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As the world faces a long-term shortage of conventional energy resources, energy efficiency and power-management have taken centre stage. Switched-mode power supplies (SMPS) are the key enabling technology for efficiently delivering the tightly regulated supply voltages required by today’s modern mixed-signal (digital+analog) integrated circuits (ICs) and systems. The SMPS acts as the interface between the energy source, such as a battery, and the load ICs. A typical SMPS uses a combination of high-speed, low-resistance semiconductor switches, energy storage components, sensors and control circuits to regulate one or more output voltages in the presence of disturbances. State-of-the-art SMPS have a power conversion efficiency above 90%. The resulting low heat dissipation allows multiple SMPS to be integrated with their load circuits into a single IC. The clear trend in SMPS research is toward adaptive digital control-loops, increased integration within system-on-chip (SoC) applications, higher efficiency over the full operating range and higher switching frequency, resulting in smaller energy storage components. The long-term goals of the proposed research are to make tomorrow’s power management systems, smaller, more efficient, more robust, and more reliable, while reducing electromagnetic interference (EMI) and environmental impacts.

Power Converter Evolution

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