Technical solutions, industry trends and insights for designing and managing power supplies.
    • Mar 2, 2017

    Four-switch buck-boost layout tip No. 3: separating differential sense lines from power planes

    In my last blog , I provided tips for optimizing hot loops in a buck-boost converter. I decided to add this tip as a separate topic after finding it in almost all of the layouts I reviewed late last year. The most frequently encountered issue in layout is the incorrect routing of differential sense signals from the sense resistor to TI’s LM5175...
    • Feb 23, 2017

    Four-switch buck-boost layout tip No. 2: optimizing hot loops in the power stage

    As I discussed in my previous blog , layout is very critical to the success of a buck-boost converter and the first step is identifying the critical components. Once you have identified the critical parts of your DC/DC converter design, your next task is to minimize any sources of noise and unwanted parasitics. Minimizing hot loops is a major first...
    • Feb 20, 2017

    Four-switch buck-boost layout tip No. 1: identifying the critical parts for layout

    Layout is very critical to the successful operation of a buck-boost converter. A good layout begins by identifying these critical components, as shown in Figure 1: High di/dt loops or hot loops. High dv/dt nodes. Sensitive traces. Figure 1:...
    • Feb 16, 2017

    Make your PSE system smarter and more efficient

    Power over Ethernet (PoE) enables Ethernet cables to carry electrical power as well as data. For example, old Internet protocol (IP) phones usually needed a DC power supply and Ethernet cable to deliver power and data, respectively. With PoE implemented in an Ethernet switch, power is delivered through the Ethernet cable to the IP phone, eliminating...
    • Feb 15, 2017

    Power Tips: How to use Nyquist plots to assess system stability

    A Bode plot is a very popular way to determine a dynamic system’s stability. However, there are times, when a Bode plot is not a straightforward stability indicator. Figure 1 shows a Bode plot of TI’s TPS40425synchronous buck converter w...
    • Feb 14, 2017

    USB Type-C™ power: Should your next device have USB Type-C?

    As USB Type-C ports continue to rise in popularity in laptops, tablets and smartphones, so do the number of failures that early adopters experience. These failures are frequently due to the new USB Type-C cables, many of which are not compliant with the official USB 3.1 specification. With previous USB implementations (common ones shown in Figure...
    • Feb 10, 2017

    Deciphering module data sheets – efficiency

    In my blog, Deciphering module data sheets – size , I discussed how it’s critical to go beyond just the front page of the data sheet to get the full story about a power module’s integration and solution size. In this installment, I’ll talk about similar issues with power module transient response and efficiency. Transient...
    • Feb 8, 2017

    Deciphering module data sheets – size

    I’m sure at some point or another, we’ve all agreed to terms and conditions that we haven’t really read. Why bother spending so much time reading fine print? Like any important document, data sheets also have fine print – one page of flashy specs, but upwards of 20 pages of fine print. This is especially true for power modules...
    • Feb 3, 2017

    The flexibility of advanced controllers and NexFET™ Power Blocks in high-power POL applications

    Many of today’s space-constrained designs use point-of-load (POL) converters with integrated power MOSFETs (iFETs) to solve engineering challenges. iFET converters offer integration that results in smaller space and ease of use. While these advantages are compelling, engineers often need a controller with specific features or functionalities that...
    • Feb 2, 2017

    Exploring watchdog timer applications

    In my last post, “ What is a watchdog timer, and why is it important? ” I discussed how watchdog timers (WDTs) work and how you can implement them in your system. In this post, I’ll talk about why you should use a watchdog timer in your application, how a window watchdog timer works and some additional watchdog timer features that...