New DSC family optimised for digital power applications

12-05-2015 | Microchip Technology | Power

Microchip has introduced a new 14-member dsPIC33EP 'GS' family of digital signal controllers (DSCs). The family delivers the performance needed to implement more sophisticated non-linear, predictive and adaptive control algorithms at higher switching frequencies. These advanced algorithms enable power-supply designs that are more energy efficient and have better power-supply specifications. Higher switching frequencies enable the development of physically smaller power supplies that offer higher densities and lower costs. Compared with the previous generation of DSCs, the new dsPIC33EP 'GS' devices provide less than half the latency, when used in a three-pole three-zero compensator, and consume up to 80% less power in any application. This new dsPIC33EP 'GS' family includes advanced features such as Live Update Flash capability, which is especially helpful for high-availability or "always-on" systems. Live Update can be used to change the firmware of an operating power supply, including the active compensator calculation code, while maintaining continuous regulation. Variants from this new digital-power-optimised DSC family are available in the industry's smallest, 4 x 4 mm UQFN package for space-constrained designs, says the company. Other key features of this family include up to five 12-bit ADCs with as many as 22 ADC inputs, providing total throughput of 16 Mega samples per second (Msps) with a 300ns ADC latency. The dsPIC33EP 'GS' devices include 12-bit DACs for each of the four analogue comparators, for higher-precision designs. The two on-chip programmable gain amplifiers can be used for current sensing and other precision measurements. Including these advanced analogue amplifiers on the device reduces the number of external components required, thereby saving cost and board space. These features, combined with the overall high performance of the dsPIC33EP 'GS' family, make it well suited to a wide range of applications including: computing and telecoms AC/DC and DC/DC power supplies; industrial solar inverters, LED lighting, HID lighting, battery chargers, projectors and welders; and automotive LED and HID headlights and DC-DC converters; among others. The family is supported by Microchip's MPLAB Starter Kit for Digital Power (DM330017-2) which allows users to explore using the new dsPIC33EP "GS" family in popular digital power-conversion topologies. Microchip's new Digital Compensator Design Tool helps engineers to calculate the optimum compensator coefficients required to maximise the performance of their designs. This free tool, combined with Microchip's compensator software libraries and many royalty-free dsPIC33 reference designs, make it easier than ever to design digital power-conversion applications. The company also partnered with Biricha Digital to offer in-depth digital-power design workshops that help analogue power-supply designers, as well as embedded system programmers, to leverage the capabilities of full digital control in their designs. The 14 dsPIC33EP 'GS' family members are available in various packages, from 28 to 64 pins.

By Craig Dyball