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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk


Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics

New Tech Tuesdays: Three Solutions for Powering Your Latest Designs Tommy Cummings

New Tech Tuesday

Join journalist Tommy Cummings for a weekly look at all things interesting, new, and noteworthy for design engineers.

Marvel Comics' Iron Man makes it look easy in every movie. He faces a major mechanical issue, furrows a brow, breaks out the soldering iron, and fixes his complex electrical engineering designs within minutes.

That being said, powering your latest engineering designs is a real-life challenge—and not everyone can be a fictional billionaire like Tony Stark or have a workspace like his.

In real life, there's little room for guesswork.

Like any design, a project's success or failure—no matter what scale—depends on electrical engineers aligning the exact amount of power. Power transmission and distribution must be precise. It also must be reliable, durable, flexible, and sustainable.

We've come a long way when it comes to powering our designs. In a matter of a few years, we've gone from power solutions in appliances to the Internet of Things (IoT) platforms. We've gone from simple toggle devices in automobiles to hundreds of small-form devices processing data from low-voltage connections and amplifying power with gate drivers and step-up regulators.

Power supply systems must be built so they're viewed not as a cost factor but rather as an opportunity to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and be more environmentally friendly.

The good news is that manufacturers have plenty of choices for designers.

In this week's New Tech Tuesdays, we'll look at power design devices from Texas Instruments, Infineon Technologies, and Analog Devices Inc.

Products to Power Projects

Texas Instruments TPS3703/TPS3703-Q1 Automotive High-Accuracy Window Supervisor works best for systems that operate on low-voltage supply rails and have narrow margin supply tolerances. The devices are offered in a small 6-pin DSE package (1.5mm x 1.5mm). These voltage supervisors do not require any external resistors for setting overvoltage and undervoltage reset thresholds, which optimizes overall accuracy, cost, solution size, and improves reliability for safety systems. You'll find the devices in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) in hybrid electric vehicles and electric vehicles.

Infineon Technologies EiceDRIVER Enhanced Isolated Gate Driver ICs come in X3 analog (1ED34xx) and X3 digital (1ED38xx) versions. These ICs feature short-circuit clamping and active shutdown and offer the highest isolation capability that can be used in a 1500V DC solar inverter application. Gate driver ICs can be used in solar string inverters, EV charging, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), industrial drives, and power supplies for server and telecommunication systems. They are also good for welding equipment and induction heating appliances.

Analog Devices Inc. LT8338 Micropower Synchronous Boost Converters are step-up regulators with a wide input voltage range of 3.0V to 40V. Designers will find them ideal for industrial and automotive power supplies, battery-powered systems, and general step-up applications. In burst mode, the LT8338 consumes only 6µA quiescent current, helping to maintain high efficiency at a very low output current.

Tuesday's Takeaway

Many challenges confront design engineers, but manufacturers provide plenty of solutions for powering projects that reduce costs, increase efficiency, and are environmentally friendly.

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Tommy Cummings is a freelance writer/editor based in Texas. He's had a journalism career that has spanned more than 40 years. He contributes to Texas Monthly and Oklahoma Today magazines. He's also worked at The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, San Francisco Chronicle, and others. Tommy covered the dot-com boom in Silicon Valley and has been a digital content and audience engagement editor at news outlets. Tommy worked at Mouser Electronics from 2018 to 2021 as a technical content and product content specialist.

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