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Design Tips

 


 

 

Design Tips

Current
The LTM8055 is a buck-boost μModule® regulator with a 5V to 36V input range that can be easily paralleled to extend load current capability. Its 4-switch buck-boost topology features high efficiency while allowing the input voltage to be below, at or above the output—with smooth transitions between
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Date:
11/28/2016
Here we’ll look at how a rugged and flexible control can be rapidly implemented using an 8-bit microcontroller with analog blocks. For many custom power supplies, this provides an optimum combination of noise immunity, high performance, short development time, and digital flexibility. Analog
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Date:
10/28/2016
Here we’ll explore the analytical transfer function for the tightly-coupled Sepic converter. It is shown that the control-to-output function is just second-order, not fourth-order like the conventional Sepic converter [1]. The coupling capacitor of the converter has no effect on the control, and it can be
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Date:
10/10/2016

Here we’ll show how Spice can be used to provide proximity loss results for magnetics windings. Proximity loss equations are solved for a set of frequencies, and a simulation circuit is generated which predicts the proper AC losses regardless of the current waveform. Inductor winding AC
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Date:
09/05/2016
In the last part of this series, we saw that only one of the modulator gains found in the literature can be confirmed with measurements. Furthermore, it is shown that the discrepancies in all the models are easily resolved by proper sampling of the system. Different current-mode modulator
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Date:
09/03/2016
In this article we’ll show how a third way of defining average current leads to an infinite gain of the modulator gain for current-mode systems. Another simple derivation produces a fourth expression for the modulator gain, thus completing the set of gains to be found in the literature. Different
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Date:
06/11/2016
In this special article we’ll look on work resulting from Ridley Engineering’s magnetics presentations at APEC 2016. Among things shown is how a linear circuit model can be used inside any version of Spice (or other circuit simulator) to get accurate results for the ac proximity loss resistance of magnetics
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Date:
05/04/2016
In the third part of this series, we’ll see how Dr. Fred Lee’s analysis of current-mode control resulted in a high modulator gain, and also look at the consequences of this gain on current-loop predictions. Current-Mode Control Circuit Figure 1 shows a buck converter
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Date:
04/13/2016
In this second part of this series of articles, we show how Dr. David Middlebrook approached the analysis of current-mode control, and the consequences of the modeling approach on loop gain predictions. Current-mode control circuit Figure 1 shows a buck converter with peak
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Date:
03/12/2016
Current-mode control has been around in one form or another for almost 50 years now, but it is still a topic that creates much confusion in the minds of many engineers and researchers. In this series of articles, Dr. Ridley shows historical reasons for the confusion, and presents for the first time the source
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Date:
01/29/2016
The first two parts of this article showed how the core losses for real waveforms could be modeled better. In the first part, a continuous expression was used to model a wide range of excitations. In the second part, the effect of duty cycle on the loss of the core material was included in a single equation.
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Date:
12/13/2015
As modern power converters move towards higher efficiency, it is essential to have better models for all of the loss mechanisms in your components. In the first part of this article, we talked about the need for a single continuous equation to match the empirically measured losses. In this second part, the effect
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Date:
11/01/2015
As modern power converters move towards higher efficiencies, it is essential to have better models for all of the loss mechanisms in your components. We have talked about winding loss effects in several articles. Magnetics core loss modeling is an area that needs improvement. Magnetics B-H
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Date:
09/26/2015
Modern power converters are moving towards high efficiency, high density, and high switching frequencies. Vendors of power supplies are doing an outstanding job of meeting these goals with a range of new technologies. At the same time, despite the use of advanced control chip technology, many control loops have
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Date:
09/01/2015
Proper design of magnetics components is at the heart of any power converter. In this article, the flaws of some production magnetics are shown, clearly showing why it is essential that designers of power supplies should be intimately involved in magnetics design and characterization. Teaching
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Date:
07/02/2015
As power levels are increased and output voltages drop, it is common to have just a few turns in the windings of inductors and transformers. When this happens, standard round wires are usually not the best choice for building magnetic structures, and foil is often used. With a foil winding, the width of the
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Date:
05/28/2015
The latest generation of off-the-shelf inductors for dc-dc converters features flat windings with a helical structure. While this reduces AC losses in many cases, the AC resistance is still considerably higher than the DC resistance and must be considered carefully when selecting your inductor. Off-The-Shelf
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Date:
04/29/2015
Let’s explore the measured control characteristics of a Cuk converter with separate inductors, and with a tightly-coupled inductor. The coupled-inductor Cuk has fewer diverse transfer functions, but it is still a challenge to control over a wide range. Cuk Converter with Separate Inductors In
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Date:
03/21/2015
It is always desirable to simplify the measurement process of power supplies, and characterize them without overly invasive testing. This can work for loop gains with limited success, and shows the pitfalls of trying to measure loops noninvasively. Power supply output impedance measurements For
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Date:
02/13/2015
Sepic Converter with Voltage-Mode Control This article shows the measured characteristics of Sepic converter using current-mode control, either with a coupled inductor or separate inductors. In the last article of this series, the coupled-inductor Sepic was examined. It
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Date:
12/30/2014
This article shows the measured characteristics of coupled-inductor Sepic converters and compares them with a separate inductor Sepic. The coupled-inductor Sepic has less diverse transfer functions, but it is still a challenge to control over a wide range. Publications in the past have discussed the coupled-inductor
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Date:
11/22/2014
Depending on the conditions under which you measure a Sepic converter, it can appear either easy to control, or extremely difficult. Make sure you always make an extended range of measurements on your Sepic design if you wish to ensure avoiding the troublesome regions. Sepic converter with
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Date:
10/21/2014
Board-mount power supplies use multilayer ceramics for both their input and output capacitors. The inherently low ESR values lead to transfer functions with higher Q than converters using electrolytic capacitors, and this can lead to interesting effects when making measurements. Many newcomers to
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Date:
10/20/2014
This article shows the link between loop gain Bode plots and Nyquist diagrams. The Nyquist diagram is a subset of the Bode Plot, omitting crucial design data. The linear scaling of the Nyquist diagram restricts its practicality, and omission of frequency as an explicit variable in the plot is a major drawback. Loop
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Date:
09/23/2014
There have been many dramatic changes in power supply development over the last 20 years, but loop gain measurements remain the key to rugged and aggressive system performance. Understanding how to read a loop gain is important. Loop gain measurements in modern systems Quite
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Date:
04/30/2014
In this third article about power supply failures, the magnetics are examined for their contribution to the failure rate. These are usually the least understood of all components, and poor magnetics design can lead to many different failure mechanisms in power supplies. Power
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Date:
04/06/2014
In this second article about power supply failures, the capacitors are examined for their contribution to the failure rate. The causes of failure for different types of capacitors are discussed. In the last part of this article, the question was asked of group members “Why do power supplies fail?” and the
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Date:
03/03/2014
We here at Ridley Engineering recently conducted a survey with a group of almost 3,000 active power supply design engineers to discover the various reasons and circumstances they have encountered power supplies that failed. The experiences the engineers shared with us were very enlightening, and this article
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Date:
02/15/2014
Point-of-load converters commonly use multilayer ceramic capacitors instead of electrolytic capacitors. The effect of this change is strongly felt in the bulk storage capacitor value, and can lead to unexpected variations in control measurements. Instability can result if input filter capacitors become too small.  Input
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Date:
01/12/2014
There has always been a debate about how essential it is to measure the loop of a switching power supply. Some power designers have always resisted this part of development and design validation, claiming they are able to tune a loop properly through step-load testing [1]. While this may have worked with low
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Date:
12/07/2013

 



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