Technical solutions, industry trends and insights for designing and managing power supplies.
    • May 26, 2015

    How is GaN reliability being measured for application relevance?

    A customer recently asked me a question about gallium nitride (GaN) reliability: “It seems that JEDEC (the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council) does not cover application conditions in the switching power world. Any GaN device we would use in an end product should go through such testing. In my opinion, JEDEC should incorporate these kinds...
    • May 25, 2015

    Understanding MOSFET data sheets, Part 3 - Continuous current ratings

    The first thing to understand about MOSFET current ratings is they’re not real. Ok, so maybe a better way to put it is just that they are not measured the way that parameters like RDS(ON) and gate charge are determined, but rather, they are cal...
    • May 21, 2015

    Is your power supply smart enough to be cool

    OK. I know the title is really corny, but I think you’re really going to like this post if you give it a chance. We’ve all heard over and over about the great things intelligent power will bring to the power-supply industry. In many ways it has met or exceeded our expectations; however, in other ways it has also let us down. I can’t...
    • May 19, 2015

    Inverting made simple by unleashing the buck

    An engineer, the multi-disciplinarian, is a scientist by work and an artist at play. Few can command the cascode to do their bidding and fewer still develop the mastery to do so effectively. The engineer's toolbox is an ever expanding one, and to...
    • May 16, 2015

    The dream of an ideal switch requires innovative packaging

    Some of us want to climb Mount Everest while others simply want to find the perfect switching element. Semiconductor manufacturers continue to improve the figures of merit (FOM) for their silicon-based MOSFETs with each generation and improvements in...
    • May 14, 2015

    Power Tips: Calculating capacitance for load transients

    Selecting the output capacitance in a buck converter is often based on the level of output-ripple voltage required. In many cases, the calculated capacitance may be rather small, allowing the use of only a single ceramic capacitor. Additionally, since ceramic capacitors have very low equivalent series resistance (ESR), their contribution to output ripple...
    • May 12, 2015

    Portable speaker power: Making the bass possible

    A lot of portable speakers are entering the market to supplement the audio performance of modern cellular electronics and memory devices that either store or play media content. The current challenge is that the physica...
    • May 9, 2015

    Endless possibilities for power system improvement with GaN

    The recent introduction of power gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC) field-effect transistors (FETs) into the market are opening up many possibilities for system improvements. As power-conversion designers, we are always in need for lower losses, not only to reduce the cost of heat sinks and fans but also because of the energy-saving possibilities...
    • May 7, 2015

    D-CAP3 – A sequel better than the original

    Power system design engineers today are facing the increasing challenge of completing designs in shorter periods of time, while ensuring they’re stable over the operating environment with minimal compensation circuitry and effort. Loop compensa...
    • May 5, 2015

    Power Tips: How to measure Bode plots with DCAP regulators

    Control-loop gain, which can be plotted in a Bode plot, is a good indicator of system stability. Control-loop bandwidth also directly affects transient response performance. DCAP™ or DCAP2™ /DCAP3™ regulators (which I’ll refer to as DCAPx in this discussion) became popular for their simplicity. The DCAPx poses a challenge...