I finished prototype PC boards for a PoE (Power Over Ethernet) converter and companion microprocessor board for a client…
My client wanted the highest possible power, and this kickass PoE board is able to handle PoE++ providing about 90 watts, as nearly 20 amps at 5Vdc!
Because the PoE and processor boards have some conflicting board layout requirements, I elected to create them as two separate boards that plug together. This also gives some flexibility for us to evolve the processor design without having to duplicate the PoE layout.
The PoE was a pretty challenging layout, but I’ve always had good results with Linear Tech, which provides good product support and excellent guidance on achieving successful designs, even with tough requirements.
We’ve been quite happy with the performance of the PoE and the Linear Tech chips.
The usefulness of the PIC32 processor and its firmware support and tools have, regretfully, been quite underwhelming. That portion of the project has therefore been migrated to a different processor. I will continue to use the PIC18 and 24 processors, but I doubt I will go to the PIC32 again for any future project.
Microchip seems to love to offer half-baked products and tools, and I am just tired of it. It will be interesting to see how much they can damage the Arduino/Atmel line now that they own it.