Power electronics testing

Power electronics test

Mastering power electronics test

Leading solutions to test your power electronic designs

The power electronic system on a digital processing board faces issues that are different yet similar to those of logic circuits. These issues involve trade-offs affecting design decisions. Wide bandgap semiconductors such as gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC) in power electronic converters help to:

  • Decrease the size of the power supply
  • Reduce switching losses
  • Increase efficiency

However, the higher switching frequencies used also amplify the potential for parasitics within the power converter.

Challenges in power electronics test and design

  • Increasing the operating frequency of a switched mode power supply can reduce inductor current ripple, output voltage ripple, and capacitance as well as the size of the power supply, but it also increases power supply loss and heat, interactions between high and low side transistors, and shoot-through.
  • Increased noise from the power supply is a primary cause of EMI.
  • Compact layouts, a source of increased heat and increased thermal variations, result in errors in components like regulators, amplifiers, and converters.
  • Lower voltages reduce tolerances and increase precision requirements. The power tree becomes more complex to deliver a wide variety of voltages to different power domains, requiring more rails to reach all the integrated circuit pins.
  • Thinner DC rails are a way to make a layout more compact and manage layout complexity, but they are more susceptible to overheating and increased inductance.

Ensuring reliability in power electronics circuits

Reliability is a crucial requirement for power electronics circuits; if the power circuit fails, the device will not operate. High efficiency, to minimize the energy losses causing heat generation, contributes to reliability. Even the most efficient power electronics circuits will generate heat, so well-designed heat dissipation and suitable material selection are essential. Power electronics circuits must also meet EMI requirements; emissions will affect both the device itself and any nearby devices.

Power electronics test solutions by Rohde & Schwarz

Switching analysis

Includes AC-DC converter fundamentals, testing for reliability in power converter design, and verification methods for electrical isolation between input and output in AC to DC converters.

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Control loop analysis

A power supply aims to maintain a constant output level, despite the load from the device changing. A Bode plot is the tool of choice for power supply control loop analysis.

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EMI debug

Detecting, analyzing, and correcting causes of EMI early in the development process is the surest way to pass an EMI compliance test and avoid late project redesigns, delays, and added costs.

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Power efficiency testing

For battery-powered devices, battery life time is a critical design consideration. Minimizing power consumption is absolutely essential for battery-powered equipment, and almost as important for mains-powered electrical equipment.

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Power integrity

Analyzing the performance of the power delivery network on a PCB is a crucial part of the circuit design process.

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Design verification

The dynamic behavior during startup and the effects of changes in load require more complex test equipment.

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USB 3.2 Gen 1&2 transmitter and receiver compliance approved by the USB-IF

Rohde & Schwarz approved by USB-IF for USB 3.2 Gen 1 & Gen 2 transmitter and receiver compliance testing

The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has approved the USB 3.2 Gen 1 & Gen 2 transmitter and receiver compliance test solution from Rohde & Schwarz, confirming that it meets the stringent requirements set by the standardization body. Manufacturers of USB devices preparing for official USB-IF certification can have full confidence in the accuracy and reliability of the test results produced by the test solution.


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