Keysight Technologies and ROHM Semiconductor announced a PathWave Advanced Design System (ADS)-compatible workspace, that enables designers to perform pre-compliance testing on virtual prototypes of switched-mode power supply (SMPS) designs. This new capability saves time and cost by catching errors early in the design before they become a big problem.
Demand for SMPS is driven by the need for greater efficiency, increased power density and lower cost. Fast, low-loss switches made from silicon carbide (SiC) and related materials will power future applications due to the high performance and efficiency they enable. However, unwanted side effects from high-speed switching include voltage spikes ("ringing"). In addition, it is more difficult to meet conducted and radiated electromagnetic interference (EMI) specifications in higher speed designs. Pre-compliance analysis of a "virtual prototype" or "digital twin" is ideal for managing this challenge, but previously required expertise to build and use the necessary design information, called a "workspace."
To address this, Keysight teamed with ROHM to create the "twin" of ROHM's reference design (model P01SCT2080KE-EVK-001) available to mutual customers via Keysight's web site at https://www.keysight.com/us/en/assets/3120-1476/application-notes/Virtual-Reference-Design.pdf. Virtual prototypes are easy to change, and while they do flag device overstress as warning messages during simulation, they never emit real smoke. The voltage, current and fields at every spatial point in the 3D grid and every time step in the simulation can be recorded and made accessible for plotting, even points that are physically inaccessible in the real world such as inside a semiconductor package.