Microchip logo
  • All
  • Products
  • Documents
  • Applications Notes

Intelligent Power

Scalable Solutions for Power Conversion Applications

Intelligent power supply implementations solve problems in a wide range of applications, with power solutions ranging from the most basic level of intelligent power control/integration to the most advanced digital control topologies. In a basic design, microcontrollers (MCUs) can perform supervision and sequencing; in a more advanced design, the digital control engines integrate Analog-to-Digital Converters (ADCs), digital control algorithms, and Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) generators to close the loop with firmware. Microchip delivers everything you need for your power conversion design including low-risk product development, lower total system cost, faster time to market, outstanding technical support and dependable delivery and quality.

Intelligent Power SolutionsTechnical Functions
Digital Control of Analog Regulators
  • Low-power standby
  • Programmable soft start
  • Power up sequencing
Digitally Enhanced Power Analog (DEPA) Controllers
  • High input voltage capability
  • Integrated high current drive pins
  • Increased configuration capability
  • Programmable fault response
Core Independent Peripheral (CIP) Hybrid Power Controllers
  • Flexibility to assemble multiple control topologies managed by a single CPU
Full Digital Power
  • Dynamic control loop adjustment
  • Predictive control loop algorithms
  • Operational flexibility for different power levels

Digital Control of Analog Regulators

For easy-to-implement digital management, single-chip regulators can efficiently perform a power conversion. Microchip's PIC® and AVR® MCUs can implement on/off control, sequencing and monitoring of analog controllers or regulators. This approach is very effective in many battery management, lighting, energy harvesting and embedded power conversion applications.

Digitally Enhanced Power Analog (DEPA) Controllers

In Digitally Enhanced Power Analog (DEPA) controllers, the analog control chip and PIC MCU are contained on the same die. This integration improves the accuracy, flexibility and speed of the digital management functions. DEPA solutions allow for a higher voltage input to the controller, eliminating the need for a bias supply; integrated high-current drive pins, eliminating the need for external driver chips; and a dramatic increase in the degree of configuration in the analog control loop, increasing the versatility of the design. The benefits include dynamically adjustable frequency, output level, current limit, over- and under-voltage protection levels. Combining these benefits with programmable fault responses results in optimal operation based on the real-time line, load and temperature conditions. DEPA-based intelligent power supplies are ideally suited to battery charging, dimmable single or multi-string LED lighting and automotive power applications.

Core Independent Peripheral (CIP) Hybrid Power Controllers

You can efficiently implement an analog control loop in a PIC MCU by taking advantage of the most recent set of Core Independent Peripheral (CIP) blocks optimized for power conversion applications. These MCUs (see product list below) implement a hybrid approach to power control by combining the flexibility of analog and digital peripherals that can be configured at runtime to assemble a large variety of topologies under the control of the MCU. CIP-hybrid controllers do not integrate FET drivers, providing you with maximum flexibility in selecting power and voltages. Since CIPs are designed to operate independently from the core, once configured, they allow full use of the Central Processing Unit (CPU) for communication and coordination tasks while delivering optimal power supply performance and features. A single controller can manage up to four independent power conversion stages. This type of solution is very well suited for the management of smart (solid state) lighting solutions, advanced dimming solutions for automotive and building automation, battery charging, multi-stage power sequencing and smart power applications for the Internet of Things (IoT).

Full Digital Power

For the highest performance, dsPIC® Digital Signal Controllers (DSCs) can close the control loop in the digital domain by offering powerful algorithms to maximize efficiency at all load conditions. A complete digital power supply provides more than just added value; in many applications it is a competitive necessity. In designs with stringent efficiency requirements, transient response is critical and monitoring and reporting are mandatory for maximum up-time. A full-digital approach is well suited for multi-stage AC-DC or DC-DC conversions, renewable energy, server and computing applications.

Dual-Core dsPIC33CH DSCs – If you are designing a high-end embedded control application with multiple software teams, the dsPIC33CH family offers two dsPIC DSC cores in a single chip to enable easier software integration. The slave core is used for executing dedicated, time-critical control code while the master core is busy running the user interface, system monitoring and communications functions that are customized for the end application. The dsPIC33CH family is designed to facilitate independent code development for each core by separate design teams and enables seamless integration when the codes are brought together in one chip.

Single-Core dsPIC33CK DSCs – These DSCs accelerate Digital Signal Processor (DSP) performance for very high-speed control loop execution in demanding power conversion applications. This family of DSCs offers tightly coupled Pulse-Width Modulation (PWMs), Analog-to-Digital Converters (ADCs), Programmable Gain Amplifiers (PGAs) and Central Processing Unit (CPU) for fast deterministic performance. Offering a Live Update feature for real-time firmware upgrades, these DSCs are ideal for addressing real-world design requirements such as high energy efficiency across variable load conditions in a power supply. Complementing our dsPIC33CH dual-core DSCs, the dsPIC33CK family offers a cost-effective single-core option with the same high-performance core and application-specific peripherals .

Because digital power conversion applications require a variety of design approaches, Microchip offers flexible options to meet your specific requirements. Use the links below to discover how our solutions can be used to implement a wide range of applications.


Read more

Sign Up for News and Discounts

Microchip’s dsPIC® Digital Signal Controllers allow designers to optimize efficiency over varying loads and environmental conditions, to differentiate their end product by efficiency, fault handling or increased functionality. Learn more and get discounts on our latest development tools.

Wireless Power

Wireless power and charging systems require reliable communication, advanced power control algorithms and effective implementation of foreign object detection. Our dsPIC® and PIC® devices provide the flexibility to optimize standards-based and proprietary wireless power/charging solutions.

AC to DC Power Supplies

These AC-DC reference designs provide examples of microcontroller-based implementations of Power Factor Correction (PFC), high-voltage compatible bias generation, and primary/secondary isolation.

DC to DC Power Supplies

In addition to performing DC-DC conversion, switching converters with built-in microcontrollers can also provide management functions. This creates a more capable and robust system.

Battery Management

Our battery management solutions provide robust circuit implementations for systems using lithium-ion, lead-acid, lithium ion phosphate, or new and exotic battery chemistries.

Digital Lighting Control

Digital Lighting Control

Lighting drive and control has opened a new world of possibilities for better product designs. Our highly programmable lighting solutions compensate for environmental factors for optimal light quality.

SMPS Solar Power

Our solar reference designs include support for power path management, supply measurement, battery management, fault protection, and Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT). These reference designs can easily be converted into high-efficiency commercial designs.

DC to AC Power Inverter

dsPIC® and PIC® microcontrollers are capable of performing DC-AC conversions, with management and measurement. These capabilities are well suited for inverter designs with communication, control and loss detection in applications such as induction cooktops and Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS).