Technical solutions, industry trends and insights for designing and managing power supplies.
    • 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 (I 2 C)-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 converters and their hosts. The host can be any microcontroller, microprocessor, computer, board-management...
    • 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,...
    • Apr 13, 2017

    Design advantage of D-CAP control topology

    Texas Instruments first implemented the D-CAP™ control topology in 2004 on a double-data-rate (DDR) controller, the TPS51116 . TI developed D-CAP technology as a form of current-mode control using the output capacitor equivalent series resistance (ESR) as the sense element. The name “D-CAP” refers to the current information that’s...
    • Apr 11, 2017

    The effects of gate-driver strength in synchronous buck converters

    The peak voltage at phase node, VPH, in a synchronous buck converter is one of the main specifications to determine converter reliability. Designers usually allow phase-node ringing to be as much as 85% to 90% of the MOSFET data sheet’s absolut...