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Digital signal controller family powers next-generation switch-mode power supplies

Microchip Technology announces a family of 16-bit dsPIC Digital Signal Controllers (DSCs) for common, multi-loop switch-mode power supplies (SMPSs) and other power-conversion applications. The dsPIC30F1010 and dsPIC30F2020/2023 (dsPIC30F202X) DSCs have a high-speed, 1 nanosecond (ns) resolution pulse-width-modulator (PWM) and 2 million sample per second (MSPS), 10-bit analog-to-digital (A/D) converter onboard for low latency and high- resolution control. The devices are ideal for AC/DC converters, isolated DC/DC power-converters and other power-conversion applications, such as embedded power-supply controllers, power inverters and Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPSs).

Microchip Block Diagram

Microchip's microcontrollers have long been used in intelligent power supplies for communications, power-sequencing, soft-start and topology control. However, until now, lack of effective solutions has hampered the development of supplies using digital control of the complete power-conversion loop. The dsPIC30F1010 and dsPIC202X DSCs free designers to implement this type of complete digital control of their products.

“Power-supplies with higher power or complexity are now poised at a price threshold that is amenable to digital control,” said Sumit Mitra, vice president of Microchip's Digital Signal Controller Division. “Our dsPIC SMPS families were developed with input from leading power-supply manufacturers to tip the scale in favor of a digital approach. These devices accelerate innovation by giving early adopters newfound flexibility to create new topologies that were formerly impractical for analog approaches. Early adopters expect to achieve superior levels of customization, resulting in power supplies that are more competitive in their markets.”

The new DSCs enable full control of the power-conversion process via software running on the DSC and through its high-performance integrated peripherals. Designers are no longer limited by analog-control design techniques. Components no longer need to be “oversized” to account for component variation. There is no need to worry about component drift and temperature compensation. Manual tuning at the end of the manufacturing line will be a thing of the past. Fewer product platforms are required to serve a wider range of applications, as they are differentiated through software, rather than hardware. Additionally, new, digital topologies will provide designers with a higher degree of freedom to develop supplies with improved power density and improved cost effectiveness.

DSP levels

Examples of applications that can immediately see cost and performance benefits from the dsPIC DSC SMPS solution include power supplies with multiple outputs, coordinated load sharing, hot-swap capability, output coordination, integrated power factor correction or extensive fault-handling.

The PWM onboard the dsPIC30F1010 and dsPIC30F202X devices offers 1 ns duty cycle resolution and seven modes of operation, including standard, complementary, push-pull and variable-phase. The 10-bit A/D converter has up to 12 input channels and samples at up to 2 MSPS. Advanced sampling capabilities include individual triggers for each of four sample and holds, and precise, uniquely timed or simultaneous sampling.

The dsPIC30F1010 devices have 6 Kbytes of Flash and two PWM generators, and the dsPIC30F202X have 12 Kbytes of Flash and four PWM generators. All devices in this family operate between 3.0 and 5.5 volts. Additional features include:
Onboard high-speed analog comparators (2 or 4)
30 MIPS performance at 5.0 volts
QFN package (6 mm x 6 mm)
Deterministic response
Extended temperature operation (-40 to 125 degrees Celsius)
Optional PWM dither mode for Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) reduction

Application examples include AC/DC power supplies, Power Factor Correction (PFC), isolated DC/DC converters, UPSs and power inverters. A host of other applications can benefit from the ultra-fast PWM and A/D onboard the dsPIC30F1010 and dsPIC30F202X devices, such as digital lighting and liquid crystal display (LCD) backlights.

The dsPIC30F1010 and dsPIC30F202X DSCs are supported by the MPLAB Integrated Development Environment (IDE), MPLAB C30 C Compiler, MPLAB SIM 30 Software Simulator, MPLAB ICD 2 In-Circuit Debugger and MPLAB Visual Device Initializer.

Additionally, Microchip expects to offer the dsPICDEM SMPS Buck Development Board (Part number DM300023) which was designed to support development using the dsPIC30F1010 and dsPIC202X devices. The board is available for early adopter sampling today. Microchip anticipates receiving orders for it at www.microchipdirect.com in September.

Microchip has also introduced a new online Intelligent Power Supply Design Center, available at www.microchip.com/POWER.

The dsPIC30F1010 is available in 28-pin SOIC, SPDIP and QFN packages, the dsPIC30F2020 in 28-pin SOIC, SPDIP and QFN packages and the dsPIC30F2023 in 44-pin TQFP and QFN packages. These DSCs start at $2.99 each in 10,000-unit quantities. Selected devices are available today for early adopter sampling. General sampling is expected in July at http://sample.microchip.com, and volume production is expected in August at www.microchipdirect.com.

The dsPIC digital signal controller is a 16-bit (data) modified Harvard RISC machine that combines the control advantages of a high-performance 16-bit microcontroller with the high computation speed of a fully implemented DSP For more information on the dsPIC DSC family, please visit: www.microchip.com/dspic.

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