Microchip has recently announced the launch of new digital signal controller (DSC) which is expected to deliver 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. A DSC is a hybrid of microcontrollers and digital signal processors (DSPs). Like microcontrollers, DSCs have fast interrupt responses, offer control-oriented peripherals like PWMs and watchdog timers, and are usually programmed using the C programming language, although they can be programmed using the device’s native assembly language. On the DSP side, they incorporate features found on most DSPs such as single-cycle multiply–accumulate (MAC) units, barrel shifters, and large accumulators. Not all vendors have adopted the term DSC.
According to the media release 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 per cent less power in any application compared to previous generations of DSC’s. The release also mentions host of integrated features like live update flash capability which help to change the firmware of the operating power supply, five 12 bit ADCs with as many as 22 ADC inputs, providing total throughput of 16 Mega samples per second (Msps) with a 300 ns ADC latency, 12 bit DACs for higher precision design and two on chip programmable gain amplifiers for current sensing, allowing next-generation designs to attain higher efficiency and more compact form factors. As mentioned, the device is available in 4mm x 4mm UQFN package making it ideal for space-constrained designs.
The Microchip DSC is complemented by Microchip’s MPLAB Starter Kit for Digital Power, which allows customers to explore using the new dsPIC33EP ‘GS’ family in popular digital power-conversion topologies, states the release.
Further, the release mentions that all these new DSCs are available for sampling in various packages, from 28 to 64 pins globally.