The Power Design Challenge

Virtually all electronic designs require power electronics circuitry. The demand for highly reliable and efficient circuitry, coupled with the compact size of today’s circuits, has tightened requirements on new designs. Meanwhile, new regulations, such as those for power quality and EMI, continue to impact designs intended for global markets. An ever-increasing number of power components from which to choose makes keeping pace a difficult task.

The introduction of integrated magnetic structures using planar transformers, inductors, and even mag-amps makes it impossible to use a conventional breadboard to evaluate such design. Instead, you must await a PWB and possibly a custom-made core before the actual circuit can function.

Once your power design is complete, you must then be prepared to modify the design quickly to meet any change in requirements. To meet these challenges, many power designers use simulation to validate specific portions of their design prior to breadbording. This reduces design time and cost, plus increases your insight into key design issues.

Today's power electronic designs often place a severe demand on simulation software. This can drive simulation times to unacceptable levels or lead to convergence problems, resulting in lost time and added expense.

The New Power Solution

To help you meet the complexities of power supply design and simulation, Intusoft
developed Power Supply Designer. This powerful software lets you create a power design and evaluate its performance through simulation quickly and reliably. At the core of Power Supply Designer is the IsSpice4 mixed-signal simulator technology, widely recognized for its ability to simulate complex circuitry with multiple feedback loops, nonlinear magnetics and switching topologies.

High Accuracy Models for Key Power Components

In power converter design, all models are not created equally. You need accurate models in order for semiconductors and magnetic devices to properly simulate circuit behavior. Second-order effects are exposed using Power Supply Designer so things like behavior of snubbers, safe operating area, cross-talk between output regulators, and EMI filter performance can be evaluated through simulation.

Intusoft has spent years developing accurate and robust models for the components that are used in power design. The XSPICE mixed-signal simulator portion of IsSpice4 adds a Hardware Description Language (HDL) capability to Intusoft’s enhanced Behavioral (B-element) modeling capability. This combines with an unparalleled array of tools for making accurate and fast models tailored for your applications.

Using our special Design Validation feature and its Stress Alarms, you can evaluate operating stress on circuit components using any user-defined test criteria. You can easily specify component tolerances and perform Monte Carlo analysis, as well as many other statistical measurements. This provides important information about your design's production yield. You can explore the effect of component faults and use that information to eliminate potentially hazardous operation.

Top-Down Design

Designing a power supply from the top down involves the creation of a system-level schematic drawing, notably when all of the details of the drawing are not available. SpiceNet allows you to gradually fill in design detail to produce your final product. This is achieved by providing a layered and configurable schematic. As details become available, you can create new layers in your design, then create a unique schematic configuration by listing the layers used. This technique enables you to re-use layers for different simulations so that part values and parameters can be differentiated from layer to layer. This technique can be used, for example, to employ state average models, switched level models, and passive devices with second-order effects to create special test configurations.

SpiceNet allows you to attach each configuration to different types of simulations. This powerful feature lets you manage all of the data for your project within a central schematic database.

  It works like a deck of cards. Different collections of layers are combined to produce unique configurations that act as containers for simulation data and fault dictionaries.

A rich set of switching regulators, power transistors, diodes and magnetic device models support your design. The transformer and inductor models are highly accurate and were made using Magnetics Designer. Intusoft used a state-of-the-art field simulator to calculate the high frequency losses caused by gap fields intercepting the wire and layer-to-layer proximity losses. Leakage inductance calculations were combined with a 5-capacitor inter-winding capacitance model, and a broad-band core model to provide a hi-fidelity SPICE model.

Easy-to-use saturable core models, found in our part library, can also be added when non-linear magnetic effects are needed. By dividing the design into logical groupings, the problem of long simulation run-times is reduced, while the demand of accuracy and simulation speed can be mutually addressed.

For more information on Power Supply Designer or Intusoft's other great products, please email: or call us at: 310-329-3295.

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