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Power Management

Steve Taranovich
Editor
In-depth technical information, product advancements, and industry news for engineers responsible for designing, specifying, or selecting power sources for electronics applications. Topics include power supplies, power management and regulation components, batteries, digital power, and alternative energy technology.

500 MHz Oscilloscope for $5000 and a touch screen, too

Teledyne LeCroy's WaveJet Touch brings touch screens to a basic oscilloscope. Read More...

Using IGBT thermal calculations to optimize power designs

How to measure the power dissipation in the two components and calculate both the average and peak junction temperatures using the thetas for the IGBT and diode. Read More...

Book Review: Switching Power Supply, Design and Optimization

How do you cover such an extensive subject as Switching Power Supplies in one book? Read More...

Paralleled transistors and regulators eliminate need for heat sinks

Bipolar junction transistors (BJT) seem like old-fashioned electronic components but they can solve a great many tasks due to their low cost and good parameters. Read More...

Tryout: Teledyne LeCroy WaveSurfer 3000 oscilloscope

The WaveSurfer 3000's Maui user interface lets you get products quickly. Read More...

Memory of "memory effect" provides cautionary lesson

Old stories can live long after their reality had changed, and can waste time and energy in a project's design and debug phases. Read More...

Analog online resistance monitoring of resistive power loads, Part 2

The following Part 2 will discuss interesting cases and examples. Read More...

NASA Orion electronics: Celestial “hunter” seeking our origin

The NASA Orion program is a Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) for manned missions to the Moon, asteroids and Mars. This MPCV will be a celestial “hunter” of sorts among the stars just as the Greek huntsman was. Man is forever searching for the origin of his existence and to find out what is “out there” to enhance our lives on or off the Earth. Read More...

Analog online resistance monitoring of resistive power loads, Part 1

In this article, the author proposes an analog online-resistance-monitoring method for resistive power-loads, as a viable alternative to the usual digital approach. After method presentation and discussion, he presents an application example with minimum component count, for assessing the real capabilities of the method. Read More...

Protecting against reverse polarity: Methods examined, Part 2

We now continue with four more Reverse Polarity Protection methods in this Part 2. Read More...

70-W triple-output regulator occupies 4.5 cm2

Housed in a thermally efficient 15x15x5.01-mm BGA package with an integrated heat sink, the LTM4634 step-down µModule regulator from Linear Technology delivers full rated current on all three of its outputs (5 A, 5 A, and 4 A), resulting in more than 70 W of output power at 65°C with 200-LFM airflow. Read More...

Signal integrity and power integrity in high-speed design

Analysis of both signal integrity and power integrity is vital to a successful high-speed digital design. Mentor Graphics’ Patrick Carrier explains why. Read More...

Protecting against reverse polarity: Methods examined, Part 1

Reverse polarity is a dangerous electrical condition that can be difficult to prevent once a system leaves the factory, so adding circuitry that protects against its effects is an important part of improving system reliability. This article looks at the many methods for protection and weighs their tradeoffs. Read More...

Is a shark biting your product?

In the category of unexpected hazards, sharks are biting into undersea optical-fiber cables. Are the sharks sensing the electric field, or just checking out what's new in their play area? Read More...

>> SEE ALL

Improve efficiency of low-cost switcher

Reduce losses by over 30%, and improve Vin(min) too, on a 34063-based or similar switcher. Read More...

Variable HV power supply employs photovoltaic optocoupler

This unusual topology saved the day when a higher-voltage variable supply was needed. Read More...

Low-side switch with fast turn-off for inductive loads

Ditch the freewheeling diode if you want fast turn off. Read More...

Avago Tech Note: Driving & protecting inverter IGBTs

A special purpose optocoupler can solve your IGBT gate-drive and fault-feedback needs. Read More...

Avago Tech Note: Reduce IGBT drive cost and space

Use an application-specific optocoupler for an elegant solution to IGBT drive and monitoring. Read More...

