This is quick review of the WEBENCH Power Architect Tool. In this review I would like to check this tool from point of view of person which do not have big experience with FPGA.
I have launched WEBENCH tool for the following IC:
WEBENCH requires the Adobe Flash to work which is disabled in most of modern web browsers. Additionally application which uses Flash is not portable, so it is not possible to run it on mobile device like Android or iOS device. Modern and portable application should use HTML5. On list of options there is beta version of this application for tablet and mobile device.
Here is main screen of WEBENCH tool for Tablet. Unfortunately because it is beta version there is not possible to trigger any action on this application. E.g. Usage of option "Start New Design" for "Power" does not trigger any action.
For version for mobile device it looks that there is issue on server side. Here is screen which I got after choose this option.
Finally I have launched Flash version of WEBENCH in IE Edge browser. Here is main screen of application.
On left side there is option to select an FPGA device. On right side there is configuration of loads for selected FPGA. Additionally there are useful shortcuts for reference design and datasheet.
On next page there is configuration of power source. There are advanced options which allow to set some specific requirements for project e.g. components dimensions or only PMU solutions.
On next page we could choose optimizations. There is Optimizer Dial which have 5 presets:
1. smallest footprint,
2. lowest cost,
4. high efficiency
5. highest efficiency
There is presented detailed information about project parameters like:
- total efficiency,
- power dissipation,
- total footprint
We could check similar parameters for each component of power supply. Additionally we have useful solution list filtering e.g. by footprint.
On next screen we have detailed view with charts for each power supply. We could easily compare basic parameters for different parts of the rails. We could analyze specification for each device individually and check schematics design. Additionally there is possible to check efficiency simulations for each power stage.
On last page we have summary where we could save or share your project. We have option to export GERBER file, see 3D simulation of PCB design or assembly documentation.
WEBENCH is really good tool which allows to compare in easy way different power solutions for given project application with including key parameters. I think it allow to save a lot time during choosing best parts for supply for given project. I hope only that Flash version of this application will be replaced really fast by full working HTML5 version. It gives as guaranty of portability. Installation of specific plugins for browser will not be required in that case.