About a month ago, I was made aware that Texas Instruments's WEBENCH Power Architect Design tool has been integrated into Newark's and Farnell's product pages. I experimented with it myself and I thought it was an interesting. So, I asked Texas Instruments to see if they would be interested in getting some feedback regarding the tool's use. They agreed and are offering for FREE their recent Power Supply design book (valued at $58.99) to 5 reviewers who are will to write a blog about their experience with the Power Architect.


What is The WEBENCH Power Architect?

The WEBENCH ‘Power Architect’ works with Xilinx FPGA power supplies.  Since FPGA power designs can be complex, the Power Architect is meant to simplify the design process by automatically populating the FPGA's power requirements and giving the designer a way to optimize his/her design.


How To Get Started with the WEBENCH Power Architect?

At the present time, 126 Xilinx FPGAs are enabled with the TI Power Architect, indicated by the WEBENCH Interactive Design icon on the product page. When you click on the icon, the Power Architect opens and automatically populates the FPGA's basic selection parameters, identifying core, and I/O options for every potential load of that array.


Here's an example of an FPGA that is enabled with the WEBENCH Power Architect: Spartan-3A XC3S50A Series. To start, go the product page  on Newark or Farnell.


On the page you will see the WEBENCH icon. Click it. After clicking the icon you will have to allow the Adobe Flash Player, if you haven’t already.

(On my computer, I’ve found there’s a bit of a delay.)


The page below will open up where you can add the FPGA's power supply requirements. The FPGA loads are pre-configured to have the correct power supply requirements including voltage ripple, post supply filters, and soft start options. The user can change any of the entries and also change voltages and currents, if desired. Additional supplies can also be added here.


After the requirements are loaded the project can be optimized using the optimizer dial which generates different scenarios based upon system efficiency vs. number of gates. The Power Architect uses the Visualizer algorithms to determine the best supply for each node in the system. There are pie charts which allow the user to examine the contributions of each supply in the system.


Once the project is created and saved, it is opened in the WEBENCH environment. The system block diagram appears on the left. Each power supply design can be accessed by clicking on the appropriate block. Every time you adjust any of the Power Architect designs, the documentation is updated and synchronized. The documentation includes a BOM tool listing the individual components and costs.


Would You Like To review The WEBENCH Power Architect? The five official reviewers will receive the Fundamentals of Power Supply Design book for FREE.


To be considered, please message rscasny and indicate you are interested. You will be required to post a blog about your experience at: Texas Instruments Group