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Article: Motor Driver PCB Layout Guidelines - Part 2

The first part of this article provided some general recommendations for designing printed circuit boards (PCB) using motor driver ICs, which require careful PCB layout for proper performance. Part 2 will discuss some specific PCB layout recommendations for using typical motor driver IC packages.

May 2019

Article: Power Path Management in Charger ICs

The DPPM control loop adjusts the charge current dynamically based on the input source current capability and load current level to achieve a minimum charge time for a given source and system load. With DPPM, the system can obtain power immediately once the input source is applied, even with a deeply discharged battery. The system voltage regulation method is also discussed.

May 2019

Article: Motor Driver PCB Layout Guidelines – Part 1

Motor driver ICs deliver large amounts of current and dissipate a significant amount of power.  Generally, this power is dissipated into copper areas on the printed circuit board (PCB). To ensure adequate cooling, special PCB design techniques are required. Part 1 of this article will provide some general recommendations for designing PC boards that use motor driver ICs.

April 2019

Article: Scalable Current-Sharing E-Fuse Solution

The MP5921 can be scaled to support any current range needed for hot-swap and e-fuse solutions. With a 60-A current rating in a 4 x 5-mm package, the MP5921 provides an extremely dense hot-swap/e-fuse solution. Each MP5921 has built-in protection features that monitor damaged MOSFETs, over-temperature conditions of the internal MOSFET, soft-start watchdog timer, and over-current protection.

April 2019

Article: MPS Smart-Ramp Technology – A Solution to Voltage Change-Induced Audible Noise

Voltage level changes to the processor input power are a necessary power-saving feature that will likely be used for many PC generations to come. When those changes result in audible noise in the PC, manufacturers have had few and expensive options to make their platforms viable for the marketplace. MPS Smart-Ramp audible noise reduction technology provides PC manufacturers with an effective option that is easily implemented.

March 2019

Article: High Power, Fully Integrated, Synchronous Boost Converter with Optimized Features for Portable and Battery-Operated Applications

The MP3432 from MPS is a perfect choice for the first stage of battery-powered systems. The MP3432 can supply 30~40W of power to systems from the battery input target for portable applications and consumes the lowest power possible in standby and idle modes while still providing high efficiency at very low current levels, resulting in a longer battery life and application run time

March 2019
Article: Tackling Automotive Lighting’s Common Challenges with New LED Driver Modules

One of the biggest trends in automotive electronics has been the widespread proliferation of lighting LEDs, as their intrinsic benefits of longevity, small size, and low power consumption are perfectly harmonious with the needs of today’s eco-conscious vehicles. LEDs today are found by the dozens in and around cars. On the inside, they can be found in accent and mood lighting, tell-tales, and digital screen backlights. On the outside, they’re a great fit for everything from turning and position indicators to fog and daytime running lights. In the coming years, LEDs are expected to take over high-power headlamps, which, even as of a few years ago, were still mainly halogen- or Xenon-based.

March 2019
Article: MPS Power Modules Offer A Compact and Ultra-Low Noise Solution for Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC

The growing number of high-performance FPGA and ASIC applications that are driven by the increased bandwidth of wireless networks and data centers demand for power regulators with high power density, fast load transient response, and high efficiency. Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoCs integrate multi-giga-sample RF data converters and soft-decision forward error correction (SD-FEC) into a SoC architecture

March 2019

Article: Passive Filter Design Concept of Buck Regulators for Ultra-Low Noise Applications 

Switched-mode power supplies (SMPS) have the advantage of high efficiency compared to traditional low-dropout (LDO) regulators. Due to its switching nature, a SMPS emits noise at its switching frequency and its harmonics. This article illustrates the procedure of designing filtering to achieve ultra-low output voltage noise with SMPS regulators. Single-stage capacitive filter is commonly used for DC/DC converter applications

Originally published in Codico

February 2019

Article: Total Integrated Power Solution for Smart Lighting

The smart lighting devices can be used as a hub, integrated as key component of IoT systems and smart home/smart automation networks. This article will focus on the power solution for smart lighting- in particular smart light bulbs.

Originally published in Power Electronics Europe

February 2019
Article: Good News! MPS’ MP2888A Receives 2018 World Electronics Achievement Award “Power Management/Voltage Converter of the Year”

Last week, the list of the 2018 World Electronics Achievement Awards was unveiled at the Global Double Summit hosted by ASPENCORE, the world's largest media group in the field of electronic technology. The MP2888A from MPS won the title of "Power Management/Voltage Converter of the Year" as the industry's first 10-phase digital controller. MPS becomes one of only three companies that have won this world award.

Originally published in WeChat.

