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Stability and Performance Improvement with Feedback in VRM Transconductance Error Amplifiers...

Updated: May 26, 2023

...A Case Study using the Sandler State Space Average VRM Model


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Presented by: Benjamin Dannan, Chief Technologist, Signal Edge Solutions

Q&A Contributors: Steven M. Sandler and Heidi Barnes will be joining Benjamin Dannan to answer questions during the live segment.

Duration: 30 minutes

Originally presented on October 5, 2022


Abstract: The voltage regulator module (VRM) is the foundation of power integrity. Due to their wide bandwidth and low cost, most newer VRM controllers employ transconductance feedback amplifiers, with the VRM manufacturers recommending a shunt compensation for the error amplifier design. However, most VRM designers and power integrity engineers may not be aware that they have another choice to improve the sensitivity and performance of their VRM design. The better performance of a current mode VRM with series compensation for the error amplifier is clearly demonstrated with simulations using the Sandler state-space average VRM model.

Additional analysis and discussion will be provided to show how the VRM’s performance has improved stability, reduced gain sensitivity, and overall improved performance with a series compensation network. A VRM case study will be presented in this technical session to show these performance improvements using the Sandler State Space Average model in Keysight PathWave ADS.


Presenter Bio: Benjamin Dannan is a technical fellow and an experienced signal and power integrity (SI/PI) design engineer, advancing high-performance ASIC and FPGA designs at Northrop Grumman. He is a Keysight ADS Certified Expert with expert-level proficiency in high-speed simulation solutions and multiple 3D EM solutions. He has expert-level proficiency with multiple test and measurement solutions, including oscilloscopes, vector network analyzers (VNA), Time Domain Reflectometers (TDRs), function generators, and EMC lab testing equipment.


He is a senior member of IEEE, as well as a DesignCon TPC member with a multi-faceted background that includes a wide range of professional engineering and military experiences. His multiple years of engineering experience include designing, developing, and launching production products, ranging from ASICs, radars, fully autonomous robotic platforms, pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera video systems, and ground combat vehicles. He is a specialist in signal and power integrity concepts, high-speed circuits, and multi-layered PCB design, as well as has multiple years of experience with EMC product development and certifications to support global product launches. Additionally, he has extensive experience with Chip-Package-PCB-VRM power delivery network (PDN) principles.


Benjamin holds a certification in cybersecurity, has a BSEE from Purdue University, a Masters of Engineering in Electrical Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University, and graduated from the USAF Undergraduate Combat Systems Officer training school with an aeronautical rating. Benjamin is a trained Electronic Warfare Officer in the USAF with deployments on the EC-130J Commando Solo in Afghanistan and Iraq totaling 47 combat missions, as well as a trained USAF Cyber Operations Officer. In addition, he has co-authored multiple peer-reviewed journal publications and has received the prestigious DesignCon 2020 best paper award, given to authors leading as practitioners in semiconductor and electronic design.

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