Gear Up Digital Power Supply Design With Live Updatable Controllers


Designers of digital power supplies now get more flexibility with a new live updateable Digital Signal Controller (DSC) from Microchip suitable for digital switch-mode power supplies (SMPS) and other digital power-conversion applications such as: AC/DC power supplies, DC-DC converters, power inverters and advanced lighting applications.

The new dsPIC33EP128GS808 devices have up to 128 KB of dual-partition Flash memory with live update capability, advanced analog features and enhanced Core Independent Peripherals (CIPs).

The DSCs come with 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 while maintaining continuous regulation.

The devices offer high-resolution pulse width modulators optimized for digital power applications. In addition, the devices include advanced analog features and peripherals. There are five separate high-speed 12-bit Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC) modules each with 300 ns conversion latency. Up to 22 input channels are shared across these five ADC units. There are also four analog comparators, each with their own dedicated 12-bit reference Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC); and two programmable gain amplifiers to reduce external component count.


New features include a peripheral trigger generator, which is a user-programmable state machine that can respond to events faster than a firmware-driven implementation while offloading the processor for other tasks.

In addition, a four-channel Direct Memory Access (DMA) unit is included to further increase the controller’s overall system performance. These devices also have configurable logic cells that can be used to create combinatorial Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) signals for advanced applications or to minimize the need for external glue logic in the design.

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They also contain up to two CAN communication interfaces for automotive and industrial applications. Select new variants in the family of dsPIC digital signal controllers are offered in an 80-pin package giving designers increased memory and more interface pins to fulfill the requirements of more sophisticated designs.

“Design engineers are under a lot of pressure to get products to market on-time,” said Joe Thomsen, vice president of Microchip’s MCU16 business unit. “The dsPIC33EP128GS808 family has the DSP performance, advanced peripherals and memory options that designers need. Plus, the family is supported by Microchip’s free Digital Compensator Design Tool (DCDT), advanced SMPS libraries, evaluation platforms and reference designs which all help customers accelerate the overall process of designing their digital power supply.”

The dsPIC33EP128GS808 family is supported by the MPLAB ecosystem including MPLAB X Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and XC16 compiler.

All 14 parts in the dsPIC33EP128GS808 family are available, with volume production starting at $2.50 USD in 10k unit quantities. A variety of package options including TQFP, QFN and SOIC with 28-, 44-, 48-, 64-, and 80- pin are available.

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