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A Method for Dynamic Load Current Testing with a Benchtop Power Supply

Heidi Barnes (SI and PI Applications Engineer, Keysight Technologies)

Jack Carrel (Applications Engineer, Xilinx)

Steve Sandler (Founder of Picotest, Picotest)

Location: Ballroom B

Date: Thursday, January 30

Time: 12:00pm - 12:45pm

Track: 12. Applying Test & Measurement Methodology, 10. Power Integrity in Power Distribution Networks

Format: Technical Session

Pass Type: 2-Day Pass, All-Access Pass, Alumni All-Access Pass - Get your pass now!

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: Advanced

Lower operating voltages and higher currents are making power supply margining an increasingly critical part of product development. Analyzing the power supply performance must include both the voltage and current delivery to the load. Voltage measurement at the load is not too difficult. Unfortunately, current measurement at the load is not possible because of the distributed nature of the current connecting to a multi-pin load. However, utilizing the flexibility of a benchtop power supply with cable compensation, a simulated network impedance, and measured dynamic voltage at the load it is possible to estimate the dynamic current.


Virtual simulation method of calculating dynamic di/dt using both measurements and simulated models. Measurements include input voltage and current, and output dynamic dv/dt at the load. Simulated models include the distributed PCB EM model and measured based models of components. Combining the measurements with the simulated network model of the PDN allows for virtual probing of the dynamic di/dt at the load.

Intended Audience

Understanding of network theory, power integrity impedance design, and simulation using measure based models. Audience should also understand the challenges of 2-port shunt impedance measurements, fixture de-embedding for in-situ voltage measurements, and cable inductance compensation for remote/benchtop power supplies.