The power supply used to be an afterthought in electronic systems design. No longer. Today’s systems are complex; they cram more functions into ever-smaller volumes, are increasingly portable and sometimes deployed remotely. Managing the power requirements of such systems efficiently, reliably and safely – at low power or high — has moved to the forefront of system-design issues.
Today, several key trends in end markets are driving innovation in semiconductor solutions for power management. Among them:
Portability, the dominant trend in wireless, computing, consumer, industrial and medical markets, requires semiconductors that enable efficient battery charging and safe operation;
The next-generation of automobiles — safer, highly connected and greener — is spurring innovation in power management for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), Infotainment, Hybrid/Electric vehicles, Powertrain, Body Electronics and Lighting;
LED driver solutions are being developed to address the particular requirements of lighting, backlighting, signage, camera flash and automotive applications;
Many wireless sensors, among billions of nodes of the IoT, will need to be self powered, making low-power design and energy harvesting solutions a fertile area for innovation;
The wide bandgap semiconductor material, Gallium Nitride (GaN), is providing a number of advantages in electronic power supplies. Switching power transistors based on GaN can operate at high voltages with much higher performance than traditional silicon (Si) transistors, opening up new power applications.
The latest Power Management Guide from Texas Instruments is a compendium of innovative solutions and design support tools for the vast and complex field of power management, across the spectrum of modern electronics applications.