Adaptive Control IC Creates Self-Adjusting DC-DC Converters

altUnique IC adds true adaptive control to dc-dc power conversion, providing automatic loop compensation that accommodates a broad range of load variations.   A dc-dc converter with fixed compensation parameters cannot perform well if load dynamics vary widely. A better approach is adaptive control, which can handle a broad range of parameter variations with the ability to change the loop compensation in response to load variability.

In addition, adaptive control provides better disturbance rejection than a fixed compensation converter. Thus, adaptive techniques can keep a dc-dc converter optimized under most operating conditions.

To be effective, however, the adaptive-control system must employ an IC that uses minimal external components and still provides all the necessary functions.

 An adaptive control IC can be used in an open-loop system. A tuning algorithm adjusts the converter by applying predefined rules or formulae to the input signal or other data.  In such a system, the tuning algorithm does not analyze the adjustment results so it does not ensure system optimization.

Examples in dc-dc conversion include phase-add and drop-in multiphase dc-dc converters, and switching between DCM and CCM control modes at a predefined point. Closed-loop adaptation scheme, where the output feedback applied to the tuning algorithm allows a dc-dc converter to optimize its performance. The closed-loop adaptive approach sets the converter's parameters automatically for the exact load dynamics seen in the system.

A controller IC based on these principles is portable across various use scenarios, allowing a single controller IC to be used in a wide variety of applications. Therefore, a suitable working definition of a true adaptive controller IC for power conversion is: An adaptive controller IC has a mechanism for adjusting operating parameters in a way that optimizes dc-dc converter performance regardless of load conditions