Page 2:Inductors And Transformers
Page 4:Current Ripple And Cap Life Calculation
Page 5:Capacitors Manufacturer Tier List
Page 6:Resistors, Transistors And Diodes
Page 7:SMPS Vs. Linear Regulators
Page 8:SMPS Parts Description
Page 9:EMI/Transient Filtering Stage
Page 10:Bridge Rectifiers And APFC
Page 11:Main Switchers And Transformers
Page 12:Output Rectifiers And Filters
Page 13:Switching Controllers And Isolators
Page 14:Switching Regulator Topologies
Page 15:LLC Resonant Converter
Page 16:Digitally Controlled PSUs
Page 17:PSU Cooling
Page 18:Fan Operation And Bearing Types
Page 19:Other Bearing Types: SSO, Rifle, Hysint
Page 20:Measuring PSU's Fan RPM
Page 21:PSU Protections
Page 22:Monitoring Integrated Circuits
Page 23:ATX, EPS, And 80 PLUS Specifications
Page 24:PSU Resources
Digitally Controlled PSUs
Several PSU manufacturers recently started using digital control circuits alongside analog circuits in their implementations. The crucial advantages of digital controllers are, first, their ability to consider many more factors, and second, the increased speeds at which all data is processed. They are able to provide very high performance with increased efficiency levels and almost perfect load regulation, as well as low ripple levels. In addition, it's possible to adjust the voltage levels on the rails that are digitally controlled.
Another crucial benefit of digital control circuits is that they easily allow the monitoring and control of the PSU through software. So far, the unit with the highest overall performance score on our charts is a digital PSU, which clearly shows the performance improvement over PSUs that use analog circuits. Nonetheless, analog circuits will continue to be used in PSUs for quite a long time, as they have proven to be reliable and, more important, their cost is significantly lower. And with all of the knowledge gathered so far, analog circuits can still offer high performance levels.
The PCB and the control PCB of the Corsair AX1500i.
Currently, there are no purely digital PSU platforms available. Even in the most advanced implementations, some parts (like the 5VSB regulation circuit, the DC-DC converters that generate the minor rails or the APFC stage) are still controlled by analog circuits. As the use of digital circuits becomes more common among PSU manufacturers, however, we believe that fully digital units will become available, offering new levels of performance under all conditions.
Through their software interfaces, digital PSUs also provide lots of useful information on the function and performance of PSUs, along with interesting control options. We will have to wait until this technology matures and the production lines adopt digital circuits on a wider scale to see the prices of digital PSUs at more reasonable levels.
Before we end this section, we would like to stress that all digital PSUs use, and will continue to use, the topologies mentioned in the previous section. The only thing that will change is that the control will be done by processors and not by analog controllers.
In the above scheme, the block diagram of the Corsair AX1200i digital unit is depicted. As you can see, in addition to the primary digital signal processor, there are two secondary microcontrollers (MCUs), with one of them handling the communications interface and the other controlling various circuits in the PSU's secondary side.
- Inductors And Transformers
- Current Ripple And Cap Life Calculation
- Capacitors Manufacturer Tier List
- Resistors, Transistors And Diodes
- SMPS Vs. Linear Regulators
- SMPS Parts Description
- EMI/Transient Filtering Stage
- Bridge Rectifiers And APFC
- Main Switchers And Transformers
- Output Rectifiers And Filters
- Switching Controllers And Isolators
- Switching Regulator Topologies
- LLC Resonant Converter
- Digitally Controlled PSUs
- PSU Cooling
- Fan Operation And Bearing Types
- Other Bearing Types: SSO, Rifle, Hysint
- Measuring PSU's Fan RPM
- PSU Protections
- Monitoring Integrated Circuits
- ATX, EPS, And 80 PLUS Specifications
- PSU Resources