The Role of Flexibility and Configurability in Power Systems Design

By Rob GraySeptember 7, 2017

Configurable or programmable power supplies support the production of advanced power systems at reduced design time and development costs. The power supplies, supporting a broad range of power outputs and specifications, optimize the efficiency of power supply units while leveraging unprecedented design flexibility.

Programmable power supplies align perfectly with the requirements of users, enabling them to fine-tune power specifications like the input and output of any given module. These power supplies are unique because they integrate the best of both worlds from standard parts as well as full custom units.

On one hand, they enable designers to specify the output power ratings, not supported by a standard part, while on the other, they facilitate faster configuration process than a full custom design, speeding up the product's time-to-market.

In addition, programmable power supplies present a competitive cost of ownership that is much lower than both fixed-function standard part and full custom designs.

Configurable Power Supplies Infuse Outstanding Design Flexibility

Configurable and fully programmable power supply units such as the MP and iMP Series from Artesyn, deploy cutting-edge digital technologies that enable the development of flexible power supplies.

Artesyn's fully programmable iMP series offers customers excellent flexibility in system designs. The leading-edge configurable power supplies control both the AC-DC front end and each individual module. Power conversion in each module is fully digitally controlled, which leads to the execution of intelligent power schemes like battery-charging routines.

Artesyn’s configurable power supplies include an AC-DC digitally-controlled power conversion front end, a software interface, Power Factor Correction (PFC), and a range of modules which can be specifically selected to achieve the demanded current output and voltage combinations.

The software interface that comes with Artesyn’s iMP programmable power supply series provides enhanced flexibility, enabling power system designers to fine-tune critical functionalities like over-temperature thresholds and the fan speed, along with voltage and current outputs.

Modifying the output value in the iMP series requires simple adjustments like replacing one module with another, while the board connections and footprint of the base unit remain as it is.

Prime Benefits of Using Flexible Power Supplies

System engineers, while designing power systems, will realize that configurable and programmable power supplies are much more cost-efficient than both standard parts and full custom designs.

The small amount of extra cost involved in configurable power supplies is compensated by the superior design flexibility that these advanced power supplies leverage. Key benefits of using configurable power supplies include:

Reduced Cost of Materials

Configurable and programmable power supplies can be specified to meet the system design requirements, rather than over-specified to allow margins for estimation errors or a change in design.

Shorter Time to Market

Users of full custom power supplies or standard parts spend hours redesigning the production tooling and board layout to accommodate a change in the power supply, whereas users of configurable power supplies merely interchange the modules in a fixed base unit to facilitate the change. This dramatically steps up the time-to-market.

Lower Design Costs

In case of configurable power supplies, the board layout and terminations remain the same when there is a requirement for a change in power. Additionally, with programmable power supplies, a variety of products can be developed without the need of any new board or production tooling to make adjustments for a change in the power specification. A simple swap of power modules can accomplish the change instantaneously.

Artesyn's Configurable and Programmable Power Supplies Unleash Superlative Performance Levels

Configurable and fully programmable power supplies from Artesyn make way for improved system designs that help the creation of multiple product variants with enhanced features and a strong appeal in diverse market segments.

Artesyn's cutting-edge configurable power supply series supports power requirements from 400 W to 1800 W in high-density 1U-type power supplies. The industry-leading series, a class of its own, offers smart fan control and 12 outputs, with easy management of crucial parameters like temperature, fan speed, output voltage and current. 

The highly-advanced configurable and programmable power supply series complies with EN60950 ITE, EN60601 (medical), and all other required safety approvals. It leverages exceptional power density, efficiency, and reliability unattainable by non-configurable power supplies.

To learn more about Artesyn’s range of configurable and programmable power supplies, contact WPGA Power Specialist Rob Gray.