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Software boosts power applications (.PDF Download)

March 11, 2021

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Programmable power supplies and loads are evolving to best serve a variety of applications as they leverage technologies such as wide-bandgap semiconductors, as described in our March special reports on the topics. Those reports focused on hardware, but software—ranging from simulation to instrument control—has a role to play as well.

MathWorks offers simulation and modeling tools for programmable power-supply design. “MathWorks provides Simulink software that lets engineers model digital control algorithms and the analog circuit together, before beginning detailed circuit design with a SPICE circuit simulator,” said Tony Lennon, market manager for power electronics control design.

Lennon identified a trend over the past year toward advances in hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing.1 “HIL testing helps engineers validate the control software they program on a microcontroller or FPGA,” he said. “The HIL test system consists of a computer with appropriate I/O that runs the analog components as a real-time simulation.” The real-time simulation model consists of code generated from a model developed in Simulink and other software, he said, adding, “The benefit of HIL testing is that engineers can validate their control code for a full range of operating and fault conditions without damaging prototype power supplies.”

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