirrors

See how conformable mirrors can be used for satellites, telescopes, confocal microscopes, and other adaptive optics. Read More...

Teardown: Smart switch provides Bluetooth power control

GE's Avi-on product line does networked power control with a mesh Bluetooth twist. Read More...

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Simple 3.3V power backup supply: ADI Power by Linear Design Note

Simplify backup supplies by employing low cost electrolytic capacitors as the energy storage component, leveraging higher energy density by running at much higher voltage than the supply rail. Read More...

Bang-bang photovoltaic regulator needs no magnetics

You don’t always need a sophisticated MPPT controller to extract and regulate photovoltaic power. This elegant little circuit may do just fine. Read More...

LTC Design Note: 60V Low Iq buck has adjustable gate drive

High efficiency, low Iq, and its signature programmable gate-drive voltage, distinguish this dual-buck controller. Read More...

Turn negative regulator “upside-down” to create bipolar supply from single source

This simple regulator hookup is perfect when you need a non-critical secondary voltage of opposite polarity. Read this new DI from Stephen Woodward. Read More...

LTC Design Note: High-voltage, high-efficiency, positive-to-negative converter

A highly versatile converter, featuring programmable frequency, a 150V input range, and outputs to –60V. It simplifies the design of automotive and industrial supplies with control signals referenced to host ground. Read More...

LTC Design Note: High efficiency, 15V rail-to-rail output synchronous step-down regulator can source or sink 5A

The LTC3623 step-down regulator enables compact POL solutions that can source or sink 5A without significant thermal mitigation. Power capability is easily expanded by paralleling devices. Read More...

SEPIC/Ćuk converter sprouts second output

Here are the devilish details for creating a two-output SEPIC-Ćuk converter. Read More...

LTC Design Note: 560V Input, no-opto isolated flyback converter

This switcher operates at a wide input voltage range of 18V to 560V, delivering up to 15W of isolated output power. It requires no opto-coupler, and includes rich features such as low ripple burst mode operation, soft-start, programmable current limit, undervoltage lockout, temperature compensation, and low quiescent current. Read More...

LTC Design Note: Bidirectional DC/DC regulator and supercapacitor charger

Combine a supercapacitor charge controller with a robust DC-DC to make a wide input-range supply with transient ride-out. Read More...

Protect your boost converter

This Design Idea addresses boost converters’ inherent short-circuit vulnerability while also providing reverse-polarity protection. Read More...

Body diodes simplify UPS & energy recovery circuits

This circuit sketch shows how to turn body-diode lemons into lemonade. Read More...

Capacitor self-diagnostics

Electrolytic capacitors are often a system’s weak link. This Design Idea helps you keep tabs on their condition. Read More...

LTC Design Note: 42V quad monolithic synchronous step-down regulator with 30μA quiescent current

This circuit impresses with four 2.2MHz bucks in a tiny package. Read More...

Charge-pump topology doubles voltage, breaks DC path

This unusual charge-pump voltage multiplier Design Idea not only doubles the input, but has a pseudo-floating output. Read More...

Circuit delivers constant power to a load

Here’s a novel way to supply constant power to an ill-defined load. Read More...

LTC Design Note: Determine balancing current for the LTC3305 lead-acid battery balancer

Delve into PTC thermistor intricacies to optimize battery-balancing designs. Read More...

LM317 smooths but doesn't regulate

I once needed to clean up a power supply output, but it didn't need to be regulated. Read More...

UVP protects rechargeable batteries

Protect rechargeable batteries from deep discharge with this UVP & load switch. Read More...

New slope compensation method stabilizes switchers

Add slope compensation to any switching controller and topology. Read More...

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MCUs bring extensive features to smart objects

STM32L4+ microcontrollers from STMicroelectronics deliver 150 DMIPS at 120 MHz, while executing from up to 2 Mbytes of internal flash memory. Read More...

MCU power logger spans nanoamps to milliamps

The STM32 Power Shield expansion board from STMicroelectronics lets developers check the power consumption of their embedded designs. Read More...

800 W converters fit in quarter-brick package

Isolated DC/DC converters in the ADQ800 series from Artesyn are intended for use with 48 V supplies in computing and telecom equipment. Read More...

Power monitor IC is accurate to 0.3%

Linear Technology’s LTC2992 monitors the current, voltage, and power of two 0 V to 100 V rails without additional circuitry. Read More...

