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MLSPICE: Machine Learning based SPICE Modeling Platform for Power Magnetics

Princeton University
ARPA-E Award: 
Princeton, NJ
Project Term: 
05/01/2020 to 04/30/2022
Project Status: 
Technical Categories: 
Critical Need: 
The DIFFERENTIATE program seeks to leverage the emerging artificial intelligence (AI) revolution to help resolve the energy and environmental challenges of our time. The program aims to speed energy innovation by incorporating machine learning (ML) into the energy technology development process. A core part of AI, ML is the study of computer algorithms that improve automatically through experience. This approach is expected to facilitate a rapid transition to lower-carbon-footprint energy sources and systems. To organize the proposed efforts, the program uses a simplified engineering design process framework to conceptualize several ML tools that could help engineers execute and solve these problems in a manner that dramatically accelerates the pace of energy innovation.
Project Innovation + Advantages: 
The Princeton University team will use machine learning-enabled methods to transform the modeling and design methods of power magnetics and catalyze disruptive improvements to power electronics design tools. They will develop a highly automated, open-source, machine learning-based magnetics design platform to greatly accelerate the design process, cut the error rate in half, and provide new insights to magnetic material and geometry design. Princeton's Simulation Program with its Integrated Circuit Emphasis-based, or SPICE-based modeling platform, will utilize a highly automated data acquisition testbed capable of measuring a large number of magnetic cores with a wide range of electrical circuit excitations, a machine-learning trained modeling method for modeling the core loss and saturation effects of magnetic materials, and a computer-aided-design tool which can synthesize the SPICE netlist for planar magnetics.
Potential Impact: 
DIFFERENTIATE aims to enhance the productivity of energy engineers in helping them to develop next-generation energy technologies. If successful, DIFFERENTIATE will yield the following benefits in ARPA-E mission areas:
Seek U.S. technological competitive advantage by leading the development of machine-learning enhanced engineering design tools.
Use these tools to solve our most challenging energy and environmental problems by facilitating an economically-attractive transition to lower carbon-footprint energy sources and systems.
Reap the economic productivity benefits associated with the commercial adoption of the resulting higher-value energy technologies and associated products.
ARPA-E Program Director: 
Dr. David Tew
Project Contact: 
Prof. Minjie Chen
Dartmouth College
Release Date: