Microcontroller based measurement board for testing Power Management Integrated Circuits

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Dr. Iváncsy Szabolcs
Department of Automation and Applied Informatics

Integrated power supply modules with multiple outputs are very widespread nowadays, especially in microprocessor systems. In the automotive industry the spread of new technologies are typically delayed, because safety-critical applications require compliance with strict expectations. I prepared my thesis collaborating with the Driver Assistance department of Robert Bosch Ltd. My task was to design and prepare an electric circuit, that is able to perform automated measure the characteristics of multi-channel power supplies.

During my work with my colleagues, we were working on video based driver assistance systems. During the design process of this kind of systems, physical size specifies strict requirements for the developers, because the placement behind the windscreen should not bother the driver’s field of view. And of course the production costs of a product matters too, just like at any component is series production. Therefore the demand for multi-channel power modules has grown recently in the automotive industry. The acceptability of a new product can only be confirmed after long testcases.

With the help of the measurement board, which I have designed, the testing methods can be automated, so the tests does not require continuous supervision, lots of engineering time can be saved with this.

My solution consists of an electric circuit, that grants the ability to perform the measurement without modification of the measurement layout, and provides data for a PC software for further processing and evaluation. In my thesis I describe the steps of the designing procedure, and I document the operation of the complete hardware with the help of a test software.

The complete hardware is able to produce the conditions for measuring power supplies and it can perform specified measurements. It supports using external measuring devices with providing control signal.

With appropriate software, the complete hardware is able to perform automated tests, the results can help the choice of the most appropriate power supply module in the design process.


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