AC/DC supplies offer high power density

Expanding its VOF family of open-frame AC/DC power supplies, CUI introduces the 180 W VOF180 and 225 W VOF225A series. Read More...

Supply powers immersed computers

The PT578 AC/DC switching power supply from Powerbox delivers 500 W of power for marine, offshore, and demanding industrial applications. Read More...

LED driver offers dual dimming modes

A single-stage LED driver-converter with an integrated 2 A, 600 V MOSFET, Diodes’ AL1673 allows both PWM and analog dimming. Read More...

FET driver targets GaN Class-D audio

With a switching speed of up to 40 MHz, Peregrine’s PE29102 FET driver enables engineers to extract the full advantages of GaN transistors. Read More...

Buck regulator package shrinks 75%

Housed in a tiny BGA package, the LTM8063 step-down regulator from Linear Technology is 75% smaller than the existing equivalent product. Read More...

AC/DC supplies deliver up to 550 W

Open-frame AC/DC power supplies in the VOF family from CUI pack high power density in a compact low-profile package. Read More...

Board-mount converters tout cost savings

Offering 15 W and 20 W, XP Power’s JTD15 and JTD20 series of DC/DC converters have a wide input range and an extended temperature range. Read More...

DC converter touts compensated control

TI’s TPS543C20 buck converter has an internally compensated ACM (advanced current mode) control topology supporting frequency synchronization. Read More...

DC fans offer diverse options

Comprising 7 series and over 100 models, CUI’s CFM-V line of DC axial fans provides a choice of airflows ranging from 5.4 cfm to 138 cfm. Read More...

Dual-channel IC performs priority switching

Used for 2.5 V to 40 V systems, Linear Technology’s LTC4418 connects one of two valid power supplies to a common output based on priority. Read More...

600 V IPMs simplify motor drives

STMicroelectronics offers additional package options and integrated components for its SLLIMM-nano IPMs (intelligent power modules). Read More...

AC/DC supplies deliver 900 W peak

Comprising three models, the GSP750 series of AC/DC power supplies from XP Power carries both industrial and medical safety approvals. Read More...

Inverting regulator is EN55022-compliant

Operating from a 3.6 V to 58 V input, the LTM4651 regulator from Linear Technology supplies a negative output ranging from -0.5 V to -26.5 V. Read More...

Analog power module furnishes 15 A

A 42 V single-channel step-down power module, the ISL8215M from Intersil, delivers up to 15 A of continuous current. Read More...

Automotive SMT fuses don't explode

AEM's new fuses are optimized for EVs, but useful anywhere extra safety is desired. Read More...

Buck-boost controller handles up to 150 V

The LTC3779 buck-boost switching regulator controller from Linear Technology operates over an input voltage range of 4.5 V to 150 V. Read More...

Increasing efficiency of offline flyback power conversion

The next generation of Power Integrations’ InnoSwitch has somehow managed to improve the efficiency to a level of 94%. Read More...

Wireless receiver suits mobile devices

A wireless power receiver, the MAX77950 from Maxim, operates as a transmitter in PeerPower mode to enable peer device power transfer. Read More...

SiC MOSFET comes in TO-263 package

Richardson RFPD offers the Wolfspeed C3M0075120J silicon-carbide power MOSFET, as well as design support for the N-channel enhancement-mode device. Read More...

Converters target microgrids, data centers

Industrial DC/DC converters from Powerbox operate with an input voltage of 180 V to 425 V and deliver up to 750 W in three packaging formats. Read More...

Low-current converter maintains efficiency

Operating in burst mode, the LT8362 DC/DC converter from Linear Technology consumes as little as 9 µA of quiescent current. Read More...

PMICs for hearables are power-stingy

The MAX77650 and MAX77651 PMICs from Maxim boast a standby current of just 0.3µA and an operating current of only 5.6 µA. Read More...

Buck regulator delivers 20 A

The LTC7150S from Linear Technology is a 20 V, 20 A monolithic synchronous buck converter with differential output-voltage remote sensing. Read More...

Charger enables seamless backup

A lithium-ion battery-backup management IC, Linear Technology’s LTC4091 keeps 3.45 V to 4.45 V supply rails active during a power failure. Read More...

Measure 16 temperatures, controlled online

The WebDAQ 316 from Measurement Computing lets you measure 16 thermocouple channels and includes a built-in web server. Read More...

Buck regulator is 105 V input-capable

An input range of 4.4 V to 105 V enables Linear Technology’s LTC7103 regulator to operate from an input that experiences high-voltage surges. Read More...

