Nicola Femia is a faculty member at the University of Salerno in Italy. Author and co-creator of the TI-PMLK (Power Management Lab Kit), Dr. Femia shares his experience with power management education.
Power management is an impactful area of study for our world as every electronic system utilizes a power source to operate. But, before students can dig their hands into creating the technologies of the future, they must first understand the “why” of power management design.
There is precise reasoning that goes into power management design; it is a logical and rational process, which can only start with a clear and deep understanding of correlations among facts to make fully informed choices and decisions. In order to learn “how” to design power into a system, students must first know the “why” behind this precise reasoning and its resulting decisions.
However, there are a few barriers educators face in teaching power management.
- The technical content is highly interdisciplinary from fundamentals of mathematics and physics to semiconductors and control technologies, collecting the entirety of electrical engineering.
- It’s necessary to have hands-on and practical experience with devices and systems using real-world technologies that universities may not own.
- There’s a disconnect between the industry and academia. The industry looks too pragmatic to the university and the university looks too theoretical to the industry.
The need for a hands-on tool to apply highly interdisciplinary content to industry-like applications has led to the launch of the TI-PMLK (Power Management Lab Kit). Each lab kit includes an evaluation board and an experiment lab book covering a key power converter topology, theory, case studies and a set of unique experiments to jumpstart system-level knowledge. The TI-PMLK series includes the most common power solutions found in the industry: buck, linear regulator (LDO), boost and coming soon, buck-boost.
The TI-PMLK series has been imagined and developed with the aim to create a knowledge bridge between university and industry, and to allow the setup of versatile and effective university education and industry training on power management and, more in general, electrical engineering.
The TI-PMLK answers the WHY to help students dive into the HOW. Here are three ways the TI-PMLK answers the why:
- The TI-PMLK series allows students to investigate in real-time how the setup of a power supply impacts the performance by emulating different design choices.
- The TI-PLMK series simulates students experience to real-word power supply analysis and design through in-depth discussion of the results and observations of the experiments.
- The TI-PLMK series helps students understand the technical identity of power supplies by exploring and correlating the performance among power topologies.
More than just a tool to make tests on power management boards, the TI-PMLK is an open laboratory to understand power management design. Students can use this tool with the accompanying workbook to craft their own imaginative power designs, allowing them tangible hands-on power design experience before entering the workforce. TI-PMLK enables today’s students to develop the future power solutions needed for our world.