December 2018
Article: Energy Recycling in DC Motor Drives

When decelerating a moving mass in a permanent magnet motor drive, energy stored in the mechanical system may be returned through the motor driver to the power source. If this energy is not properly accounted for, it can cause damage to the motor driver or the rest of the system by causing an increase in the power supply voltage.

In this article, we will look at ways to dissipate this energy safely. To simplify the examples, a DC brush motor is shown. This applies to brushless motor systems as well.

Originally published in EDN.

November 2018
Article: The Linear Charger in Wearable Applications

Wearable devices have become increasingly integrated into our lives. In addition to being used in fitness devices, they have also worked their way into other fields, including medical care, entertainment, security, and finance. In all applications, battery life and component size are two key concerns. Most applications require a small board and low BOM, which means the device should be highly integrated. 

Our new article discusses common issues in earable device applications, including size, programmability, and battery life, and how these issues can be resolved with the MPS MP266x line of linear chargers.

Originally published in Bodo's Power Systems (page 78).

November 2018
Article: High Power, Fully Integrated, Synchronous Boost Converter with Optimized Features for Portable and Battery-Operated Applications

The superior properties of Li-ion batteries, such as high energy density, light weight, no memory effect, and less self-discharge, make them a very popular option in portable applications. ICs with boost topology are needed in portable applications since the voltage fluctuation of most Li-ion batteries ranges from 4.2V (fully charged) to 3.0V (fully discharged), while the post-circuit input voltage is up to 12V or more. Portable applications, such as Bluetooth audio, quick-charge power banks, and portable POS systems employ various boost products available in the market, including discrete controller with external MOSFETs, non-synchronous boost converters with external diode, limited input/output voltage range or features. These solutions take up more space, require more components while providing less efficiency, and compromise performance in terms of noise and reliability.

Originally published in Codico Impulse.

October 2018
Article: Analysis and Simulation of PCB ACR Losses for Vcore DrMOS Optimization

Printed circuit board (PCB) main-loop ripple current resistive losses are often neglected and overlooked as a switching power supply loss component. These losses can be significant for high-current Vcore and other applications that operate with high ripple current. Ansys Q3D is used to extract the main loop ripple current frequency-dependent resistance for a typical Vcore power stage PCB layout. Including this loss component significantly improves the correlation between the modeled and measured total loss as a function of the switching frequency. An analytic expression is developed to optimize the switching frequency for peak efficiency at the balance point between the negative frequency coefficient PCB and passive component losses and the positive frequency coefficient MOSFET conventional switching losses.

Originally published in EDN.

September 2018
Article: Capacitive Isolation: A Fundamental Building Block in Future AC/DC Power Conversion

Capacitive isolation is a mature solution developed over the past decade to replace optocouplers in signal isolators, isolated gate drivers, isolated transceivers, and other applications. However, the potential to use capacitive isolation to replace optocouplers in offline adaptors is often neglected. This articles explains why capacitive isolation can be a fundamental building block in future AC/DC power conversion, how it exceeds the performance of other isolation technologies, and the unique advantages it can bring to end applications.

Originally published in Power Systems Design.

September 2018
Article: Plug & Play Digital Programmable Power Modules Enable Rapid Prototyping of Power Supply

Power designers often face two challenges during product development: scheduling overrun and cost overrun. Changes in specifications and failing to meet target specifications are two of the most common reasons for project delay and budget overrun. To meet target specifications, power engineers may have to do a complete redesign of the power supply during the prototyping stage. It is often overlooked, but the power supply is one of the most essential part of all hardware products. A high-efficiency power supply design directly benefits the overall system cooling requirement, thereby reducing the cost and volume of the final product. A low-noise power solution design ensures that the final products pass applicable EMI standards, such as IEC EN61000. In some applications, such as data transceivers and DAC/ADCs, the performance of a product is highly dependent on the design and noise level of the power supplies.

Originally published in Power Electronics Europe - September 2018.

September 2018
Article: A Charger IC, N Kinds of Applications

Many portable and hand-held applications, such as e-cigarettes, gimbals, Bluetooth speakers, and point-of-sale machines, draw their power from a 2-series cell battery and must also be USB compliant. This poses design challenges, as batteries are typically expected to maintain a long charge, but the design cannot be crowded with multiple components. The ideal solution would include bidirectional operation, cell balancing, and appropriate protection features.

Our new article discusses how the MP2639A is a natural pick because of its functional diversity, control flexibility, and high reliability. The MP2639A is a fully integrated and flexible battery charge management IC that can charge two cells in series from a 5V power supply with up to 15W of power from a USB-C port.

Originally published in Bodo's Power Systems (page 36).

August 2018
Article: High-Voltage Analog Switches for Medical Ultrasound

High-voltage supplies are used in most HV analog switches, which creates cost, size, and safety concerns. Switches developed by MPS offer an alternative by eliminating those supplies.

