Technical solutions, industry trends and insights for designing and managing power supplies.
    • May 27, 2016

    Thinking beyond the buck controller for high-output power supplies

    Choosing the right buck-converter topology for a battery-connected automotive power supply is usually pretty straightforward. For currents up to ~3.5A, a synchronous buck converter is the best choice. A buck converter with an integrated MOSFET half bridge requires less space on the printed circuit board (PCB), fewer external components and a lower bill...
    • May 26, 2016

    eFuses: clamping and cutoff and auto retry, oh my! – part 2/3

    If you missed part 1 of this blog series , be sure to check out the different options available with eFuses for handling overvoltage events (output-voltage clamping vs. output-voltage cutoff). In this installment, I’ll focus on eFuse options for overcurrent protection (current limiting vs. circuit breaking). Continuing our journey down the Yellow...
    • May 25, 2016

    Power Tips: Simple PSRR measurement with a frequency analyzer

    The power supply rejection ratio (PSRR) is the power supply’s ability to reject ripple voltage applied at the input. This is normally done by adding a high-current power amplifier in series with the input source, driving it with a frequency-swept signal from a signal analyzer, and measuring the ratio of V IN to V OUT at each measured frequency...
    • May 24, 2016

    Advantages of wide band gap materials in power electronics – part 1

    With the introduction of new wide-bandgap materials such as gallium nitride (GaN) in transistor fabrication, significant figure-of-merit improvements translate into potential improvements in power supplies. In this two-part series, I’ll discuss how these new wide-bandgap materials can benefit new designs. Using newer materials that exhibit...
    • May 23, 2016

    No small matter: How to reduce voltage regulator size

    My wife loves to get flowers. It is amazing how a simple, small gift can bring such a big smile to her face. The flowers brighten up our home and our spirits. If only reducing voltage regulator size was such a small matter. There often seems to be m...
    • May 20, 2016

    Improving road safety by the headlight: LED matrix manager

    In my previous blog post , I introduced an automotive light-emitting-diodes (LED) headlight unit using switch-mode regulators. Those LED headlights are static; that is, they either turn on or off. You might turn on the fog lamps when the weather is bad or use your low beams at night and save your high beams when driving uphill. However, have you ever...
    • May 16, 2016

    When to select an integrated inductor DC/DC module over a linear regulator

    Back in the day, when board space was plentiful and mechanical enclosures were large, it was easy to just plop a low-dropout regulator (LDO) down on your printed circuit board (PCB), use extra copper, and add a heat sink to manage the heat. But in Industry 4.0 systems, that is not how it works. These smart systems use more sophisticated processors and...
    • May 13, 2016

    How LDOs contribute to power efficiency

    Low-dropout regulators (LDOs) are widely recognized for their low noise and high power-supply rejection ratio (PSRR). However, LDOs can also contribute to power efficiency when they are complemented with the right technique. You can design a low-noise and lean power supply by pairing low-quiescent-current LDOs with appropriate power-saving techniques...
    • May 12, 2016

    Keeping up with the standards: Efficiency and standby power requirements

    Energy agencies around the world are concerned about growing power consumption and the amount of available deliverable energy. One of the largest demands on the world’s power grid comes from external power supplies (EPSs); these include laptop adapters and phone and tablet USB chargers/adapters. Portable electronics users probably use two to three...
    • May 10, 2016

    eFuses: clamping and cutoff and auto retry, oh my! – part 1/3

    Much like when Dorothy arrived in Oz, your first look at the multitude of features inside the Texas Instruments eFuse portfolio can be overwhelming. With options such as voltage clamping, circuit breaking and auto retry (to name a few), our portfolio can help protect almost every power circuit. But with so many choices, picking the perfect eFuse...