New Industry Products

APEC 2024: Smaller, Faster, More Efficient Power

March 05, 2024 by Barbara Vergetis Lundin

The changing world will rely more and more on the electrical power industry. Manufacturers have responded with faster, more compact, and more efficient components, which they unveiled at APEC 2024.  

Thousands of power engineers, executives, and practicing professionals from around the world gathered in Long Beach, Calif., last week for the annual Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC). 

With technical sessions, professional education seminars, a student job fair, social networking opportunities, and an exposition with more than 280 companies participating, APEC 2024 offered something for everyone involved in the power industry.


APEC 2024

APEC 2024. Image used courtesy of EEPower


Over three days of APEC 2024, EEPower discovered several innovative products introduced at the show. 


Microchip Expands Its SiC Digital Gate Drivers

Silicon carbide (SiC) technology is growing rapidly for medium and high-voltage applications such as electric power grids and light- and heavy-duty vehicles. Arizona-based  Microchip, a leader in smart, connected, and secure embedded control solutions, is expanding its line of SiC-based, highly integrated, 3.3 kV XIFM plug-and-play digital gate drivers. The device can work out-of-the-box in high-voltage SiC-based power module applications and will help simplify and speed system integration.


Microchip’s SiC-based gate driver.

Microchip’s SiC-based gate driver. Image used courtesy of Microchip


To speed time to market, the 3.3 kV XIFM plug-and-play mSiC gate driver uses patented augmented switching technology. The preconfigured module can significantly reduce design and evaluation times by offering built-in monitoring and protection functions such as temperature, under and overvoltage short-circuit and overcurrent protection, and DC link monitoring.

The company claims its plug-and-play gate driver can reduce design times by up to 50 percent compared to traditional modules.

At APEC 2024, Microchip launched a family of digital signal controller (DSC) based integrated motor drivers. By integrating a DSC, a three-phase MOSFET gate driver, and communication capability into one package, the motor control system reduces component count, resulting in smaller printed circuit board (PCB) dimensions and reducing complexity for the designer. 


Silanna Semiconductor’s Integrated ACF Controller for AC-DC Power Supplies  

Silanna Semiconductor in San Diego, Calif., used APEC 2024 to showcase its full portfolio of AC-DC and DC-DC products, offering leading power density, efficiency, and performance. The company’s director of marketing, Hubie Noto, presented a technical session on "Adaptive Intelligent Power Sharing Multiport Power Supplies" to help provide insights into the future of power-sharing across diverse applications.

Silanna has also expanded its highly integrated CO2 Smart Power Family of AC-DC and DC-DC converter technologies, including an active clamp flyback (ACF) controller for high-efficiency, high-power-density AC-DC power supplies and adapters. 


Silanna’s flyback PWM controller.

Silanna’s flyback PWM controller. Image courtesy of Silanna Semiconductors 


The technology integrates adaptive digital PWM control with ultra-high-voltage (UHV) components, including a 700 V primary gallium-nitride (GaN) FET, an X capacitor discharge circuit, and an active clamp driver and start-up regulator. The device can help engineers simplify their designs and improve performance while reaching higher energy efficiency. 

The company says it will have engineering samples available in April 2024 and plans full production for the end of the second quarter of 2024.


Innoscience Presents Data Center Apps, Integrated GaN ICs

Innoscience Technology focuses on high-performance, low-cost, gallium-nitride-on-silicon (GaN-on-Si) power solutions. The company has noticed an exponential increase in power demand by data centers, largely due to the extreme amounts of processing power required by artificial intelligence (AI).  Innoscience’s 650 V InnoGaN makes a 2 kW AC-DC conversion PSU with a high-power density and a peak efficiency above 96 percent possible.


Manufacturing GaN-on-Si.

Manufacturing GaN-on-Si. Image used courtesy of Innoscience Technology 

Innoscience pays particular attention to the 48 V to 12 V DC-to-DC conversion required by data centers. To maximize power density, the company’s recent SolidGaN solution combines two 100 V InnoGaN devices with drivers and protection in one package that achieves a peak efficiency of 98.5 percent and is 70 percent smaller than similar silicon devices. 


Amber Semiconductor Showcases Brushless Motor Developed With STMicroelectronics

Amber Semiconductor, Inc., based in Dublin, Calif., has partnered with STMicroelectronics to create a reference design for brushless motor applications. The motor system uses Amber Semi’s AC to DC conversion semiconductor system to power ST’s STM32 microcontrollers. 

Compared to a traditional brushless DC motor control design, the Amber Semi/ST provides 5 W of regulated power output for sensors and other types of intelligent functionality. 

The alliance between Amber Semiconductor and STMicroelectronics demonstrates how Amber Semi’s products can provide robust power delivery while also helping to streamline product design through various features. 


ITG Electronics Teams With STMicroelectronics on Magnetic Components

Another company STMicroelectronics is working with is ITG Electronics. The two companies are planning magnetic components for use in data centers, particularly those engaged in power-consuming AI. 

