Can picking an inductor for a DC-DC converter be fun?

By John Stellberg, Direct or of Marketing Communications Coilcraft. It is when you use the new ‘Power Inductor Finder’ tool on the Coilcraft website.

In less than a minute, you can find an inductor that’s perfect for your converter’s operating frequency, load and ripple current, the ambient temperature, available size, even your price target. Instantly compare core and winding losses and graph the L vs I curves of up to six different inductors.

When you’re done, have free evaluation samples sent to you with the click of a mouse. This is just one more in the impressive array of selector tools on the Coilcraft website. We make it incredibly easy to find the best products from Coilcraft’s huge array of high performance power and RF magnetics.


coilcraft finder


To see how much fun finding an inductor can be … coilcraft/finder

CFP2 MSA compliant development tools

By Petr Jirovec, Communication Systems Specialist, Starvoy Technologies

Optical HW designers face numerous challenges when introducing emerging technologies into new product releases.
Evaluating complex components, such as CFP2s, is one of them. Availability of third-party evaluation platforms continues to be an issue, forcing designers to rely on a mix of homemade jigs and evaluation boards provided by optical/silicon suppliers.

Multilane SAL has recognized an industry-wide need for third-party test and development tools. For over four years, Multilane has been providing comprehensive tool sets addressing R&D and production testing requirements.

The latest addition to Multilane SAL product offering is a CFP2 development suite consisting of host MSA compliance boards, various loop backs and break-out modules.

Let’s look a bit deeper into what each component function is.



An MSA compliant host board is a key piece of hardware used by engineers to evaluate and program CFP2 modules. The board utilizes matched transmission lines, SMA connectors on the high speed differential pairs and an MSA control interface that is accessible through a USB port or I2C/MDIO headers. A user-friendly GUI is available as well as scripting tools for running MatLab automated tests.

Multilane offers 4x28G and 10x10G host boards.




Mulitlane offers electrical loop back modules in two basic configurations: 4x28G and 10×10 (passive and retimed). These modules are targeted for host (system) debugging and production testing. They are fully programmable so can be recognized as valid CFP2 modules by a host. In addition to acting as straight loopbacks, a user can program a module to dissipate any power level within the MSA scope (up to 12W for LR4). This feature is especially
useful for corner case testing.

Loop back modules are predominantly used for production testing where utilizing fully functional CFP2 optical modules would be prohibitively expensive. A fully customized loop back module is on average 1/8th the cost of an optical CFP2.



A host board signal integrity is a critical factor contributing to overall system reliability. At 28G rates over copper, designers face a daunting task of laying down s (ASICS) to the CFP2 connector. A lot can be accomplished by modeling, but it is always good practice to verify the signal integrity of the complete link with the actual HW in place.

Multilane has developed a CFP2 breakout module that allows signal integrity testing for 4x28G and 10x10G CFP2
systems. The module is using a standard CFP2 MSA memory map and allows full customization so it can be recognized as a host system.

The electrical outputs use high quality Huber-Suhner MXP connectors.




The WaveShaper as a research tool

By Dr. Simon Poole, Director New Business Ventures Finisar Australia .

It’s now just over four years since we shipped the first of our WaveShape programmable optical processors. The WaveShaper range has now grown from two models (1000E and 4000E) to a Baskin-Robbins-like 19 different flavors.


We’re very proud of how the WaveShaper’s unique capabilities to control optical phase and amplitude have assisted in the development of a whole range of new technologies and helped researchers around the world in their endeavors.

Research uses for the WaveShaper range from programmable filtering for coherent communications systems development, through microwave photonics, shortpulse laser development, and, with the recent launch of the WaveShaper Fourier processor, to the emulation of advanced interferometric components for O-OFDM and phase-modulated systems.

For more from Dr. Poole’s Blog


Reducing energy consumption in ICT applications

By Patrick Le Fevre

Marketing and Communication Director, Ericsson Power Modules


Power Modules

 Reducing energy consumption in ICT applications using the dynamic bus voltage architecture

Today, the power architecture increasingly being used in the ICT industry is the Intermediate us Architecture (IBA) which was adopted as the standard in 2003. The I model differs from theIBA classic Distributed Power Architecture (DPA), which typically comprised a number of isolated DC/DC converters on each board that down-convert the -48 VDC line to values that suit the load circuitry, daisy-chaining additional regulators for expediency.

While the DPA model may still suit some small-scale applications, issues arise with efficiently down-converting -48 VDC to logic supply levels of 3.3 VDC or less in one step when traffic and loads varies from low to high. Dynamic bus voltage (DBV) technology is being foreseen as one of the most significant technological breakthroughs for the ICT industry.

System designers are seeking to reduce energy usage at the board level to make significant reduction in the environmental footprint of their systems at times of both high and low data-traffic demand. The introduction of low-power consuming silicon devices alone will not be enough to effectively limit the energy requirements of tomor- row’s network. However, the latest board- power consumption monitoring and control technologies can significantly aid this mission by enabling energy savings of between 3 and 10 percent at board level with the use of advanced DBV architectures. The benefits become increasingly obvious when saving 1W at the board level results in an average saving of 2 to 3W at the system level.
DBV is an evolution of IBA — it pro-
vides systems’ architects the ability to dynamically adjust the power envelope
to meet load conditions. It achieves this by adjusting the previously fixed 12 vDC intermediate bus voltage via the use of advanced digital power control and opti- mized hardware — the Ericsson Advanced bus Converters bMr456 and bMr457 — combined with an energy-optimizer series of algorithms. This can lead to a reduction in both energy consumption and power dissipation, which in turn contributes to a reduction in required cooling.