Originally published in Electronic Design.

June 2018
Article: High-Performance Solenoid Drives

Solenoids are used in many applications to provide linear or rotational actuation in mechanical systems. Although driving solenoids can be as simple as switching the current flow on and off, oftentimes better performance can be obtained using a dedicated IC to drive them. In this article, we will examine how drive circuitry affects the electromechanical performance of solenoids. Two different drive circuits will be compared: a simple switch and a current regulating driver. Energy-saving techniques that limit power dissipation in the solenoid will also be illustrated.

Originally published in Electronic Design

May 2018
Article: Introducing the MagAlpha MAQ430 & MAQ470: 12-Bit, Automotive-Grade, Magnetic Angle Sensors

Measuring angular movement or rotation in vehicles is becoming increasingly important as vehicles integrate more technologies and systems to aid their drivers. Many vehicle system options are now controllable via a single rotary knob selector, and previously manual features are being motorized, which requires motor rotation, position, and speed control.

This article discusses how the MagAlpha MAQ470 and MAQ430 automotive-grade angle sensors from Monolithic Power Systems (MPS) can be used to provide a highly reliable and contactless way to measure angles, rotation position, or speed.

Originally published in CODICO Impulse.

May 2018
 Article: What They Don’t Teach About Synchronous Rectifiers in School – Selected Topics from Real Designs

In recent years, global regulatory agencies have proposed efficiency standards to further improve global energy savings. It has become mandatory for manufacturers to improve the efficiency of existing standalone power supply products to meet DoE Level VI in order to sell them to the US market. Additionally, manufacturers are also expected to design products under other energy specifications, such as EU CoC V5Tier2 specs.

Orignally published in Bodo's Power Systems.

May 2018
Article: Intelligent Scalable DC/DC Power Modules Provide up to 250A Output Current

The growing number of high-performance FPGA and ASIC applications that are driven by the increased bandwidth of wireless networks and data centers require power regulators with high power density, fast load transient response, and intelligent power-management features. The MPM3695 series of power modules with integrated inductors from Monolithic Power Systems (MPS) offers a versatile solution for powering FPGAs and ASICs by offering up to 60 % higher power density compared to discrete point-of-load (POL) solutions, simplified PCB layout and power stage design, minimal external components, and minimal expertise requirement for the power converter and compensation network design.

Orignally published in Power Electronics Europe.

May 2018
Article: Teardown of USB Charging Module in Mercedes Benz E-Class Cars—How the MPQ448x Family Simplifies Design

A 12-USB charging port design was first seen in the new E-Class line of cars from Mercedes Benz in China. Knowing that designing even a single USB charging port in a car is very specific and difficult considering protection and voltage conversion functions, how is twelve even possible? Our new article explores the ins and outs of automotive USB charging and breaks down an MPS MPQ448x module to see exactly how this feat was accomplished.

Originally published in WeChat (Chinese).

January 2018
Article: Increasing the Power Density and Efficacy of Datacenters Using a Two-Stage Solution for 48V Power Distribution

Current datacenters typically have a 12-V backplane and distribution on board and need to convert the voltage down to around 1 V, which is usually achieved with a synchronous buck regulator, single- or multi-phase. The racks in these datacenters normally max out at a power rating of 20 kW. There is a need in the industry to increase the power density per-rack to about 100 kW to reduce the size of these datacenters. This can be achieved by using a 48 V backplane and distribution, but there are challenges associated with this approach. To drive 48 V down to the board, traditional synchronous buck regulators cannot be relied on. How, then, does one increase the density of datacenters without also increasing cost? This paper outlines a two-stage solution to drive 48 V down to the point of load (PoL, approximately 1 – 5 V) in a flexible, scalable, and cost-effective manner that will benefit the next generation of server power delivery.

Originally published in Power Electronics News.

October 2017
Article: MPS Smart Ramp Technology - A Solution to Voltage Change-Induced Audible Noise

Audible noise in voltage regulator (VR) systems has been a problem for a very long time now. In the PC industry, the issue became more pronounced as the CPU became responsible for significant and repetitive voltage changes that induced noise through the VR. Those voltage changes, along with the physical properties of ceramic capacitors and the motherboard, produce an audible noise problem for the PC manufacturer with no good solutions so far. MPS had addressed the voltage change-induced audible noise issue by introducing MPS Smart-Ramp technology.

Originally published in AllAboutCircuits.

May 2017
Article: Tackling Automotive Lighting's Common Challenges with New LED Driver Modules

LED lighting is one of the fastest growing segments in automotive electronics, but it is not without its own unique challenges. This article describes several major constraints facing today’s lighting designers and explores how these can be addressed by MPS’s new MPM6010-AEC1 automotive LED module.

Originally published in Codico Impulse.

March 2017