Texas Instruments has expanded its TMS320C2000 microcontroller (MCU) digital power family to help engineers jump start digital-power design. Digital-power designs rely upon a microcontroller that runs power-control algorithms in the digital domain while it controls power in the analog realm. For complete information, visit: www.ti.com/digpwr-pfc-pr-sw.The company grouped its announcement into three sections:1. More than 25 free, modular digital-power software blocks are now available in the controlSUITE software. The free, open-source, and modular digital-power libraries let developers change control techniques in software, so they need not modify or redesign power-related hardware. TI has optimized the software blocks for both the Piccolo C28x core and the control-law accelerator (CLA). For information on the CLA, visit: focus.ti.com/lit/ml/sprb197/sprb197.pdf.2. The new High Voltage PFC Developer’s Kit provides hardware and software needed to quickly implement digital power-factor correction (PFC). The Piccolo F28027 kit (Part no: TMDSHVPFCKIT, $US 249) includes hardware and software for two-phase 300-W interleaved power-factor correction and TI claims engineers can get up and running in under 10 minutes. An isolated JTAG port lets engineers test and debug code without exposing their lab PCs to high voltages.3. Biricha Digital Power Ltd. now offers training that gives engineers a solid foundation in digital-power theory and extensive hands-on lab exercises. The 3-day workshop provides an introduction to digital-power technology, a step-by-step design of a digital power supply (buck topology), and explanations of how to use the Piccolo MCU in digital-power designs. For course information, visit: www.biricha.com/. The 3-day course costs $US 1995.Have you used digital control of power-supply or PFC circuits? –Jon Titus
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.