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50 Most-Read Industry News Stories for 2015: 10-1

January 07, 2016 by Power Pulse1595211359

The following is a listing (with links for the full story) of the most-read Industry News stories on PowerPulse.Net for 2015, thus providing a window into the "pulse" of the trends and interests in the Power Electronics Industry. This is the fifth and concluding article in the series.

#10: SiC projected to have Significant Impact on Industrial Markets

During the Plenary Session of last month's IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting, John Palmour, co-founder of Cree, Inc. and the company's Chief Technology Officer, peered into the future in his presentation on "Silicon Carbide Power Device Development for Industrial Markets." He opened by commenting that SiC power devices have the ability to greatly outperform their silicon counterparts. SiC material quality and cost issues have largely been overcome, allowing SiC to start competing directly with more traditional Si devices. 150 mm substrates and epitaxy are now commercially available. more

#9: Software-Defined Power one aim of Ericsson collaboration with Universities

Ericsson announced new collaborations with prestigious universities King's College London and Technische Universität Dresden (TU Dresden). The collective efforts will focus on 5G research, addressing both the technical implications and the societal challenges of implementing the next-generation of communications technology. The collaborations with the two universities will build on other leading European research institute and university collaborations in the 5G sphere, such as those with the Royal Institute of Technology, Chalmers University of Technology and Lund University in Sweden. more

#8: GaN Diodes handle High Currents with a Low Turn-on Voltage

Panasonic Corporation today announced that it developed GaN diodes that can not only operate at a high current that is four times greater than that tolerated by conventional SiC diodes, but also operate at low voltages by virtue of their low turn-on voltage. Production of the new diodes was made possible via a newly developed hybrid structure composed of separately embedded structure comprised of a low-voltage unit and a high-current-capable unit, in preparation for high voltage conditions. more

#7: Handbook for Using GaN in DC-DC Conversion

The demand for information is growing at unprecedented rates and society's insatiable appetite for communication, computing and downloading, is driving this demand. With emerging technologies, such as, cloud computing and the internet of things, not to mention the 300 hours of video being loaded to YouTube every minute, this trend for more and faster access to information is showing no signs of slowing, and this is the challenge that motivated the writing of this practical engineering handbook – DC-DC Conversion: A Supplement to GaN Transistors for Efficient Power Conversion. more

#6: Smart Microgrids target Data Centers and Farm Communities

Strategic use of locally produced, renewable energy through smart microgrids can reduce power costs and help prevent outages, according to assistant professors Wei Sun and Reinaldo Tonkoski of the electrical engineering and computer science department of South Dakota State University (SDSU). They are developing the smart power management technologies that will make it possible for communities and businesses to use locally produced wind and solar energy yet maintain a consistent, reliable power system. The automated system needed to integrate renewables will also facilitate development of an intelligent power restoration system called a self-healing smart grid that can help prevent power outages. more

#5: Microsoft and Tesla Define Software-Defined Batteries

The concept of Software Defined Batteries (SDBs) is described in a paper that a team of researchers from Microsoft Corp, Tesla Motors, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Columbia University will present at the ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles this week. Different battery chemistries perform better on different axes, such as energy density, cost, peak power, recharge time, longevity, and efficiency. Mobile system designers are constrained by existing technology, and are forced to select a single chemistry that best meets their diverse needs, thereby compromising other desirable features. In this paper, the authors present a new hardware-software system, called Software Defined Battery, which allows system designers to integrate batteries of different chemistries. more

#4: Enhancement-Mode GaN Transistor Reliability exceeds 10 Years

During the recent PCIM Europe Conference, a paper titled "Enhancement Mode Gallium Nitride Transistor Reliability" was presented by Alex Lidow, Rob Strittmatter, Chunhua Zhou, and Yanping Ma, with Efficient Power Conversion Corporation. The paper opens by pointing out that reliability testing data for GaN transistors continues to accumulate with positive results. This paper built upon previous studies, providing new reliability data on commercially available enhancement mode GaN transistors under a wide variety of stress conditions. more

#3: MIT's Assessment of Tesla's Powerwall

Tesla Corporation launched its latest product at the end of April in Los Angeles with much fanfare and a promise to change the future. Powerwall is a home battery that charges using electricity generated from solar panels and stores that power for use in the evening. The battery also is meant to insure against power outages by providing a backup electricity supply, and, Tesla says, it offers independence from the utility grid and the security of an emergency backup. But is this new battery really all that revolutionary? more

#2: Choices between SiC, GaN and Si Forecast to Get more Difficult

The Power Devices Special Focus Session at the recent IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting, included an invited paper titled, "Application-Specific Trade-offs for WBG SiC, GaN and High-End Si Power Switch Technologies" by a team of authors from Infineon Technologies AG. The paper noted that there is an increasing choice of power switches in the 600V to 1700V range. Besides the well-established Si SJ (Super Junction) MOSFETs and IGBTs, there are now also SiC and GaN power switches available for new designs. Completely new system optimizations are possible driven by totally different trade-off options such as between static and dynamic losses and their temperature dependencies. more

#1: Universities get $6 Million for Power PhDs

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the two universities selected to receive nearly $6 million to establish one or more graduate-level training programs for engineers in power electronics. This effort is part of the Obama Administration's commitment to accelerating American manufacturing and developing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education programs that support the next generation of engineers and manufacturers. more