Ron Wilson, Editor-in-Chief, Altera Corporation
Increasingly sophisticated SoCs, integrating many system components onto a single die, have in general simplified the system designer’s job. But these chips have made the power-delivery subsystem more complex. What used to be a straightforward task of routing Vcc from a supply connector to the ICs has become the design of an active network as complex as any other piece of the system.
This complexity grows from the increasingly challenging power requirements of the SoC. Fortunately, designers have some options for dealing with the task at board-level, and SoC developers are trying to help by absorbing elements of the power network into their chips. But ultimately, power designers still have some difficult decisions to make. And they may have to do some analog circuit simulation before they are done.
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