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Predictive energy balance control for PDN apps

16 Mar 2015  | Steve Sandler

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The demonstration board inductor and capacitor values were modified to set a target impedance of 300mΩ and set in a probing fixture, shown in figure 3.

Figure 3: The demonstration board is set in a probe station for measurement. The output voltage is monitored using a P2100A unity gain probe and the load is pulsed using a 20ns J2111A current injector.

The measured converter impedance computed from the 18mV voltage excursion and 58mA current step is approximately 320mΩ. The output ripple voltage is removed by averaging in this measurement for clarity. Note the total absence of overshoot or undershoot in the voltage response as shown in figure 4.

Figure 4: Load step response of the modified demonstration board adjusted for an output impedance of 300mΩ. Note the lack of overshoot or undershoot. The output voltage is averaged in order to strip the ripple for clarity.

While this example provides a 300mΩ output impedance, representative of a low-power application, the PEB control is scalable to any power level. The computational requirements are minimal allowing either digital or analogue implementations. Presumably, the controller could be integrated into a single monolithic chip.

The PEB controller is hardware independent, allowing control of a silicon MOSFET power stage or for much higher frequency operation and optimum efficiency, a GaN power stage. The PEB controller can also be used as an amplifier allowing dynamic voltage programming also with the absence of overshoot or undershoot. When considering the many new switching topologies for PDN applications, the PEB control offers some useful benefits. I hope to explore this topology further in the future.

1. Tom Lawson, Predictive Energy Balancing for Agile Control of Switched-Mode Power Converters, BODOS Power May 2013

2. Steve Sandler and Tom Lawson, Quantifying the Difference: Predictive Energy Balancing Controls for Switched-Mode Power Converters PowerViews Nov. 25 2014

About the author
Steve Sandler is the founder and former CEO of Analytical Engineering Inc., the predecessor of AEi Systems. He has over 30 years experience in the design and analysis of power conversion equipment for military and space applications. Mr. Sandler is also the CEO of Picotest, a company that distributes test equipment including the Signal Injector product line designed for testing linear and switching power supplies

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