• Conference
    Jan 30-Feb 1, 2018
  • Expo
    Jan 31-Feb 1, 2018
  • Santa Clara Convention
    | Santa Clara, CA

DesignCon 2018 Schedule Builder

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An Introduction To Non‐Invasive Current Estimation (NICE)

Location: Ballroom D
Pass Types: 2-Day Pass, All Access Pass, Alumni All Access Pass - Get your pass now!
Track: 11. Power Integrity in Power Distribution Networks
Audience Level: All
Format: 45-Minute Technical Session
Audience Level: All
Recording: TBD

This paper introduces a novel method to precisely determine time‐domain current waveforms from two simultaneous voltage measurements. The voltage waveforms are captured using a digital oscilloscope without current‐sense resistors or current probes. Current-waveform estimation is especially relevant for power delivery network and regulator designers who must ensure that a supply exhibits tight voltage tolerances when little is known about the magnitude and timing of load‐current transients. Applications of the described method include characterization of supply‐current transients for large active devices, or wherever the use of series sense‐resistors and current probes are impractical such as when extensive decoupling networks are involved.


A technique is shown to calculate accurate transient-current waveforms using a pair of measured voltage waveforms together with two-port network parameters for the power delivery network between the regulator and load. Calculated current waveforms are compared to direct measurements. PDN modeling and network-parameter extraction are also discussed.