Platform for power efficiency optimalization

As a Master's student in electrical engineering, focusing most of my attention on integrated battery-powered devices, I have always struggled with one problem. As most engineers know, efficiency, power losses, and power consumption play a huge, if not one of the most important roles in designing a battery-powered device. However, nowadays, microcontrollers and other programmable peripheries can be optimized, and while their current draw can be in hundreds of milliamps, with proper software optimalization and utilizing various adaptive methods (etc. lowering a smartphone's display refresh rate) can result in a current draw as low as units of microamps.

This struggle was always deep in my head. Do I use an oscilloscope? How do I amplify the current drop across the shunt resistor? How can I do all simply without needing long preparation before the actual measurement? To sum up, the final question that started this entire project was:

How can I very, very precisely monitor the current consumption of the connected device without a need for external circuitry?

For the past year, I have been extensively researching all the options to the extent that this project presented itself as an ideal candidate for my final Master's thesis. To make the life of the designing engineer as simple as possible, the device acts as a power supply with an adjustability option between 1.8V and 5V (to allow different voltage levels for the majority of integrated devices) while supplying currents up to 1A. The second stage of this design includes various current sensing sensors that are switched according to the load and allow accurately measuring current as low as 1 microampere and as high as 1 amper. Finally, all the data are collected and can easily be transferred to a superior system (for this purpose, even a customer computer application was developed).

All these functions are enclosed in one small USB-C-powered device to allow for the most convenient use during the software design stages. The prototype is shown below:

Why am I presenting this project?

As a student with limited funds, without the university paying for my prototypes, I have to find a way to manufacture my board cheaply. On top of that, I have always struggled to have the required components and parts delivered to my country. For that reason, I am asking for help here. As I was informed that PCBway offers sponsorships for students, I would like to try my chances and apply for one to help me cover my expenses for PCB manufacturing and component assembly.

Thank you, everyone, for reading this introduction to my project, and I wish you the best in your future full of engineering projects.

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Aug 24,2022
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