Microchip Technology recently launched the 14-member dsPIC33EP “GS” family of digital signal controllers (DSCs). The family delivers the performance needed to implement more sophisticated nonlinear, predictive and adaptive control algorithms at higher switching frequencies. The advanced algorithms enable energy-efficient power supply designs with better power supply specifications. Higher switching frequencies enable the development of physically smaller power supplies that offer higher densities and lower costs.
In comparison to older DSCs, the new dsPIC33EP “GS” devices provide less than half the latency, when used in a three-pole three-zero compensator, and consume up to 80% less power in any application. The new family includes advanced features such as Live Update Flash capability, which is especially helpful for high-availability or “always-on” systems. Live Update can be used to change the firmware of an operating power supply, including the active compensator calculation code, while maintaining continuous regulation. Variants from this new digital-power-optimized DSC family are available in an industry’s-smallest, 4 × 4 mm UQFN package for space-constrained designs.
Other key features of this family include up to five 12-bit ADCs with as many as 22-ADC inputs, providing total throughput of 16 Msps with a 300-ns ADC latency. The dsPIC33EP “GS” devices include 12-bit DACs for each of the four analog comparators for higher-precision designs. The two on-chip programmable gain amplifiers can be used for current sensing and other precision measurements. Including these advanced analog amplifiers on the device reduces the number of external components required, thereby saving cost and board space.
The dsPIC33EP “GS” family is well suited for a wide range of applications, including computer, telecom (e.g., AC/DC and DC/DC power supplies), and industrial (e.g., solar inverters and LED lighting).
Microchip’s MPLAB Starter Kit for Digital Power (DM330017-2, $129.99) supports the dsPIC33EP “GS” family. The 14 family members are available in various packages, from 28 to 64 pins. All the new DSCs are currently available for sampling and volume production, starting at $1.10 each in high volume.