OMG there’s an ARM in my power supply

March 1, 2016 | 09:00
Do we need an ARM micro to build a power supply?
Do we need an ARM micro to build a power supply?
In the old days you’d slap up a power supply with a 78xx regulator and a few capacitors. Then came the switch-mode power supply with its nasty whine, EMC issues and no isolation from the mains. Today, with microcontrollers all over the place we are advised that ARM Cortex power (M0 or M4F) is necessary to generate a few volts reliably and with great accuracy.
Würth Elektronik eiSos GmbH & Co. KG and Infineon Technologies AG have launched the jointly developed "XMC Digital Power Explorer" evaluation kit, a synchronous step-down converter which can be assembled with two different control cards (XMC1300 - ARM Cortex-M0 MCU and XMC4200 - ARM Cortex-M4F MCU), for developers of analog (yes yes) power supplies and embedded software programmers to enter the world of digital power supply.

Developers can compare two performance classes using two different control boards. Infineon’s high-performance XMC4200 family offers a high-resolution PWM unit (with 150 ps resolution) and intelligent analog comparators with precise slope compensation that can considerably simplify power supply design. The XMC1300 family, on the other hand, is cost-optimized to provide excellent cost effectiveness for simpler power supply applications.
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