National Semi’s WEBENCH tool enables real-time comparison of power solutions

Santa Clara, Calif. — National Semiconductor Corp. has introduced WEBENCH Visualizer, a comparison and selection tool that enables engineers to rapidly select an optimal power system design. It also creates a graphical snapshot of options across multiple criteria, such as power efficiency, footprint and system bill of materials (BOM) cost. The tool supports a variety of power supply topologies such as buck, boost, buck-boost, SEPIC and flyback.

Drawing from 25 different switching power supply architectures and 21,000 components, engineers can navigate through billions of power supply design alternatives in seconds. Design criteria can be modified and the real-time effects observed, allowing engineers to select the best DC-DC power supply based on their unique needs.

“With WEBENCH Visualizer, National has enabled analog experts to be superior business decision makers because we’ve given them all of the tools to produce the best possible design in the shortest time,” said Phil Gibson, vice president of Technical Sales Tools at National Semiconductor, in a statement. “We’ve also given non-power experts the ability to do extraordinary things with analog power designs.”

In addition to support for a variety of power supply topologies such as buck, boost, buck-boost, SEPIC and flyback, several alternative circuit configurations are also available to address specific needs like fixed-frequency and constant-on-time architectures as well as current-mode and voltage-mode control loops. With the broadest power parts library from 110 manufacturers, designers can specify a wide range of parameters:

  • VIN from 1V to 100V
  • VOUT from 0.6V to 300V
  • Power up to 300 W
  • Efficiency up to 96 percent
  • Frequency up to 3 MHz
  • Footprint from 14 x14 mm


The WEBENCH Visualizer tool features an optimizer dial that enables engineers to “dial-in” their preference for footprint, system BOM cost and power efficiency. The tool instantly creates 50-70 designs from 48 billion possible design options, highlighting the smallest and most efficient designs, with one recommended as a starting point for further optimization, said National Semiconductor.

A second visualizer control panel allows engineers to adjust their design options for voltage, current and temperature. In seconds, an updated set of solutions appears, highlighting each design’s topology, schematic, footprint, efficiency, operating values and BOM cost/count. The tool’s interactive filter allows engineers to further fine-tune the power supply design to meet the target system’s exact requirements, said National Semiconductor.

Once a design is selected, engineers can further tune and optimize that design through additional component options and electrical and thermal simulation. With the “Build It!” feature, National ships a custom power supply prototype kit within 24 hours.