SSZTBW7 november   2015


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Kaitlin Kirasich

Since 2002, the WEBENCH® Designer panels in TI’s power-management product folders have played a big part in helping system designers launch WEBENCH Power Designer in one click, which creates an optimized design based on your requirements.

In 2010, new panels featured the WEBENCH Optimizer knob, which previewed five optimized solutions based on the default conditions in the panel. This year, a new WEBENCH design panel provides a full preview of complete WEBENCH designs inside WEBENCH-enabled voltage-regulator product folders.

This panel allows you to dynamically interact and customize WEBENCH designs instantly by recalculating and optimizing your design before launching the full version of Power Designer. Figure 1 shows a pop-up display of circuit calculators, while Figure 2 is a snapshot of some of the capabilities that WEBENCH Power Designer provides.

GUID-84235690-7D1C-4F8D-8859-5084A14B1E67-low.png Figure 1 Interactive Design Product Folder Panel

This new panel helps you make quick decisions on designs that meet your specifications, shortening time researching designs and parts. Create a complete power design that fits your requirements in seconds and compare it to a similar design under the same constraints. Although the product folders already show a parametric comparison of similar parts, it only compares the ranges of those parts and does not give you a good idea of how they will affect your end design. The Compare feature inside Interactive Design allows you to browse through similar designs that fit the same requirements as yours and compare two parts with two complete designs. Easily see similarities between families and sort similar designs by lowest cost, fewest components or smallest footprint. You can also view the schematics, bill of materials (BOMs), operating charts and operating values of each design side by side.

Open the Interactive Design window in the product folder by clicking either the top Interactive Design icon or the Explore Now button. This will instantly launch a pop-up window and create a full WEBENCH Design with the requirements entered in the panel.

GUID-F543D7B6-44B2-472B-B869-7B26D7A06FAC-low.png Figure 2 Interactive Design Product Folder Design Creation

After creating the design, you can navigate through the schematic, operating charts, BOMs and operating values by clicking the icons on the left-hand side of the panel in Figure 2. You can also recalculate your design inputs or optimize the design at the top of the panel.

By viewing the schematic, you can get a quick snapshot of the design’s complexity. To zoom in or edit components in the schematic, click View/Edit Schematic to launch the same design in the full version of WEBENCH Power Designer. The Charts view displays the efficiency and duty-cycle operating charts at three voltage levels between VIN min and VIN max for the given output current. The BOM view shows the list of components, manufacturer, footprint and attributes of each component. To swap out any element of the design, click View/Edit BOM to launch the full version of WEBENCH Designer. The Op Val (operating values) view shows the most important operating values; however, to see more, open the full version of WEBENCH tools to access additional operating values or use any of the advanced capabilities of Power Designer.

Below the Op Val tab is the Compare tab. Compare is a new feature recently added to the Interactive Design tool that uses WEBENCH Power Visualizer logic to generate a paged list of similar solutions that fit your requirements in the Design Inputs section.

The compare table in Figure 3 compares the current solution to similar ones that you can create in the WEBENCH tool. Filter the table by part number in the text box above the table and click any of the column headers to sort the solutions by maximum output current, solution efficiency, total solution footprint, BOM cost and BOM count.

GUID-3F3F0E10-A74B-4284-9B1B-24E065A3D3DA-low.png Figure 3 Interactive Design Compare Table

Once you find a solution that you would like to compare to your current one, click Compare next to the part number in the table. This will dynamically create a second complete WEBENCH result directly next to the current solution.

GUID-CE265D27-1F3D-4B53-8CF7-202C69977A07-low.png Figure 4 Interactive Design Comparator

Figure 4 shows the schematic view of the Interactive Design comparator. The comparator lets you instantly compare the complexity and target values for two complete WEBENCH designs side by side. You can also view schematics, operating charts, BOM lists and operating values of both solutions next to each other in one screen. You can recalculate the design inputs or optimize both designs at the same time. The red button located at the bottom of each tab for each solution will launch the full version of WEBENCH Power Designer for further exploration.

If you only know TI parts by name, the Compare feature can introduce you to newer parts and possibly more optimized solutions. For those who have never used WEBENCH tools, this feature is a very small introduction to the full power of WEBENCH design tools.

Start exploring the interactive panels here.

Start exploring WEBENCH here.