WEBENCH® Power Designer and DesignSpark PCB

Creating a power supply board layout in minutes with
WEBENCH® Power Designer and DesignSpark PCB

 

 

New WEBENCH PCB Export tool enables creation, customisation and export of power-supply designs to the RS free DesignSpark PCB layout tool

 

WEBENCH® from Texas Instruments is one of the best-known suites of completely free online tools available to design engineers today. The WEBENCH Design Environments use advanced software algorithms and visual interfaces to help engineers generate, optimise and simulate customised designs for power, lighting, filtering, clocking and sensing applications within minutes or even seconds on both a system and Bill-of-Materials (BOM) cost level before committing to a design. A key tool in the WEBENCH suite is WEBENCH Power Designer, which in conjunction with an advanced and unrestricted board layout tool such as DesignSpark PCB can now enable the creation of a complete power supply board layout in minutes.

 

Power Designer

The WEBENCH Power Designer environment provides end-to-end power-supply designs and prototyping tools, helping to save valuable time in the product development cycle. Rather than having to rely on application notes and the manual copying of reference layouts, the tool uses powerful design algorithms to quickly create a custom PCB board layout, and what is more engineers can avoid unwanted noise and thermal problems as it can take multiple design iterations to achieve optimal layout.

Included in the WEBENCH suite is a device selection tool that helps designers find the most suitable switching regulator or MOSFET controller for a power supply design, for example. Footprints for each component of the WEBENCH design are included and the power supply design can be simply created with the push of a button. In addition, the tool’s Optimizer Dial enables the differentiation and comparison of designs in terms of footprint, efficiency and system cost.

 

 

The WEBENCH Power Design default setting in this demonstration focuses on a low risk balanced design where efficiency, footprint, and BOM cost have equal weight in the selection of the regulator and supporting components. For devices with adjustable frequencies, the centre frequency is selected.

 

PCB Export

Once a power-supply PCB layout has been created and simulated, a new feature in WEBENCH Power Designer now allows engineers to export the complete design into DesignSpark PCB. Called WEBENCH PCB Export, this new option will take any WEBENCH power design that is enabled for export and convert it ‘on-the-fly’ to DesignSpark PCB, in addition to several other CAD platforms. WEBENCH PCB Export essentially allows engineers to open a design in DesignSpark PCB as if they had created the design within the layout software itself.

The new WEBENCH PCB Export feature also complements the recent introduction of WEBENCH Schematic Editor, which enables the customization of power management designs and the simulation of the circuit created within the WEBENCH environment. The combination of these tools allows designers to run electrical and thermal simulations to characterise a custom design, create it, and export board layouts or schematics immediately directly into their CAD software, thereby eliminating errors and saving design time.

 

Reduced Design Time

In summary, the combination of WEBENCH Power Designer, WEBENCH PCB Export and DesignSpark PCB allows the creation of customised and optimised power-supply board designs with reduced noise and thermal issues and the dramatic reduction of board design time from hours to minutes.

TI’s WEBENCH tools have simplified and accelerated the design process for more than 325,000 engineers worldwide since 1999.  Further information on the WEBENCH suite of design tools is also available at DesignSpark.