Selecting power distribution topologies

Power supply and low voltage rails are necessary for every electrical system. The problem comes when you have to decide what kind of distribution topology you are going to use and what AC/DC modules and regulator combination to use. This later part can be very confusing and frustrating to an inexperienced embedded engineer.

Designing and implementing the proper power supply is critical to developing a reliable and optimal product. Custom power supply vendors should be aware of component designs and online tools that can shorten the product development cycle.

Sadly, many system designers are not familiar with power supply selections and designs. As a result, the design of power management systems is becoming a more challenging task for embedded designers, many of whom don’t have a strong background in power management.

Current designs of electronic systems need dynamic power supply solutions and an increasing number of power rails, with loads varying from just a few mA (standby supplies) to more than 100A in ASIC regulators.

While you are selecting the design that will suit your needs, it is important to take performance requirements such as efficiency, tight printed circuit board space, fast transient response, low cost, and correct output regulation into consideration.