Technical solutions, industry trends and insights for designing and managing power supplies.
    • Sep 18, 2017

    GaN reliability standards reach milestone

    Design engineers faced with the challenges of reduced space and increased power demands are embracing gallium nitride (GaN) technology. By leveraging new topologies, switching frequencies and magnetic design options, GaN has enabled systems to reach unprecedented levels of power density and efficiency. However, these designs need to meet the industry’s...
    • Sep 14, 2017

    Getting started with PMBus

    I’m working as a product marketing engineer intern, and immediately received several tasks working with many different devices in the TI arsenal. The biggest problem I had was understanding the differences between them. One word that kept coming up (among many) was PMBus – PMBus with telemetry, PMBus without telemetry, etc. Every piece of...
    • Sep 13, 2017

    How to choose the right charger for industrial batteries

    As battery technology enables smaller size and higher capacity, you’ll find battery-powered devices not only in consumer products but also industrial systems. As a designer, one of the most important questions to consider is the control method...
    • Sep 12, 2017

    Use an ULQ buck regulator for energy-efficient power products

    Battery life has played a more and more important role in portable devices, contributing to the overall user experience. Longer battery life has become one of the first priorities for engineers to consider when designing a battery-powered device. Energy Star and similar standards not only require increasing the efficiency of a device during normal operation...
    • Sep 11, 2017

    Making trade-offs when integrating input and output capacitors in a DC/DC step-down power module

    The ideal goal of a DC/DC step-down (buck) point-of-load power module is to integrate the entire bill of materials (BOM) inside the package. In reality, most power modules require several external components, including input and output capacitors. These capacitors are usually external because they are too expensive and bulky to integrate in the package...
    • Sep 8, 2017

    Protecting field transmitters from surge transients

    If you are a designer working on field transmitters, you are probably thinking about the physical environment where the system will be installed. Industrial sensor applications require a robust protection scheme since they are likely to encounter dam...
    • Sep 6, 2017

    Powering high-current Broadcom networking processors in Ethernet switches

    Broadcom networking processors such as the StrataXGS Tomahawk family enable high density and performance in Ethernet switches (Figure 1 is a block diagram of an Ethernet switch; the switch ASIC could be the StrataXGS processor). Figure 1: Ethernet switch These processors require high current at low voltages, so their associated power solutions...
    • Aug 30, 2017

    Low-noise charge pumps make it easy to create negative voltages

    Do you have a need for a negative voltage? If you are responsible for designing an amplifier, audio system, data converter or gallium nitride (GaN) driver, you may feel all alone in your quest to provide the proper power solution for your system. A v...
    • Aug 25, 2017

    Crafty idea: Create a 150V non synchronous buck solution with a lower Vin rated controller

    Many applications today require an input-voltage rating beyond the VIN max ratings of many DC-to-DC controllers. Traditional options include using expensive front-end protection or implementing a low-side gate-drive device, which means employing an i...
    • Aug 23, 2017

    Unique techniques to increase controller power

    The better you understand a tool, the more powerful it becomes. One example of this is the Tektronix 576 curve tracer. At first glance, it looks like a machine that only measures a three-terminal bipolar junction transistor (BJT) or field-effect transistor (FET). That’s how it was advertised, so that’s what I thought until an especially...