50 Most-Read Industry News Stories of 2014: 10 to 1

January 08, 2015 by Power Pulse1595211359

10: Billion-Dollar Energy Start-up Opens 3.5 Million Square-Foot Factory

Alevo Group today unveiled plans to deliver massive efficiencies to power generation globally through innovations in battery technology and data analytics. The company announced manufacturing plans in Concord, North Carolina, that will see the creation of thousands of skilled jobs, for the building of GridBanks. GridBanks combined with advanced analytics can substantially cut electricity waste while enabling full use to be made of wind, solar and other renewable energy sources. A preview of Alevo technology was recently revealed on PowerPulse. more

9: Fujitsu Opens Digital Power Development Lab

Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. today announced that it has built the world's first development environment that enhances the efficiency and reliability of the development process for digital controlled power supply units in servers and other ICT equipment. Fujitsu plans to apply this technology to its internal product development process, with a goal of practical implementation in fiscal 2015. Fujitsu will also consider applying this technology beyond high-performance ICT equipment, such as in wireless base stations, high level power controls of automobiles, and other areas, to meet a variety of power supply needs in a timely manner. more

8: Bel to Acquire Power-One Power Solutions from ABB for $117 Million

Bel Fuse Inc. announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Power-One Power Solutions business of ABB Ltd. Bel will pay approximately $117 million in cash to acquire the Power Solutions business, which had 2013 revenue of approximately $251 million. The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014 and to be immediately accretive to Bel's earnings. ABB is divesting Power Solutions because of a limited fit and few synergies with ABB's other businesses. The unit was part of ABB's acquisition of Power-One. Power-One's solar inverter business is core to ABB's renewable strategy and will remain in the portfolio of the group. more

7: Major GaN Developments at PCIM

While there is a growing cadre of start-ups developing GaN power devices, this year's PCIM Europe was notable for the number of major semiconductor makers introducing and showing GaN products. Major GaN developments were revealed by International Rectifier Corp. (IR), ON Semiconductor, Inc., Panasonic Industrial Devices Semiconductor Division and RF Micro Devices, Inc. (RFMD). All these major suppliers were showing high-voltage GaN power switches in various configurations and packages. And in each case, the devices are offered as 'normally-off' switches. more

6: All-Carbon Lithium Battery achieves 3X Energy Density Increase

Engineering researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a new type of rechargeable lithium battery with components made entirely of carbon. Unlike the lithium-ion batteries currently sold around the world to power smart phones, laptops, and countless other devices, this new battery is made without the toxic metal cobalt. The new technology, detailed in a research paper published this week in the journal Nature Communications, pairs an anode and cathode made from the nanomaterial graphene with metallic lithium to create an energy storage device. This research could lead to a new generation of batteries with significantly higher energy density, and that are nontoxic, easy to manufacture, and inexpensive to recycle. more

5: Magnetic Cooling Enables Efficient, 'Green' Refrigeration

A team of Canadian-Bulgarian researchers has developed a promising and novel approach for magnetic cooling that's far more efficient and 'greener' than today's standard fluid-compression form of refrigeration. Magnetic cooling is a promising new refrigeration technology boasting several advantages – ranging from lower energy consumption to eliminating the use of hazardous fluids – that combine to make it a much more environmentally friendly option than today's standard fluid-compression form of refrigeration. more

4: GaN and SiC may be made Obsolete by Gallium Oxide

Silvaco Japan Co., Ltd. has joined the cross-ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion (SIP) program next generation power electronics project "Research and Development on Fundamental Technologies of Gallium Oxide Power Devices" promoted by New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). Other participants in this project include: National Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Tamura Corporation, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology and New Japan Radio Co., Ltd. The consortium believes that gallium oxide (Ga2O3) will be even more competitive than SiC and GaN for power devices because of its wider bandgap and other superior material properties and lower cost. more

3: High-Current GaN Development Board Features Multiple Half-Bridges in Parallel

Efficient Power Conversion Corporation (EPC) introduces the EPC9013 development board featuring the 100-V EPC2001 enhancement mode (eGaN®) field effect transistor (FET) operating up to a 35A maximum output current in buck mode using a four half-bridge configuration in parallel and a single onboard gate drive. This innovative design increases output power without sacrificing efficiency. more

2: NXP and Datang open Chinese JV for Automotive Semiconductors

NXP Semiconductors N.V. and Datang Telecom Technology Co., Ltd. today announced that they have been awarded a business license for their joint venture (JV) by the Chinese Government. This marks the establishment of China’s first true automotive semiconductor business. Headquartered in Nantong, China, near Shanghai, Datang NXP Semiconductors Co., Ltd. has begun operations. The company will focus on the research, development and sale of advanced application specific automotive ICs in High Performance Mixed Signal technology. NXP – already the number one automotive semiconductors supplier for China – has a 49% share in the JV with Datang Telecom owning the other 51%. more

1: International Rectifier is worth $3 Billion to Infineon

Infineon Technologies AG and International Rectifier Corporation have signed a definitive agreement under which Infineon will acquire International Rectifier for USD0.40 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately USD3 billion. The acquisition combines two semiconductor companies with leadership positions in power management technology. The transaction price represents a premium of approximately 48 percent over the average share price of International Rectifier during the last three months and a premium of approximately 51 percent over the closing share price of International Rectifier on August 19, 2014. more