LED driver packs PWM generator

Linear Technology’s LT3932 step-down DC/DC converter offers fixed-frequency, peak current control and PWM dimming for a string of LEDs. Read More...

IGBT module handles 150 A

Infineon expands its family of IGBT modules with the EconoPIM 3, a package that allows the current rating to be increased from 100 A to 150 A. Read More...

Switching regulators boost efficiency

CUI expands its lineup of nonisolated DC switching regulators with four series of devices that achieve typical efficiency of up to 96%. Read More...

High-side driver boasts 100% duty cycle

A high-side N-channel MOSFET driver, the LTC7001 from Linear Technology operates with a supply voltage of up to 150 V. Read More...

Industrial supplies tout 7-year warranty

With its latest additions, TDK-Lambda’s RWS-B series of power supplies offers a choice of seven power levels, ranging from 50 W to 1500 W. Read More...

Buck regulator reduces EMI

With optional spread spectrum modulation, the LTC7124 buck regulator from Linear Technology minimizes radiated and conducted EMI noise. Read More...

Supplies meet Medical/ITE needs

AC/DC power supplies in TDK-Lambda’s CSS65A series offer 40 W for models with a 5 V output and 65 W for models with a 12 V to 54 V output. Read More...

Converters deliver 3 W continuous power

Comprising 11 models, CUI’s PQME3 series of isolated converters is suitable for operation in harsh environments with fluctuating voltages. Read More...

Dual buck regulator furnishes 12 A

Linear Technology’s LTC3636/-1 regulator provides up to 6 A of continuous current from each channel or a two-phase single output at up to 12 A. Read More...

Picotest announces power integrity workshops in 6 cities

Learn how to design and test power delivery networks and improve system performance. Read More...

DC/DC bricks supply 50 V output

Housed in open-frame, half-brick packages, Artesyn’s AVE450, AVE500, and ADH700 series of converters deliver up to 14 A of output current. Read More...

Fixed-ratio DC/DC controller has no need for any magnetics

Linear Technology created the LTC7820 high power, fixed ratio charge pump, DC/DC controller that eliminates the need for any magnetic component in a non-isolated intermediate bus converter, based upon the Dickson converter technique. Read More...

Step-down regulator delivers 750 mA

Packing internal 1.2 A switches, the LT8607 synchronous regulator from Linear Technology furnishes 750 mA of continuous output current. Read More...

Regulator accepts 3 V to 42 V inputs

Employing a synchronous rectification topology, the LT8606 step-down regulator from Linear Technology achieves 92% efficiency. Read More...

Low-power supplies need little board room

PSK series AC/DC power supplies from CUI come in compact encapsulated packages for ITE, industrial, and consumer electronics applications. Read More...

Buck controller handles up to 150 V

Working with a 4 V to 140 V input, the LTC7801 controller from Linear Technology eliminates the need for external surge suppression devices. Read More...

LED controller assists auto lighting

A synchronous buck LED controller, Maxim’s MAX20078 provides fast response time and low EMI for automotive exterior lighting. Read More...

High-current regulator accepts 48 V input

The latest addition to Vicor’s Cool-Power ZVS buck regulator portfolio, the PI3526-00-LGIZ supplies up to 18 A of output current. Read More...

48-V supply handles three-phase input

Joining TDK-Lambda’s TPS power supply series is a 3200 W unit that accepts a three-phase Delta or Wye input ranging from 350 VAC to 528 VAC. Read More...

Switch driver offers 100% duty cycle

The LTC7000/-1 high-side N-channel MOSFET driver from Linear Technology contains an internal charge pump for 100% duty cycle operation. Read More...

POL converters output up to 170 A

Nonisolated DC/DC converters in the DLynx II family from GE offer digital compensation to accommodate a wide range of operating conditions. Read More...

Bench supplies sense loads, log data

Keysight's E36300 Series of power supplies feature output lists and a datalogger for controlling outputs and storing power measurements. Read More...

Industrial converters have 4:1 input range

Two series of DC/DC converters from Polytron Devices, the QB100 and QB150 deliver 100 W and 150 W of output power, respectively. Read More...

CUI introduces aluminum heat sinks

Complementing CUI’s portfolio of thermal-management devices is an extensive lineup of heat sinks in standard form factors and sizes. Read More...

