Overcoming Power Conversion Problems In RF And Microwave Designs

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A recent article in How2Power Today discusses the challenges that RF and microwave system designers encounter when designing power supply functions into their applications, and describes steps engineers and component suppliers can take to overcome these problems.

In the September issue of the How2Power Today newsletter, Steve Sandler and Charles Hymowitz of AEi Systems explore the reasons many power supply designs used to power microwave and RF applications perform poorly and discuss possible solutions. As the authors explain, many of the problems can be traced back to a lack of adequate information and appropriate device models from the power component vendors.

In "Powering RF Systems: Why So Many Power Supply Designs Have Problems and What IC Suppliers Should Do About It," Sandler and Hymowitz present examples of power supply design difficulties faced by RF and microwave engineers, discuss their origins, and explain how engineers can overcome them. They also recommend ways that manufacturers of integrated circuits can help RF and microwave engineers prevent these power-related troubles. The article concludes with a list of "The Top Ten Things RF Engineers Should Know About Voltage Regulators."

As the authors explain, power supply design problems in RF and microwave systems come in many forms.

" From the simplest linear regulators, to the switching converters, all the way up to the complete distributed power systems, these designs often fail to meet key specifications such as stability, regulation, ripple, and headroom," say Sandler and Hymowitz. Many of these shortcomings stem from inadequate datasheets, which fail to fully characterize power ICs for use in RF applications. In addition, most power IC vendors fail to provide device models that will work in the design environments used by RF and microwave engineers.

This article is available for free online at How2Power's newsletters page (see http://www.how2power.com/newsletters.) This page also provides access to other power supply-related design articles, and the How2Power Today newsletter sign up page.

About How2Power Today
An extension of the How2Power.com website, How2Power Today is a free monthly e-newsletter that presents innovative design techniques and solutions for power conversion in a range of applications along with in-depth reporting on the latest power components. To receive your free subscription to How2Power Today, see http://www.how2power.com/newsletters/register.php.

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David G. Morrison
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