GUI-Based Design Tool for Digital Controllers Configures More than 60 Power Supply Parameters

altPowervation has released PowerSMART, a setup, monitor and reporting tool for the design of digital power converters. The GUI-based tool allows users to communicate with and configure the Powervation digital power control ICs (e.g., PV3012) from PC and MAC platforms using a standard USB connection. Users can program the controller and optimize its performance, while carefully monitoring key power supply status parameters.

The tool may be used to make simple point-and-click or numeric entry changes to parameters and quickly configure/power-up the power supply. Additionally, users may take advantage of its advanced settings to access more than 60 parameters and finely tune the features to their specific needs within the GUI environment, with precision and flexibility beyond that of hardware programmed analog-based solutions. The software can connect and control multiple devices in a system concurrently. For a single device used in a single- or dual-phase converter, one can use the Single Mode feature of the design tool. PowerSMART also provides a System Mode feature where multiple Powervation devices can be used in parallel to control a multi-phase converter (e.g., 6 phases), and multiple Powervation devices can be used within a common platform to provide power management for multiple rails and the sequencing of these rails. The framing of the GUI display provides status and fault indicators that are available to the user at all times.

The main PowerSMART display page has been designed to provide a heads-up view of VOUT, VIN, and IOUT against a time axis, so that users may view these key parameters the way engineers typically see them displayed on today's popular digital oscilloscopes. Additionally, the Monitoring indicator box on the main page summarizes, numerically, the current telemetry information for temperature (IC and external sensors), current, and voltages, giving the user easy access to this data for both design and debugging activities.

Powervation's control ICs, such as the recently-launched PV3012, are equipped with Powervation's Single Pin CONFIG technology that provides the user access to eight configuration tables, or profiles, within the IC's non-volatile memory. Each of the eight configuration tables can be configured within the tool, and allows the user access to more than 60 parameters that may be used when designing a power supply. Using the device's on-board configuration profiles allows a single controller to be used in up to eight converters, and eliminates the need to configure the part through PMBus or via multiple external programming components.



Originally published in EE Times at: