Back to Basics

Back to Basics: Choosing the Perfect Regulator

July 18, 2017
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Back to Basics: Choosing the Perfect Regulator

A voltage regulator provides two functions: changing the input voltage to a different level at the output and regulation (maintaining a constant output voltage

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Back to Basics: A Guide to Different Power Architectures

March 2, 2015
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Back to Basics: A Guide to Different Power Architectures

There are a several different approaches to developing power architectures, each with its own benefits and disadvantages.

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Download the Back to Basics eBook

September 24, 2014
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Download the Back to Basics eBook

The Back to Basics posts are some of the most popular content on the Vicor Powerblog, covering a wide range of important power system design topics

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Back to Basics: Powering Dynamic Loads

August 21, 2014
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Back to Basics: Powering Dynamic Loads

Modern electronic loads can demand rapid changes in the supply current. An RF power amplifier, for example, may present a steady-state load of 10% of the rated input power, but this can increase to nearly 100% almost instantly during a transient. Other loads capable of imposing similarly large transients include RF transmitters, test systems, displays, designs with low voltage ASICs and laser diode transmitters. A DC-DC converter can take a few hundred microseconds to respond to a large load step, while a power amplifier may require a recovery time below 100 microseconds to avoid...

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Back to Basics: Using Hot Swap to Minimize Downtime

June 25, 2014
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Back to Basics: Using Hot Swap to Minimize Downtime

Given the critical role of modern telecommunications and data communications equipment, maximizing its online availability must always be the first priority. Clearly, any equipment’s availability depends critically on that of its power supply. Fortunately, close to zero power system downtime can be effectively achieved by combining two techniques – redundancy and hot-swapping. In this back-to-basics post we will see how these work together, and how systems can be designed for hot swapping. Consider for example a rack-mounted telecommunications system comprising modules plugged into the rack’s backplane, with a total power requirement of 120 W...

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Back to Basics: Using Adaptive Loop Feedback to Regulate Your Converter Output

June 3, 2014
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Back to Basics: Using Adaptive Loop Feedback to Regulate Your Converter Output

A conventional power supply or regulated DC-DC converter typically uses Remote Sense to achieve true regulation accuracy. For a system designer using, say, a brick converter the task is relatively simple

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Back to Basics: Using Remote Sensing to Ensure Accurate Point of Load Voltage Control

April 30, 2014
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Back to Basics: Using Remote Sensing to Ensure Accurate Point of Load Voltage Control

Today’s ASICs and processors typically operate on a low voltage and therefore require high current. This means that if they are placed at any distance from the power supply or DC-DC converter that feeds them, transmission losses can become an issue. Because of resistance and therefore voltage drop in the power path between the converter and load, the voltage across the load will be lower than that across the converter’s output terminals. The difference is given by I x R,

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