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Mixed-signal control processors cut solar energy design cost

Posted: 06 Apr 2016     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ADI  solar panel  control processor  electric vehicle  energy storage 

Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) has expanded its power conversion platform with the introduction of the ADSP-CM41x series. Described by the company as an innovative series of mixed-signal control processors, the devices are geared to significantly ease system design, lower cost and improve efficiency and safety in solar, energy storage and electric vehicle infrastructure.

Solar panels and battery systems have become significantly less expensive in recent years, creating the need for inverter technologies to drive the next wave of efficiencies in solar energy. While disruptive inverter designs have begun making improvements in size, weight and cost reductions, they require further advances in digital processing to unlock their full potential. The ADSP-CM41x control processors represent a breakthrough in power conversion design, with an unmatched level of hardware integration specifically tailored to solar and other emerging energy applications, stated ADI. By alleviating the need for complex external circuitry, the control processors deliver design time and cost reductions, safety improvements and the precision gains needed to maximise the impact of existing inverter designs, the company added.

ADSP-CM41x series

Central to the ADSP-CM41x design is its 'dual independent core' safety concept that enables the integration of safety redundancy and functions into a single chip. This first-ever architecture saves considerable development time and system cost by eliminating the need for an external supervisory element, which is the current standard, ADI said. Equally important is the on-board integration of optimised hardware accelerators, designed to offload work from the processor core and boost the processing power available for core functions. Additionally, the device's on-board arc fault detection simplifies design, and enhances safety by using intelligent decision making to improve reliability and accuracy.

The ADSP-CM41x establishes a new benchmark in ARM core processing and analogue precision, adding to the industry performance leadership established by the recently released ADSP-CM40x power conversion series. The ADSP-CM41x series seamlessly integrates with other critical signal chain components, including the AD740x sigma delta-based ADC, which replaces larger, more expensive sensor modules to reduce system cost and improve isolated current measurement. Also included in the platform is the ADuM413x series of isolated gate drivers featuring iCoupler isolation technology that enables faster switching to further increase system efficiency.

Samples of the ADSP-CM41x are available in 210 Ball BGA and 176 Lead LQFP packaging. The ADSP-CM40x devices have started production and are offered in 212 Ball BGA, 210 Ball BGA and 176 Lead LQFP packaging.

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