What is Most-Important to the Future of Power? You Can Weigh-in on this at Darnell Power Forum

August 31, 2010 by Jeff Shepard

Darnell’s Power Forum (DPF ’10), to be hosted in Chicago September 13-15, will feature a Roundtable Discussion of: What will be the Most Important Driver for the Power Electronics Industry in the Future: Architectures, Topologies, Materials or Applications?" moderated by Alix Paultre, Editor-in-Chief of ECN Magazine. This is a hotly debated question that has no clear answers – but representatives from six companies are going to try to clarify the issue, and hopefully get a rousing discussion going at the same time. Alex Lidow, CEO from Efficient Power Conversion; Chris Young, Senior Manager Digital Power Technology from Intersil/Zilker; Mark Buccini, Director from Texas Instruments; Arnold Alderman, Principle from Anagenesis; Jim MacDonald, Director from National Semiconductor; and Bob White, Chief Engineer from Embedded Power Labs will present their views in a Roundtable discussion at Darnell’s Power Forum ’10. One of the strengths of the panel is that the individuals and companies represented have been in the industry for a long time and have seen power supply trends come and go. They have experienced many of the changes first-hand and will evaluate the current power supply landscape in their own inimitable styles. You can Register to participate at:.

Power electronics technologies are undergoing a more rapid evolution today than at any time in the past 30 years, including new system-on-chip packaging solutions. Power-Supply-on-Chip (PwrSoC) is one such trend that Arnold Alderman, working with the Tyndall National Institute, will address in his presentation, "Power Converter Miniaturization Trends – Power Supply in Package (PSiP) and Power Supply on a Chip (PwrSoC)." This is a packaging development that is still in a "pre-commercial" phase, and it addresses the need for close-proximity converters to supply power to next-generation microprocessors, graphics chips, ASICs, DSPs, and other high-performance integrated circuits. What applications are driving these new packaging styles? And will the new packaging be an enabler for as-yet unknown power supply designs?

Wind power and photovoltaics get plenty of publicity, but how are the new power implementations taking place? Darnell’s Power Forum ’10 will feature several papers that look at some innovative applications of power in the alternative energy space. One such application will be addressed in a paper from Texas Instruments titled, "Digital Power Finds a Place in the Sun." Dave Freeman will give examples of digital control and management for solar energy, where digitally controlled power is the dominant control method for the majority of solar inverters, ranging from microinverters through string and central inverters. There are many rules for connecting solar power to the grid; using digital control helps meet these requirements. In addition, digital methodology makes the implementation of algorithms easier and allows it to be adaptive across a broad range of solar irradiance.

Session topics at DPF ’10 will include: Enabling the Smart Gird, Applications of Digital Power, Implementing Energy Harvesting Solutions, Tools and Techniques, Power System Design, Optimizing Power Converter Performance, and Power Electronics Applications.

The DPF ’10 web site is at:.