Design tool utilizes digital power solutions to bring DC/DC controller features to market quickly

February 19, 2013 // By Paul Buckley
Powervation Ltd has released PowerSMART v1.1, an updated version of the company’s design tool, as well as, the release of a new PV3012 firmware for the PMBus compliant dual-phase digital controller.

The PowerSMART design tool allows users to communicate with and configure the Powervation digital power control ICs (e.g., PV3101 and PV3012) from their laptop using a standard USB connection. The design tool enables the user to program the controller and optimize its performance, while carefully monitoring key power supply status parameters.  Designers may use the tool to make simple point-and-click or numeric entry changes to parameters and quickly configure/power-up the power supply.  

Additionally, users may take advantage of PowerSMART’s advanced settings to access more than 60 parameters and finely tune the features to their specific needs within the GUI environment, with precision and flexibility beyond that of hardware programmed analog-based solutions.  PowerSMART v1.1 builds upon the initial release of the platform introduced in 2011.  The new release gives access to new parameters useful in power supply design, supports a new release of the PV3012 firmware, and provides additional flexibility and control of existing features.

Applying the company’s core hardware and firmware technologies, Powervation’s PMBus compliant single-phase and dual-phase digital controllers use a proprietary DSP/RISC dual-core architecture with a precision data acquisition engine running advanced control and power management algorithms in firmware.  This architecture enables a rich set of features, and a high degree of flexibility within the firmware environment.  The PowerSMART v1.1 release coincides with the new release of firmware for the company’s PV3012 dual-phase controllers.   

The firmware upgrade provides additional features and flexibility related to: protection features, temperature sensing support, PMBus manufacturer specific commands, and performance enhancements for Powervation’s digital stress share bus (DSS).  Additionally, users now have greater control over Powervation’s Auto-Control parameters and performance, which in demanding DDR3 and DDR4 voltage regulator designs, has proven to be an advantage for transient performance and thus BOM cost.   

The PV3012Q-A2 is designed to function with all leading driver and FET solutions to allow the designer maximum flexibility, powering ASICs, FPGAs, DDR memory, processors, and general POLs