USB power switch affords fast role swap

Diodes’ DPS1133 single-channel power switch meets the protection and FRS (fast role swap) requirements of USB Type-C ports. Read More...

Buck controller operates at up to 2.25 MHz

Linear Technology's LTC7800 step-down DC/DC controller offers selectable switching frequency and a wide input voltage range of 4 V to 60 V. 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...

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Resurrecting a 6-amp battery charger

It was time to refurbish this stately old battery charger, before it shorted and electrocuted someone. Read More...

The Pythagorean theorem: engineering applications

I was not even aware that there was such a day as Pythagorean Day until this year, but it brought to my attention some really interesting engineering applications. Read More...

SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition: design from creative young minds, Part 1

Arizona students developed an economical, sustainable, and scalable pod for the SpaceX Hyperloop transit system concept. Read More...

Electrostatic deflection in conformable mirrors

See how conformable mirrors can be used for satellites, telescopes, confocal microscopes, and other adaptive optics. Read More...

Designing second stage output filters for switching power supplies

Switching power supplies are nearly ubiquitous, but their outputs can be noisy due to the high switching transients. Therefore, there is a need to be able to design optimized, damped multistage filters to clean up the output from switching power converters. Read More...

Mushrooming PoE use cries out for true standardization

PoE standardization has unfortunately lagged. With renewed efforts and resources, there’s no longer any excuse to use proprietary designs. Read More...

Hurricane hardening for utility power architectures: Puerto Rico

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, the island of Puerto Rico has been devastated with a loss of their electrical power infrastructure. Rebuilding must happen as soon as possible, but hardening and resiliency must be built into any such system. Read More...

SIMPLIS vs. SPICE: Which is better for simulating power circuits?

Which engine would you choose for your power supply circuit? By establishing the desired outcome from simulation, we can objectively compare the differences between SIMPLIS and SPICE. Read More...

Keeping it safe: The lithium-ion battery

As lithium ion batteries become more prevalent in all of our electronics, there is a lot of circuitry keeping them from exploding to consider. We will discuss the numerous protection architectures out there and pros and cons of it. Read More...

Discrete JFETs still prominent in design: Low input voltage power supply

Depletion mode devices and JFETs, in particular, still have a place in analog design. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

Find the right PMIC for your wearable systems

As smart watches become must-have devices, manufacturers are demanding smaller-size, lower-power circuitry with higher functionality. Read More...

Magnetising the next generation of high-throughput satellites

Satellite manufacturers are designing and making proprietary isolated DC-DCs and switching point-of-loads. Power transformers and inductors are fundamental to the design of these regulators respectively. Read More...

Power Tips #81: Make sure your optocoupler is properly biased

When you are designing an isolated feedback network, you must consider the tolerance of the optocoupler and all other components that determine the large signal gain. Read More...

So, where’s pin 1 on those common 0.156” connectors?

A whole range of commonly used 0.1” & 0.156” SIL connectors (e.g., Molex) have never defined which end is pin 1. Confusion ensues. Read More...

They're still selling incandescent flashlights?

The typical consumer flashlight now has an ANSI/NEMA standard for defining performance across various parameters, so you can compare units with different light sources. Read More...

Power Tips #80: Compensating for diode drop variations

While it may not be possible to eliminate the losses diodes introduce, you can use diodes in ways that reduce tolerance errors in certain applications. Read More...

HV Corotron monitors diesel emissions

Concerns over diesel emissions are nothing new. Read how some old-school tech handled measurements with the help of many, many volts. Read More...

Beware the TO-220

“When is a TO-220 not a TO-220?” is your Zen exercise today. Take care this package variation doesn’t bite you. Read More...

How many MIT grads does it take to hook up a light bulb?

Engineers weigh in on the importance of teaching the principles of engineering as well as the practice. Read More...

Power Tips #79: Load transient testing with high slew rates

Microprocessors and ASICs require low-voltage, high-current power supplies. Testing these supplies can pose a challenge for designers, and it may be difficult to confirm compliance with the specifications. Read More...

Energy-storage options: abundant alternatives and tricky tradeoffs

Energy storage is a complementary function to its generation, and getting both to be well-matched in a given application is not easy. Read More...

Whipping a cheap LED PSU into usable shape

You get what you pay for, and sometimes not even that, but even a cheap Chinese PSU can be improved with some judicious tinkering. Read More...

Dead meters expose battery terminal design issues

When $1000 worth of meters die, an engineer must investigate and critique the design. Read More...

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