A new class of easy-to-use power modules offers an alternative to complex power designs and the printed circuit board (PCB) layout issues typically related to DC-DC converters. Nonetheless, there is still some engineering to be done when designing with and laying out these power modules, which integrate an inductor and a monolithic synchronous regulator within one power package.
This article describes the best PCB layout methods, practices and techniques to maximize the SIMPLE SWITCHER power module’s performance. It also discuses relevant thermal issues, and its lessons apply to other power-supply designs, as well.
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About the Authors
Don Rhodes is a field applications engineer with National Semiconductor Corp., and is based in Tigard, Oregon. He received his BSE degree from Chapman University.
Marc Davis-Marsh is an applications engineer with National Semiconductor Corp., Santa Clara, Calif. He holds an MSEE and BSEE from Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio.