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Boosting Designer Flexibility

Paul Whytock looks at how TI’s latest Fusion Digital Power solutions could become the engineers’ flexible friend.

Texas Instruments developed a line of Fusion Digital Power solutions that it claims provides improved performance and greater design flexibility at a competitive cost.

Many analogue-power systems effectively monitor and control power to meet the requirements of today's electronic systems. However, power-system designers face increasing pressure to manage more complex power requirements, such as higher efficiencies over wider loads, lower output voltages, and multiple power-supply synchronisations. The fact is that digital power provides intelligent adaptability and flexibility to satisfy any complex power requirement. It also ensures system reliability through remote diagnostics, including fault management, over-current protection, and down-time avoidance. TI's Fusion Digital Power solutions include the UCD9K, UCD8K, and UCD7K series of complementary devices that support power-supply systems from AC-line to point-of-load applications, including telecoms, uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs), computer servers, and data-centric power systems.

The UCD9K high-resolution digital power controllers with integrated specialised power peripherals have the ability to close one or more feedback loops, as well as provide communications and supervisory functions. Achieving up to 150-ps digital pulse-width-modulation (PWM) resolution, the digital-signal-processor-based (DSP) and microcontroller-based controllers contribute in several areas of complex power conversion, including multiphase control, nonlinear control, load-sharing, and predictive failure--functions difficult to perform in full-analogue implementations. The UCD9K family also makes power solutions much more energy efficient by providing the capability and flexibility to optimize power conversion over a broad range of loads.

Scalability and reuse of the software and peripherals allow the devices to change operating parameters to optimize a specific power system. In addition, Fusion Digital Power products are supported by development-support tools such as TI's DSP Code Composer Studio Integrated Development Environment and comprehensive digital power-management application reference designs.

Recom Managed Systems, a developer of heart-monitoring technology selected TI's MSP430F149 ultra-low-power microcontroller and high-performance analogue technologies as elements for its battery-powered, high-fidelity biomedical signal processing and recording platform.

Recom's first product based on this platform, the Model 100, is an ambulatory patient heart monitor that uses patented signal-processing technology to record a clinical quality electrocardiograph (ECG) signal in the presence of noise generated by the patient's body movements and ambient environment. The Model 100 provides up to 48 hours of real-time heart monitoring during a patient's everyday activities.

Current ECG monitoring technologies are hampered by environmental noise and signal distortions or artefacts caused by body movements. This interference makes the onset of heart disease more difficult to detect, as many symptoms are often manifested in real-world situations that occur outside of a doctor's office. By reducing these interfering factors during recordings, the Recom Model 100 helps doctors detect cardiac abnormalities more accurately. When a patient wears Recom's Model 100, medical experts can collect continuous cardiac data and store this information for further analysis. This data can establish a baseline for detecting abnormalities or changes in basic bioelectric heart patterns. This unimpeded, continuous tracking allows for early detection of small changes that can indicate heart muscle deterioration.

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