LTC Design Note: 65V 500mA step-down converter fits automotive and industrial applications

This switcher is happy to drop a 60V input all the way down to 0.8V. Read More...

Avoid problems with multiple DC-DC converters

Improve DC-DC converter design and application, and avoid potential problems with this synchronization circuit. Read More...

LTC Design Notes: Micropower Isolated Flyback Converter with Input Voltage Range from 6V to 100V

A tiny, integrated flyback converter requires minimal support components. Read More...

Smart ripple canceller offers near-zero dropout

Eliminate linear power supply ripple losslessly! Read More...

Design Notes: 60V, Synchronous Step-Down High Current LED Driver

Highly efficient high-power LED controller/driver also facilitates MPPT. Read More...

Latching power switch uses momentary pushbutton

This could be the cheapest way yet to convert a momentary switch into an on-off power controller. Read More...

Momentary switch controls mains with latch-on and remote shutdown

Convert a momentary switch into one that latches as well as protects loads from rapid cycling. Read More...

HV flyback converter improves efficiency

High-energy, high-voltage capacitor charging will benefit from the concepts in this DI. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

Compact encapsulated supplies boast high power density

Targeting applications that require a slim profile, high power density, and low no-load power consumption, the ECE60 series of 60-W single-output, encapsulated AC/DC power supplies from XP Power achieves a power density of more than 10 W per cubic inch. Read More...

Configurable PMIC targets Li-ion battery-powered designs

Offering a programmable boot sequence, the AS3715 power-management IC (PMIC) from ams can be easily adapted for different application processors, allowing OEMs to implement power circuits for multiple end products with the same hardware design. Read More...

500 MHz Oscilloscope for $5000 and a touch screen, too

Teledyne LeCroy's WaveJet Touch brings touch screens to a basic oscilloscope. Read More...

Compact, efficient DC power relay switches 400-V 15-A loads

To address the growing market for high voltage DC battery powered systems and renewable energy applications, Omron has added an efficient DC power relay suitable for bicycle and scooter charging stations, UPSs, battery management systems, elevators, industrial robots, and solar/wind generation systems. Read More...

Eighth brick DC/DC converters tout digital control

The TDK-Lambda iEH series of isolated DC/DC converters features digital nonlinear adaptive control, which enables the devices to provide better dynamic performance, improved system stability, and reduced component count. Read More...

Programmable wireless charging ICs & ref designs target consumer, automotive

Freescale claims that in contrast to some competing products that restrict customisation, its new offerings allow design innovation and enable the rapid development of differentiated wireless charging systems. Read More...

70-W triple-output regulator occupies 4.5 cm2

Housed in a thermally efficient 15x15x5.01-mm BGA package with an integrated heat sink, the LTM4634 step-down µModule regulator from Linear Technology delivers full rated current on all three of its outputs (5 A, 5 A, and 4 A), resulting in more than 70 W of output power at 65°C with 200-LFM airflow. Read More...

Buck regulator needs little board space

Vishay Intertechnology has expanded its microBuck family of integrated synchronous buck regulators with a 3-A device that not only provides a fixed 650-kHz switching frequency and a wide input voltage range of 4.5 V to 15 V, but also offers a complete buck-regulator design in just 100 mm2. Read More...

Step-down controller needs just 50 µA in standby mode

A synchronous step-down DC/DC controller from Linear Technology, the LTC3807 accommodates a wide input supply range of 4 V to 38 V and draws only 50 µA in standby mode with the output voltage in regulation. Read More...

Switching regulators conserve board space

Delivering high power efficiency over a wide current load, two compact DC/DC switching regulators from Rohm Semiconductor allow designers to reduce layout requirements by more than 20%. Read More...

LDO regulator boasts ultralow-noise operation

The LT3062 low-noise, low-dropout-voltage linear regulator from Linear Technology delivers up to 200 mA continuous output current with a 300-mV dropout voltage at full load, while providing a noise specification of only 30 µVRMS across a bandwidth of 10 Hz to 100 kHz. Read More...

