Technical Features

March 2021
Taking Advantage of PFM with MicroModules for Space Constrained Applications

Figure 1: Block diagram of a security camera application

Space constrained applications like portable devices require especially designed DC/DC converters with a certain set of characteristics. Tight space, by definition, requires tiny DC/DC converters which have excellent thermal performance. This article digs deeper into the challenges that arise for the power supply of s
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Date:
04/01/2021
No More Pitfalls in GaN Driving

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Figure 1: Switching waveforms using a moderate switching speed of ca. 5-10ns and a fast switching speed of ca. 1-2ns for 48V to 3.3V conversion at 300kHz

Since the introduction of the first gallium nitride (GaN) transistors over ten years ago, their advantages in power electronics over silicon MOSFETs have become well-known. Indeed, the material properties of GaN offer lower parasitic capacitances for a given on-resistance, inherent fast switching transients, la
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Date:
03/03/2021
Modeling Common Topologies with Silicon Carbide MOSFETs

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Figure 1: Ideal double-pulse test simulation switching loss results are about 45% lower than those in the datasheet for the DUT, U2

Beyond the basic design principles common between SiC and Si, and the need to keep in mind SiC’s different characteristics, capabilities and advantages, engineers must model and simulate to ensure they will meet their design goals. As with Si, SiC now has optimized tools and models available from various s
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Date:
03/03/2021
Gallium Nitride: Catalyst for the Next Generation of Power

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Figure 1: Smartphone screen-size and battery capacity has increased over 3x in 10 years. As new platforms have been released with faster charging rates, OEMs have moved to adopt gallium nitride (GaN) chargers for both accessory and ‘in-box’ options. Source: GSMArena, Navitas as of January 2021

Smartphone screens, batteries and increased 5G features with intensified data processing and transmission rates and volumes have put a spotlight on charging speeds and the size, weight and cost of leading-edge travel adapters. At the same time, the introduction of a single, flexible charging platform (hardware an
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Date:
03/03/2021
Can EVs Overheat?

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Compared to the internal combustion engine (ICE), the electric vehicle (EV) has many different sub-systems. The main focus of EV development is the vehicle's range, which is dependent on making the batteries longer lasting and sub-systems more efficient. There are design considerations for protecting the electric mot
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Date:
03/03/2021
Negative Linear Regulator Features 0.8 µV RMS Noise at 1 MHz

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Figure 1. −3.3 V output low noise solution

Low dropout (LDO) linear regulators have been widely used in noise-sensitive applications for decades. Nevertheless, noise requirements have become tougher to meet as the latest precision sensors, high-speed and high-resolution data converters (ADCs and DACs), and frequency synthesizers (PLLs/VCOs) challenge con
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Date:
03/01/2021
Powering Medical Systems

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Figure 1 - Isolation Transformers provide galvanic Isolation between two (or more) windings called the Primary and Secondary

Power supplies for medical systems not only need to meet all the efficiency and safety standards imposed on other electrical appliances, but also need to conform to additional requirements and standards in light of the unique environment in which they are used and the particularly delicate tasks that they are of
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Date:
03/01/2021
NTC Temperature Control for IGBT and Power MOSFET Modules

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Figure 1: Boost Converter with Thermal Management

Although some MOSFETs are equipped with an internal temperature sensor (body diode), there are other ways to monitor and control temperature. A semiconductor silicon PTC resistor can be used with well-defined current control or a Pt- or Ni-based resistance temperature detector (RTD) with moderately low resistance va
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Date:
03/01/2021
Redefining Power Conversion with Gallium Nitride ICs

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Figure 1: Performance comparison of GaN discrete (blue line) and GaN monolithich half bridge (green line) in a 12 V input, 12 V output buck converter operating at 1 MHz.

Beyond just performance and cost improvements, the most significant opportunity for GaN technology to impact the power conversion market comes from the intrinsic ability to integrate multiple devices on the same substrate. This capability will allow monolithic power systems to be designed on a single chip in a
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Date:
03/01/2021
How to Choose GaN or SiC Devices for High Voltage Switching

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Figure 1: Appropriate operating regimes for various devices types

Every engineer wants a perfect switch that flips between On and Off states instantaneously and which doesn’t suffer losses in either state. To achieve the lowest possible losses when switching between the two states relies on the switch having a number of characteristics. It needs to have an infinite breakdown vo
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Date:
03/01/2021
Silver Sintering Improves Thermal Conductivity
The die area of power transistors is effectively dictated by their power rating. For a given thermal dissipation, smaller just means higher junction temperatures and potential reduction in reliability, especially with power cycling. For that reason, minimizing the thermal resistance from die to case and ambient is
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Date:
03/01/2021