Technical solutions, industry trends and insights for designing and managing power supplies.
    • 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...
    • May 24, 2017

    Comparing Bode plots in D-CAP3™ control mode

    Converter stability is a primary requirement for any synchronous buck converter design. Confirming converter stability requires that you derive the small-signal transfer function and measure the Bode plot of a closed-loop system. It is possible to derive the small-signal transfer function rigorously using complicated mathematic equations; the results...
    • May 18, 2017

    Lightning-fast internally-compensated ACM topology – what can it do for you?

    Internally compensated advanced current mode (ACM) is a new control topology from Texas Instruments that supports true fixed-frequency modulation and synchronization with internal compensation. Fundamentally, it is similar to emulated peak-current-mo...
    • May 10, 2017

    Is PMBus still useful without telemetry?

    PMBus is an Inter-Integrated Circuit (I2C)-based communication standard/interface for power-supply management. Many point-of-load (POL) converters on the market today are built with the PMBus interface, which enables digital communication between con...
    • May 4, 2017

    Waveform audit: rabbit ears

    What does an interning doctor diagnose if he sees symptoms he has never read about in a medical handbook? A similar question can be asked of an integrated circuit (IC) validation engineer early in his career. Indeed, like a doctor, a validation engineer is assigned to evaluate the “state of health” of an IC and to make the correct “diagnosis...
    • May 2, 2017

    Buck-boost regulator benefits automotive conducted immunity

    An automotive battery’s steady-state voltage ranges from 9V to 16V depending on its state of charge, ambient temperature and alternator operating condition. However, the battery power bus is also subject to a wide range of dynamic disturbances, including start-stop, cold crank and load-dump transients. Each automotive manufacturer has a unique...
    • May 1, 2017

    Power Tips: A simple circuit to implement smooth soft start for an isolated converter

    Most DC/DC converters require a soft-start circuit to limit the in-rush current at startup. Although a smooth soft start is required for systems with power-on reset (POR), this is difficult for an isolated converter with a controller on the primary side and a limited duty cycle or current. Figure 1 shows the soft start of a forward converter with...
    • Apr 28, 2017

    Precise Current Limiter for Smart E-Meter

    Automatic meter reading (AMR) systems have become more popular in recent years. This technology saves electricity providers the expense of periodic trips to each physical location to read a meter so that billing is based on real-time consumption rath...
    • Apr 24, 2017

    Small and efficient power supply for the Altera™ MAX® 10 FPGA

    Are you designing with Altera’s™ MAX® 10 FPGA? If so, you probably just want a small, efficient and proven power solution without having to devote much thought or design time to it. The power supply should be simple and small enough to fit on a fraction of your printed circuit board (PCB) and efficient enough to not require heat sinks...
    • Apr 21, 2017

    Design a competitive USB OTG power supply

    Universal Serial Bus or “USB” has been around for a long time; at the very beginning, USB had exclusive primary and secondary hosts. The primary data transmission was mainly from the PC and the secondary transmission was to mobile phones,...