Specifically, work is underway to develop magnetic component solutions for 54 V/48 V to 12 V converter applications. The product will provide the industry’s highest power density rating for a 48 V solution.


Alpha & Omega Semiconductor’s Power Management Solutions

Alpha & Omega Semiconductor Limited demonstrated an array of discrete power devices, wide band gap power devices, power management ICs, and modules at APEC 2024.


Alpha & Omega manufacturing

Alpha & Omega manufacturing. Image courtesy of Alpha & Omega Semiconductor 

The company highlighted applications including computing and data centers, power supply and renewable energy, motor drives, and intelligent power modules.


Vishay Intertechnology’s Passives and Semiconductors for Power Electronics 

Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. meets the needs of energy harvesting, electric vehicle (EV) powertrains, and a range of other large and small power electronic applications.

For example, the 80 V symmetric dual n-channel power MOSFET introduced at APEC 2024 combines high and low-side Gen IV MOSFETs in a single 3.3 mm by 3.3 mm package. This dual MOSFET can be used instead of two discrete devices, saving 50 percent of board space. 


Cambridge GaN Devices Supports Industrial Applications

U.K.-based Cambridge GaN Devices is a clean-tech semiconductor company developing energy-efficient, rugged, reliable, and easy-to-use in high-volume GaN devices. Cambridge’s GaN technology can be used in applications such as data centers, solar inverters, amplifiers, transport and smart mobility, process control, and manufacturing.


GaN transistors.

GaN transistors. Image courtesy of Cambridge GaN Devices 


According to the company, GaN electronic devices can provide faster switching while consuming less energy than classic silicon-based devices. Greater than 99 percent efficiency is possible.


Power Integrations Launches Power Supply ICs

Power Integrations also employs GaN devices in high-voltage integrated circuits for energy-efficient power conversion in a family of single-stage, independently regulated multi-output offline power supplies. 


InnoMux-2 IC.

InnoMux-2 IC. Image courtesy of Power Integrations

The company’s InnoMux-2 ICs can combine AC-DC and downstream DC-DC conversion stages into a single chip, providing up to three independently regulated outputs for industrial systems, displays, and other applications requiring multiple voltages. Because the device eliminates a separate DC-DC stage, the PCB footprint can be reduced and efficiency improved by up to 10 percent, according to the company. 


Nexperia’s Discrete MOSFET Solutions

Nexperia, headquartered in the Netherlands, has broadened its range of discrete MOSFET switching solutions in power industry applications. 


Discrete MOSFET switching devices

Discrete MOSFET switching devices. Image used courtesy of Nexperia


Nexperia has developed single PCBs with up to 96 MOSFETs, resulting in a reduction of the device's footprint. In fact, the company’s 100-volt PoE ASFETs in a 2 mm x 2 mm DFN package occupy 60 percent less space than the previous LFPAK33 package. 


Highly Efficient Modules For Qorvo’s SiC Product Portfolio

Qorvo announced at APEC 2024 the addition of four 1200 V SiC modules—two half-bridge and two full-bridge—in a compact E1B package. The highly efficient SiC modules are well-placed for EV charging stations, energy storage, industrial power supplies, and solar power applications.

The Qorvo modules can replace as many as four standard SiC FETs, allowing a reduction in size and better thermomechanical characteristics. 


SiC module.

SiC module. Image courtesy of Qorvo


EPC Produces Lowest Resistance GaN FET

Efficient Power Conversion Corporation, Inc. (EPC), a Taiwan semiconductor manufacturer, announced its GaN FET with the lowest on-resistance on the market—offering double the power density compared to EPC’s prior-generation products.


Automotive 80 V Enhancement-Mode GaN power transistor.

Automotive 80 V Enhancement-Mode GaN power transistor. Image courtesy of EPC 


The ultra-low on-resistance of the EPC2361 allows for higher power density and efficiency in power conversion systems, resulting in reduced energy consumption and heat dissipation. The device is suitable for high-power PSU AC-DC synchronous rectification, high-frequency DC-DC conversion for data centers, motor drives for EVs, robotics, drones, and solar energy systems.


Analog Devices GaN Driver Simplifies GaN FETs Use

Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI) has introduced a 100-volt, half-bridge GaN driver to simplify the implementation of GaN FETs. It provides robust gate control, high-frequency switching, and increased system efficiency. 

ADI has Integrated the top and bottom driver stages, driver logic control, and protections, allowing the new LT8418 to be configured into synchronous half-bridge or full-bridge topologies or buck, boost, and buck-boost topologies


SiC Inverter Control Modules Accelerate EV Drivetrain Development

Originating in Belgium, CISSOID is a leader in power semiconductor solutions, specializing in multi-phase, high-current power switching, motor control systems, and software across a wide range of power requirements. 


Three-phase 1200 V/550 A SiC inverter control module.

Three-phase 1200 V/550 A SiC inverter control module. Image used courtesy of CISSOID 


CISSOID has developed a modular core ICM product capable of powering and controlling high-voltage SiC traction inverters for EVs with battery voltages up to 850 V, at output power over 350 kW, and with peak efficiency above 99 percent.