Vicor Corporation today announced the introduction of its new Power System Designer online design tool, giving system designers unprecedented flexibility to architect and optimize end-to-end power systems.
Grappling with Complicated Power Requirements
Complex and compact electronic products and systems have driven demand for ever smaller, more efficient and cost-effective power systems. Each alternative design approach requires performance calculations, data sheet searches, manual simulations, thermal projections, layout and packaging studies, bill-of-material (BOM) generation and cost analysis. To address this challenge, a variety of power design tools have been developed. These tools, however, don’t allow analysis of the complete power system. Rather, the “front-end”, which filters and conditions power received from an AC or a DC source, must be configured and analysed separately from the plurality of downstream regulators that generate the voltages required by system loads. Also, these tools do not provide a complete modular solution: the generated power system solutions combine a limited number of modular power devices with several “discrete” circuit solutions, each requiring dozens of parts.Thus, power density is compromised and the designer is challenged with figuring out the right combination of front end and DC-DC power trains, and dealing with the complexities of discrete power circuit layout, thermal management, packaging and cost.
What is the Power System Designer?
The Power System Designer is a web-based tool for generating power systems faster. The Power System Designer is the embodiment of the power component design methodology.
What can an engineer do with this tool?
The design engineer enters their design specifications into the tool and the tool provides recommended designs based on key figures of merit:
Recommended best fit
This is much more than a product selection tool. PSD provides a design environment that enables the designer to evaluate the complete power system designed (source to Pol), then modify it.
This tool saves time by taking the place of sifting through data sheets, performing hundreds of calculations on the overall system performance, pulls together thousands of data points and draws a block diagram of the recommended power system in a matter of seconds optimized around 5 critical figures of merit. In addition it provides a drawn to scale representation of the system along with a bill of materials.
Trying the tool
How do I approach using the Power System Designer?
You approach using the tool the same as you would use other web based tools. You answer a few questions and the tool provides recommended solutions.
To get started, you need to know:
1) your power source (AC or DC),
2) the voltage levels of your input (either a nominal value or a min and max, )
3) number of outputs and
4) for each output you will need to know
a) Current / Power,
b) Regulation requirements and
c) Isolation requirements.
Once determined, you enter them on the website.
The system will then recommend up to 5 designs based on
1) Component count,
3) Smallest footprint
4) Highest efficiency and
5) Recommended best fit.
Simplifying the Complexity of Power Design
Power System Designer online design tool simplifies and accelerates the creation of compact, multi-output, modular power systems all the way from the input source – either AC or DC – to system loads. Engineers simply specify their AC or DC input source and operating range, and their required output voltages and respective power (or current), regulation and isolation specifications, and the tool automatically generates and identifies the best alternative solutions, each solution characterized by figures of merit including Highest Operating Efficiency, Lowest Component Count, Lowest Cost, Smallest Footprint and Recommended Best Fit. Each solution can be viewed, analyzed and optimized using fully editable Whiteboard tool, enabling designers to meet the exacting performance requirements of their target application. For any selected design, the Power System Designer tool can display a visual representation of the mechanical layout of the system and generate a complete Bill-of-Materials along with ordering and pricing information.