Technical solutions, industry trends and insights for designing and managing power supplies.
    • Jun 28, 2017

    Making smart meter eFuses robust and reliable

    Replacing existing meters (which still use technology developed decades ago), smart meters use a secure connection network to automatically and wirelessly send energy usage to utility companies. The heart of a smart meter is its switch-mode power supply (SMPS) using the low-cost flyback topology for both single- and three-phase smart meters. The...
    • Jun 26, 2017

    Charge electronic locks for shared bikes with the sun

    In large cities, the concept of “shared bikes” started several years ago. Anyone can rent a bike and return it to various docking stations throughout the city with a credit card. The rider is charged for the length of time that they’ve rented the bike. For example, in London, a shared bike user picks up and returns the bike to a...
    • Jun 21, 2017

    How adding an eFuse will protect your brand’s reputation

    This past weekend, one of my friends asked for my opinion on which brand of TV to buy. One of the first things that came to mind was my “gut feel” on which brand had the best reputation. We discussed that point for a while without really ...
    • Jun 14, 2017

    LDO basics: noise – part 1

    In another LDO basics blog post , I discussed using a low-dropout regulator (LDO) to filter ripple voltage arising from switched-mode power supplies. This isn’t the only consideration for achieving a clean DC power supply, however. Because LDOs are electronic devices, they generate a certain amount of noise of their own accord. Selecting a low...
    • Jun 8, 2017

    Powering the Intel® Arria 10 GX FPGA with a PMBus Multiphase Buck DC/DC Converter

    Field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) are increasingly complex system-on-chips (SoCs) that include not just programmable logic gates and random access memory (RAM) but also analog-to-digital converters (ADCs); digital-to-analog converters (DACs); and programmable analog features and signal-conditioning circuits that enable high-performance digital...
    • Jun 6, 2017

    Power Tips: How to upgrade a legacy power bank to USB Type-C™

    With more and more portal devices adopting the USB Type-C™ connector , designing a power bank capable of charging these devices is suddenly a big deal. Unfortunately, the USB Type-C connector is a totally new type of USB connector. Understanding the differences between a USB Type-C power bank from legacy USB power banks is critical for successful...
    • Jun 5, 2017

    A simple and efficient LED driver for video surveillance cameras

    Video surveillance security monitoring is in demand, and the technology has also become more affordable for both personal and commercial use. Compelled by the need for better security, millions of security cameras have been installed worldwide. Because many security cameras are on all the time, it is no surprise that surveillance camera manufacturers...
    • May 31, 2017

    How to approach a power supply design – part 2

    In the first installment of this two-part series, I described how important it is to have a good specification for properly designing a power supply. In part 2, I will outline which parameters of your specification (see Figure 1) influence the decision for certain topologies. Figure 1: Parameters of your specification, which can influence the...
    • May 31, 2017

    Good pin practices with buck converters

    Many synchronous buck converter designers face a common issue: how best to connect the open drain power-good flag, also known as the power-good (PGOOD) pin. In this post, I will explore the expected behavior of power good when it is tied to various different pull-up sources. There has been some misinformation floating around that hopefully this post...
    • May 25, 2017

    LDO basics: Current limit

    The key goal of DC power management is to provide a regulated, steady voltage for the slew of electronic content present in any system. This is particularly true for low-dropout regulators (LDOs), as they can achieve a regulated voltage while supplying current as needed. There are external conditions and scenarios where an LDO might experience an...