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How to Design Modular DC DC Systems, Part 3: Stability Analysis and Decoupling

Tutorial by Jonathan Siegers, Principal Applications Engineer and Vamshi Domudala, Application Engineer, Vicor

The previous tutorials in this series showed first how a modular design strategy makes building reliable, adaptable, and high-performing power delivery networks (PDNs) possible when speed is a priority, and second how to design appropriate filtering to meet the needs of DC-DC systems based on switching power modules. This third tutorial will address stability issues that originate from the interconnection between the power source and power module through the filtering components and distribution line impedances.

Complete system design based around a modular DC-DC converter requires filtering; filtering impacts some stability concerns that must be addressed by decoupling the source and the converter (blue elements of the system diagram).

Principles of stability analysis

To analyze overall stability of a DC-DC converter system, first break it down into two subsystems of source and load. In this representation, the “load” subsystem is the DC-DC converter itself. Source impedance, input line impedance and the input filter are part of the source subsystem.

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