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How to Design Modular DC-DC Systems, Part 5: Load Considerations

Jonathan Siegers, Principal Applications Engineer & Vamshi Domudala, Application Engineer, Vicor Corporation

The previous tutorials in this series addressed the appropriate filtering, stability, and protection concerns for power modules when used as elements of a complete DC-DC power system. This tutorial is focused on the load-specific aspects of a system designed with power modules.

It was once possible to conceptualize the load supplied by a DC-DC module as merely having voltage and current requirements, effectively reducing it to a simple black box. But loads have grown in complexity over the years, and today they have many characteristics relevant to the power delivery network (PDN). Therefore, power system designers must understand the behavior of the load in considerable detail to determine whether it can impact the performance of the DC-DC module. For example, the load might affect the module’s control-loop response and, therefore, its ability to regulate and perform in a stable manner. The load’s behavior might also adversely affect the module’s transient response capabilities.

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