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Power Electronics
Image courtesy of Microchip Technology
<p>(Image courtesy of Microchip Technology).</p>

Digital Signal Controllers Feature Higher Performance, More Integration, Lower Power, Smaller Footprints

Microchip Technology Inc. announced the 14-member dsPIC33EP "GS" family of Digital Signal Controllers (DSCs).  The dsPIC33EP "GS" family delivers the performance needed to implement more sophisticated non-linear, predictive and adaptive control algorithms at higher switching frequencies.  These advanced algorithms enable power supply designs that are more energy efficient and have better power supply specifications.  Higher switching frequencies enable the development of physically smaller power supplies that offer higher densities and lower costs.  Compared with the previous generation of DSCs, the new dsPIC33EP "GS" devices provide less than half the latency, when used in a three-pole three-zero compensator, and consume up to 80% less power in any application.

This new dsPIC33EP "GS" family includes advanced features such as Live Update Flash capability, which is especially helpful for high-availability or "always-on" systems.  Live Update can be used to change the firmware of an operating power supply, including the active compensator calculation code, while maintaining continuous regulation.  Variants from this new digital-power-optimized DSC family are available in an industry's-smallest, 4 x 4 mm UQFN package for space-constrained designs.

Other key features of this family include up to five 12-bit ADCs with as many as 22 ADC inputs, providing total throughput of 16 Mega samples per second (Msps) with a 300 ns ADC latency.  The dsPIC33EP "GS" devices include 12-bit DACs for each of the four analog comparators, for higher-precision designs.  The two on-chip programmable gain amplifiers can be used for current sensing and other precision measurements.  Including these advanced analog amplifiers on the device reduces the number of external components required, thereby saving cost and board space.  These features, combined with the overall high performance of the dsPIC33EP "GS" family, make it well suited for a wide range of applications, including the following examples:  computer & telecom (e.g., AC/DC and DC/DC power supplies), industrial (e.g., solar inverters, LED lighting, HID lighting, battery chargers, projectors and welders) and automotive (e.g., LED and HID headlights, DC/DC converters), among others.

The dsPIC33EP "GS" family is supported by Microchip's MPLAB(r) Starter Kit for Digital Power (part # DM330017-2, $129.99), which allows customers to explore using the new dsPIC33EP "GS" family in popular digital power-conversion topologies.

The 14 dsPIC33EP "GS" family members are available in various packages, from 28 to 64 pins.  All of these new DSCs are available today for sampling and volume production, starting at $1.10 each in high volume. 

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