TI integrated triple-output synchronous buck converters

Texas Instruments introduced some pretty useful integrated triple-output synchronous step-down switching regulators recently. Read More...

eFuse power switches safeguard systems

Texas Instruments has launched what it calls the industry’s smallest bidirectional 18-V, 5-A protection switches offering multiple levels of protection, extended battery life, and board space savings in portable and adapter-powered devices, as well as enterprise and client solid-state drives. Read More...

Keithley power supply measures, too

The 2280S Precision Measurement, Low Noise, Programmable DC Power Supplies provide power, measure output current and voltage and, can graph them. Read More...

Buck controller achieves high step-down efficiency

Outfitted with 3-A high-side and low-side drivers, the ISL78268 synchronous buck controller from Intersil provides high step-down efficiency for a wide variety of load currents, supporting virtually every 12-V, 24-V, and 48-V high-current buck requirement in automotive and industrial applications. Read More...

TI expands line of multichannel buck converters

Texas Instruments’ triple-output TPS65261 and TPS65262 synchronous step-down switching regulators accommodate a wide input supply range of 4.5 V to 18 V for intermediate bus voltages operating off 5-V, 9-V, 12-V, or 15-V power buses or batteries. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

Teardown: Cell-phone charger: nice idea done right

The Mophie juice pack powerstation mini smartphone and USB-device battery charger demonstrates the ability to provide more than twice the battery life to your smartphone while still keeping a low-profile shape that slips right into your pocket. Read More...

Teardown: Samsung Galaxy S4

TechInsights examines the innards of Samsung's latest and greatest smartphone. Read More...

Cell-phone charger: nice idea, bad implementation

Now and again you come across a device that’s so simple, useful, and functional that you’re glad to add it to your already-overladen workbag; that is, until it breaks, for the dumbest of design reasons. Read More...

Teardown: The power inverter - from sunlight to power grid

This teardown of a solar inverter card traces the path of harvested DC power from the photovoltaic panel, through boost conversion, power inverter and massive filtering of the created AC power signal required by the power grid. Surrounded by monitoring and microcontroller magic along with safety standard adherence, we uncover the mysteries of solar energy harvesting electronics. Read More...

Evaluate your application's energy-harvesting vibrational profile with a Slam Stick

To know whether your application is suitable for vibrational energy harvesting, you must determine its vibrational profile. Mide Technology's Slam Stick data logger and open-source software can ease your profiling task. Read More...

What's inside a smart meter? iFixit tears it down

When iFixit's Kyle Wiens had the opportunity to tear down an Elster smart meter, he jumped at it—not to come up with a repair manual but to evaluate the health and safety issues that seem to surround the utilities’ installation of smart meters. Read More...

Simple battery technology packs in more features with complex chemistries

The basic components are the same across all rechargeable lithium-ion cells, the workhorses of portable energy storage. Read More...

Way, way off the grid: Powering the Phoenix Mars lander

Prying Eyes: An inside look at the power-generation, -regulation, and -delivery system for the Phoenix Mars lander. Read More...

Microfuel cell enables ubiquitous computing

Prying Eyes examines a fuel-cell-based power pack for handheld devices, such as cell phones and MP3 players. Read More...

Hybrids mark the end of the stinky city bus

Prying Eyes looks inside a hybrid gas-electric bus powered by 288 ultracapacitors. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

Using IGBT thermal calculations to optimize power designs

How to measure the power dissipation in the two components and calculate both the average and peak junction temperatures using the thetas for the IGBT and diode. Read More...

Book Review: Switching Power Supply, Design and Optimization

How do you cover such an extensive subject as Switching Power Supplies in one book? Read More...

Paralleled transistors and regulators eliminate need for heat sinks

Bipolar junction transistors (BJT) seem like old-fashioned electronic components but they can solve a great many tasks due to their low cost and good parameters. Read More...

Analog online resistance monitoring of resistive power loads, Part 2

The following Part 2 will discuss interesting cases and examples. Read More...

