Power Electronics

Online Design Center Facilitates Power Supply Applications

Microchip Technology’s online Intelligent Power-Supply Design Center is a comprehensive web site that provides technical tools and resources needed to design analog power-supply applications, augment existing analog power-supply applications with inexpensive microcontrollers, or design Switch-Mode Power Supply (SMPS) applications involving digital control of the power-conversion feedback loop. The Design Center offers complete access to Microchip’s power-supply application notes and reference designs, which include everything from a pure analog approach to completely digital implementations.

Links to Microchip simulation tools (including the Mindi simulation tool for battery charger and power-supply circuits) and other technical documentation are included, to help engineers get their products to market more quickly and efficiently. The Intelligent Power-Supply Design Center offers design tools at each of four levels of digital integration into power supplies.

Level one involves an 8-bit microcontroller used to implement simple functions, such as soft start. At level two, the loop is still analog, yet an 8- or 16-bit microcontroller provides basic proportional control. The loop is also still analog at level three, yet an 8- or 16-bit microcontroller or Digital Signal Controller (DSC) can modify the topology of the power supply.

At level four of digital integration into power supplies, the power-conversion loop is fully digital and managed by a DSC with specialized peripherals. A family of dsPIC DSCs, the dsPIC30F1010/2020/2023, enables full digital control of SMPSs.

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