50 Most-Read Power Electronics Stories of 2012: 10 to 1

December 27, 2012 by Power Pulse1595211359

The following is a listing (with links for the full story) of the most read stories on PowerPulse.Net for 2012, thus providing a window into the "pulse" of the trends and interests in the Power Electronics Industry. This is the final article in the series, culminating in the most read story of 2012.

10: TI Extends Family of GaN FET driver ICs with New Gate Driver

Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) introduced a low-side gate driver for use with MOSFETs and Gallium-Nitride (GaN) power field-effect transistors (FETs) in high-density power converters. The new LM5114 drives GaN FETs and MOSFETs in low-side applications, such as synchronous rectifiers and power factor converters. Together with the LM5113, described as the industry's first 100V half-bridge GaN FET driver announced in 2011, the family provides a complete isolated dc-dc conversion driver solution for high-power GaN FETs and MOSFETs used in high-performance telecom, networking and data center applications.

The LM5114 drives both standard MOSFETs and GaN FETs by using independent sink and source outputs from a 5V supply voltage. It features a high 7.6A peak turn-off current capability needed in high-power applications where larger or paralleled FETs are used. The increased pull-down strength also enables it to drive GaN FETs properly. The independent source and sink outputs eliminate the need for a diode in the driver path and allows tight control of the rise and fall times.

The full story can be found here

9: Rohm Introduces First SiC Power MOSFET with Internal SiC SBD

ROHM Semiconductor has recently announced the development of a 2nd generation high-voltage (1200V) SiC (Silicon Carbide) power MOSFET designed for inverters and converters in power conditioners for industrial devices and photovoltaic power generation. Features include low power loss and high reliability, reducing power consumption and enabling support for smaller peripheral components.

The SCH2080KE is the industry's first SiC power MOSFET to successfully integrate an SiC SBD into a single package. Forward voltage (VF) is reduced by 70% or more for less power loss and fewer components are required.

The full story can be found here

8: GE Energy Launches New Power Conversion Business

GE Energy announced the next step in the integration of its acquisition of Converteam by renaming the business Power Conversion. Power Conversion's technologies in process controls, automation systems and high-efficiency power electronics, motors and generators will enable the company to better meet the needs of customers looking to improve operational efficiency and productivity.

The Power Conversion business will help GE maximize its deep domain expertise and expand its presence in the fast-growing energy efficiency, electrification and automation sector, which was valued at $30 billion and is growing above global GDP.

The full story can be found here

7: One-Cycle Control Announces First Hardware-Enabled 3-Phase Active Power Filter

One-Cycle Control announced its OCC-APF, which leverages technology invented at Caltech & UC Irvine and developed under the California Energy Commission and California Institute for Energy & Environment. The OCC-APF is the first hardware-enabled 3-phase Active Power Filter with high reliability, extremely fast dynamics, and simple user interface, enabling harmonics cancellation and power factor correction in real-time. Harmonics can cause equipment overheating, circuit-breaker nuisance trips, transformer damage, and voltage distortion. Poor power factor can result in costly utility penalties or force expensive upgrades to facility transformers and wiring.

The full story can be found here

6: IBM Developing Lithium-air Battery With 500-mile Range for EVs

IBM continues to make progress on what it describes as a breakthrough lithium-air battery that may be able to store 1,000 times more energy than today's lithium ion battery. The huge jump in energy density could raise your electric vehicle's range from 100 miles to 500 miles.

Lithium-air batteries don't use metal to conduct a charge. Instead, the energy flow is created from the air reacting with lithium ions and a carbon matrix. So while you drive, the battery literally breathes in air to produce more energy, which extends the range of a single charge. This research on lithium-air batteries has been ongoing since 2009 when IBM first started the Battery 500 project.

The full story can be found here

5: Infineon Introduces New H-PSOF Packaging for Automotive Power Electronics

Infineon Technologies AG introduced what it describes as an innovative package technology providing high-current capability and high efficiency for demanding automotive electronics applications, including electric and hybrid vehicles. The new TO package is compliant with JEDEC standard H-PSOF (Heatsink Plastic Small Outline Flat lead). The first available products using the H-PSOF package technology are 40V OptiMOS™ T2 power transistors offering up to 300A current capability in addition to ultra low R DS(on) values of only 0.76mΩ.

The full story can be found here

4: Alpha and Omega Semiconductor Demonstrates 1200V UniSiC Stack-Cascode MOSFETs

Alpha and Omega Semiconductor Limited (AOS) and SemiSouth Laboratories jointly demonstrated UniSiC™, a 1200V, 90mΩ MOSFET in a TO262 package, to meet the growing need for energy efficient switching devices for high performance power conversion applications in the alternative energy, industrial and consumer segments. The dramatic reduction in form factor and figures-of-merit put this 1200V MOSFET device in a class by itself.

The UniSiC device is formed by stacking a specially designed low voltage Silicon MOSFET atop a normally-on SiC JFET. The SiC JFET has excellent characteristics and is provided by SemiSouth, the leading supplier of SiC JFET technology. The low voltage MOSFET is specially engineered to allow optimal operation of the composite device with clean switching, low Rdson, gate charge and superb diode characteristics. It is intended to provide great ease of use, working with standard drive circuitry, and drastically improving circuit efficiencies over the whole range of load current.

The full story can be found here

3: Delta Receives DOE Funding to Streamline Development of EV Charging Infrastructure

Delta announced that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded Delta Products Corp. nearly US$2 million in research project funding. The research project will develop smart-grid enabled residential electric vehicle chargers over the next 3 years that will allow the quick deployment of charging infrastructure for plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) to help reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. Delta Products has teamed up with electric utility and automotive manufacturing companies in North America to develop innovative electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) to minimize the cost of communications between charger and grid, and meet local demand for smart charging.

The full story can be found here

2: Emerson Network Power Identifies Key Applications for 400Vdc Power Technology

Rising energy costs and power demand, combined with mainstream adoption of renewable energy sources, are driving adoption of new power architectures, such as 400V direct current (dc), that enable more efficient networks and businesses. Emerson Network Power has identified and analyzed four applications poised to benefit from the emergence of 400Vdc power distribution technology as a viable alternative to traditional power architectures: those areas include, telecom central offices, data centers, commercial buildings, and transportation — each with its own drivers for adoption.

Unlike the grid, telecommunications networks have long used dc distribution, largely for its high reliability and good signal quality performance. As telecom equipment has moved to silicon-based dc technology, alignment between existing dc power distribution and dc-driven equipment is already in place, but cost and efficiency gains are still possible. For example, 400Vdc is especially suited for high power delivery over long distances, because it reduces installation and operational costs and improves cable management versus -48Vdc. These benefits are realized due to at least an 80 percent reduction of copper wire used, affecting both the cost of and time needed for installation. In addition, reduced line losses typically will increase end-to-end energy efficiency as well, further reducing operating costs.

The full story can be found here

1: Powerex Introduces Low-Profile SiC MOSFET Modules Featuring Multiple Circuit Topologies

Created with a low profile and multiple circuit topologies, including independent; dual; in parallel; common collector; and common emitter, two new Powerex split dual silicon-carbide (SiC) MOSFET Modules (QJD1210010 and QJD1210011) are designed for use in high frequency applications.

Each module consists of two SiC MOSFET transistors, with each transistor having a reverse-connected Zero Recovery® free-wheel silicon carbide Schottky diode. All components and interconnects are isolated from the heat sinking baseplate, offering simplified system assembly and thermal management.

The full story can be found here