AEi Systems
5933 W. Century Blvd. Ste 1100
Los Angeles, CA 90045

Solving 8 of 10 Design Issues
8 of 10 Design issues I find are due to this single problem

Five things every Engineer should know about PDN
The increasing use of FPGAs in our products means that at some point we will all need to be fluent in Power Distribution Networks.

How to pick the best voltage regulator for a circuit
What performance criteria do I use? Dropout, Max Current, Accuracy, PSRR are all discussed.

Why do a Worst Case Analysis?
This paper outlines the rationale and cost saving upsides

Why do we care about Stability? Steve Sandler discusses the impact of power supply and opamp stability on noise, jitter, PSRR, crosstalk, and reverse transfer performance. Common problems are discussed. Watch this video to learn how poor loop stability can lead to noise problems and degraded performance.

Part 2: Impedance is the Critical Measurement
Whether your goal is to optimize system performance or to troubleshoot issues in distributed power systems, impedance measurement is an indispensable test.

Part 3: Measuring Impedance Using Vector Network Analyzers
This video focuses on single-port measurements, describing how they can be applied to measure the impedance of low power circuits and components. This is a critical test for those looking to make accurate SPICE models.

Part 4: Measuring Impedance Using Vector Network Analyzers (Two-Port Tests)
This video explains making and interpreting two-port impedance measurements, particularly those of batteries, DC-DC converters, and EMI filters. Setup requirements such as 4-wire connections, a common-mode transformer, DC blockers, and AC versus DC coupling are explained in this video. Also discussed is the use of a preamp to measure PDN impedances below 1 milliohm.

Part 5: Using Current Injectors
This video discusses how to measure the stability and impedance of all types of regulators; even those without exposed control loops. Although not quite as accurate as the two-port VNA impedance measurement, the current injection technique has advantages including wide range (approx. 1 milliohm to thousands of ohms), the ability to measure in-system, and a suitability for measuring low-power devices such as op amps, voltage references, and voltage regulators.

Part 6: The Switch
The measurement and interpretation of switch node waveforms as observed in point-of-load regulators is discussed. Instrumentation requirements for measuring POLs and the impact of scope probes on measurements are included. Sandler also examines how switching frequency and duty cycle affect power supply stability as well as EMI.

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