Technical solutions, industry trends and insights for designing and managing power supplies.
    • Mar 23, 2017

    Know your gate driver

    I hope you’ve had a chance to watch our video series, “ Know Your Gate Driver .” Although often overlooked, gate drivers are responsible for a lot of the heavy lifting in systems like power supplies and motor-control systems. I like to think of a gate driver as a muscle ! The video series explains how while highlighting key gate-driver...
    • Mar 20, 2017

    Selecting a bidirectional converter control scheme

    The 48V-12V dual-battery power system is becoming popular for mild hybrid electric vehicles . The vehicle’s dynamic operating conditions may require the transfer of electric power as high as 10kW back and forth between the two battery rails. Because of all sorts of operation scenarios in a moving vehicle, controlling the power flow needs in one...
    • Mar 16, 2017

    LDO basics: dropout

    The quintessential characteristic of a low-dropout (LDO) linear voltage regulator has to be dropout. After all, that is the source of its name and acronym. At the most basic level, dropout describes the minimum delta between V IN and V OUT required for proper regulation. However, it quickly becomes more nuanced when you incorporate variables. Dropout...
    • Mar 13, 2017

    Innovate, design and learn with TI power experts at APEC

    Reviewing this year’s program of events for APEC in Tampa, Florida, on March 26-30 provoked a few nostalgic memories. Back in 1994, I attended my first APEC conference at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and was impressed to see so many power electronics experts at one event. I actually had the pleasure to meet Ned Mohan, the author of my undergraduate...
    • Mar 7, 2017

    Tips and tricks for optimizing your voltage supervisor

    Voltage supervisors have provided analog voltage monitoring to digital circuits for decades. Texas Instruments released the original TL7705 in 1983; it consumed 1.8mA, came in a plastic dual-inline package (PDIP) and you can still purchase it today. Newer supervisors come with a wide range of options, from ultra-low current ( TPS3839 ), tiny packages...
    • Mar 6, 2017

    Power Tips: PWM-controlled output adjustment for USB Type-C™ applications

    Consumer applications often require power supplies to support an adjustable output voltage for different operating conditions such as USB Type-C™. This demand creates the need for a simple and effective method to tune the output voltage. There are many ways to interact with the feedback (FB) pin on the integrated circuit (IC) to set the desired...
    • Mar 3, 2017

    LDO basics: power supply rejection ratio

    One of the most touted benefits of low dropout linear regulators (LDOs) is their ability to attenuate voltage ripple generated by switched-mode power supplies. This is especially important for signal-conditioning devices like data converters, phase-locked loops (PLLs) and clocks, where noisy supply voltages can compromise performance. My colleague Xavier...
    • 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:...