NASA Orion electronics: Celestial “hunter” seeking our origin

The NASA Orion program is a Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) for manned missions to the Moon, asteroids and Mars. This MPCV will be a celestial “hunter” of sorts among the stars just as the Greek huntsman was. Man is forever searching for the origin of his existence and to find out what is “out there” to enhance our lives on or off the Earth. Read More...

Analog online resistance monitoring of resistive power loads, Part 1

In this article, the author proposes an analog online-resistance-monitoring method for resistive power-loads, as a viable alternative to the usual digital approach. After method presentation and discussion, he presents an application example with minimum component count, for assessing the real capabilities of the method. Read More...

Protecting against reverse polarity: Methods examined, Part 2

We now continue with four more Reverse Polarity Protection methods in this Part 2. Read More...

Signal integrity and power integrity in high-speed design

Analysis of both signal integrity and power integrity is vital to a successful high-speed digital design. Mentor Graphics’ Patrick Carrier explains why. Read More...

Protecting against reverse polarity: Methods examined, Part 1

Reverse polarity is a dangerous electrical condition that can be difficult to prevent once a system leaves the factory, so adding circuitry that protects against its effects is an important part of improving system reliability. This article looks at the many methods for protection and weighs their tradeoffs. Read More...

Lithium-Ion to primary battery power design conversion strategies

When designing with lithium-ion, safety should always be on the forefront of the design engineer’s mind to ensure that proper care is taken—especially during charging. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

Guest Blog: New Sensor Hub Capabilities Create More User Context Questions

While new low-power sensors and sensor hubs are ushering in a wealth of new devices, context awareness is becoming more important than ever. The solutions are delivering as much in the way of questions as answers. Read More...

Memory of "memory effect" provides cautionary lesson

Old stories can live long after their reality had changed, and can waste time and energy in a project's design and debug phases. Read More...

Pesky parasitics

As transistor sizes continue to shrink and more and more logic is placed next to analog circuits, digital-switching noise propagates through the substrate and power distribution network, degrading the functionality of the sensitive analog circuitry. Read More...

Is a shark biting your product?

In the category of unexpected hazards, sharks are biting into undersea optical-fiber cables. Are the sharks sensing the electric field, or just checking out what's new in their play area? Read More...

Tattoo bio-batteries produce power from sweat

Researchers University of California San Diego have designed a sensor in the form of a temporary tattoo that can both monitor a person's progress during exercise and the tattoo biobatteries can also produce power from the perspiration. Read More...

Are your batteries ready to fly?

High-density lithium-based batteries are both a big boon and a large risk; on aircraft, the risk part becomes a larger factor. Read More...

Electric drive moves to two wheels

Just as Tesla brought style to the electric car market, the entry of electric vehicles from Zero and Harley Davidson promise to move the electric motorcycle market away from the traditional scooter look. Read More...

Planet Analog’s next “Ask the experts” session on Switching power voltage regulators

On Wednesday, July 23, at 1:00 p.m. ET (10:00 a.m. PT), we will we will discuss Switching Regulators, which are at the heart of many designs, especially for their efficiency which extends battery life in portable applications. Our experts will help you understand the fundamentals of this basic architecture. Read More...

TEG's potential: Is it real, a dream, or in-between?

As this advanced thermoelectric generation component shows, TEG is a viable energy-harvesting option, but its inherently low efficiency and low output voltage make using it effectively a significant challenge. Read More...

Power supply oscillation

In a nutshell, the power supply problem was as sketched below. When it was assembled by that first company, it worked okay. When it was assembled by my company's "Manufacturing" people, the power supply oscillated at 10 MHz. Read More...

Test power ICs to survive radiation

In space, power-management ICs can be subjected to radiation. Testing can assure that a part will still function, even if the silicon structure is altered. Read More...

Power smarty pants: Extreme wearable electronics

Nokia’s Portable Wireless Charging Plate DC-50 may find its way into your next pair of pants. Read More...

This battery is all wet

Redox flow batteries (RFB) represent a class of electrochemical energy storage devices. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

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