E-blocks: Accelerated Design
In this article we take a look at some of the latest techniques you can use to accelerate the design process, in this case of a switch-mode power supply. Switched mode power supplies (SMPSUs) are traditionally viewed as a bit of a black art. And with good reason – the mathematics behind the design process is complex, prototyping — often with custom wound inductors — is awkward, and the custom SMPS regulation chips used in the design itself are expensive. However this does not need to be the case: most modern circuits now contain a microcontroller with extra capacity that can be used to control the power supply, and design tools have advanced to a point where virtual prototyping is now possible.