Segmenting Power with iCoupler Digital Isolators

Blog Post created by rdowning on Apr 6, 2012

Managing power consumption is a requirement in most designs. Isolation boundaries in a system are the logical place to segment power control since power can be removed in an entire portion of a design without affecting other functions. There is also an increasing trend to provide power management down to the individual IC level using standby capability or control of the power supply to an IC or group of ICs with point of load converters. Implementing communications across isolation boundaries, therefore, is often vital in managing system functionality and power consumption.


Sometimes the low power nature of modern CMOS electronics can actually make the job of turning off segments of a design difficult. This is because CMOS logic ICs use diode structures at their inputs to protect against ESD, and these diodes can inadvertently source power to an IC that is supposed to be unpowered. This is referred to as “parasitic power” and it can cause unexpected results or even physical damage to the circuit if not managed properly.


However, features within iCoupler digital isolators can be used to manage segmented power domains to avoid these pitfalls. Read the full story here.


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