It is becoming increasingly easier to design circuit boards thanks to software and hardware tools from integrate circuit (IT) manufacturers. Texas Instrument (TI), for instance, offers evaluation modules (EVM), a software design evaluation program called SwitcherPro, and SPICE software circuit simulation program TINA-TI for numerous power supply chips. You can use these tools to evaluate and experiment with the power supply product of interest and design a successful power supply solution.
EVAs are extensive printed-circuit board (PCB) networks that contain various TI chips. User guides describe the PCB set-up in relation to the particular board. The user guide describes the characteristics, operation, and EVM-user specifics.
The SwitcherPro evaluation tool helps you design power supplies specific to TI’s controllers, low-power DC/DC converters, and SWIFT point-of-load (POL) step-down DC/DC products. This software creates and manages your design with various internal tools and results. Design data such as efficiency curves and stability loop curves are available with this product.
The SwitcherPro has EVM designs embedded within the software offering circuit diagram suggestions for all power supply designs. The circuit diagrams show you the resistive, inductive, and capacitive elements surrounding the converter along with suggested values.
TINA-TI is a circuit simulation tool based on a SPICE engine. This circuit simulation engine provides DC, transient, and frequency domain analysis of SPICE circuits. TINA also has a post-processing capability that allows you to customize the format of the results.
To complete the design cycle, go back to the evaluation module, change the values as suggested by SwitcherPro, verify by using TINA-TI simulations, and test the new circuit on the EVM.
This post was written by Bonnie C. Baker, Signal Integrity Engineer at Texas Instrument