Tech Insights

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November 07, 2014 by Jeff Shepard

October 16, 2014 - Ultra-fast 650V Trench IGBTs target Industrial Applications; International Rectifier Corp. (IR) today announced the expansion of its

October 16, 2014 - Ultra-fast 650V Trench IGBTs target Industrial Applications; International Rectifier Corp. (IR) today announced the expansion of its portfolio of insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) with the introduction of a family of rugged, reliable 650V devices optimized for fast switching applications including solar inverters, welding equipment, industrial motors, induction heating and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS). Ranging from 15A to 90A, the IRGP47xx family of IGBTs utilizes trench thin-wafer technology to reduce conduction and switching losses to deliver increased system efficiency.

October 15, 2014 - GaN Textbook Focuses on Power Conversion Applications; Efficient Power Conversion Corporation (EPC) announce the publication of the second edition of “GaN Transistors for Efficient Power Conversion,” a textbook written by power conversion industry experts and published by John Wiley and Sons. This textbook is designed to provide power system design engineering students, as well as practicing engineers, basic technical and application-focused information on how to design more efficient power conversion systems using gallium nitride-based transistors.

October 14, 2014, Global Digital Power Consortium formed by CUI, Ericsson and Murata; The formation of the Architects of Modern Power (AMP) digital power consortium was announced today by founding members CUI, Ericsson Power Modules and Murata. The aim of the alliance is to create the most technically advanced, end-to-end distributed power solutions – a complete ecosystem of hardware, software and support. The advent of digital control in dc-dc converters and point-of-load regulators, driven initially by telecom and datacom companies experiencing a staggering rise in IP traffic and now proliferating into other industries, has made multi-sourcing of leading-edge power conversion products more difficult for customers. A level of software compatibility will be required in order to achieve a true multi-source solution, including compatibility of PMBus commands, proprietary controller commands, and configuration files. The AMP Group was formed to address this challenge.

October 10, 2014 - Resonant Wireless Charging to Enhance Qi for Wearables; ConvenientPower HK Ltd. unveiled today the Tx R2 and Tx R3 resonance charger series, the Tx R2 being the world’s first resonant platform enhancing the recently approved Qi wireless charging A27 specification. The new chargers are designed to meet the distance and design versatility needs of wearable and mobile device brands and OEMs as well as those designing infrastructure projects in furniture, hotels, restaurants office and public buildings.

October 10, 2014 - Secure Batteries for Medical Devices; UK-based battery firm Accutronics Ltd. is set to vitalize the medical market this autumn when it launches its next range of batteries at electronica 2014 in Munich, Hall B2 stand 454. The medical market is currently undergoing rapid evolution with the likes of portability and freedom from ac power taking center stage for doctors and emergency services. Accutronics specializes in the design, development and manufacture of smart batteries for industries ranging from medical, defense, industrial and for the portable, handheld market.

October 9, 2014 - 35V Input DC-DC for USB Power with Cable Drop Compensation; Linear Technology Corporation announces the LT3697, a 35-V input capable step-down switching regulator (with 60V transient protection) designed to power 5V USB applications. The LT3697 delivers precise 5V regulation at 2.5A to a remote USB port using programmable cable drop compensation to accurately correct the voltage drop from a long connecting cable regardless of variations in load current. The 5V output accuracy at the USB port is ±1.0% over the -40 to 125 degrees C temperature range. The LT3697 utilizes an accurate and programmable output current limit, a power good indicator and an output current monitor pin to improve system reliability and safety.

October 9, 2014 - Sturdy High-Voltage Connections from DRÄXL- MAIER; The DRÄXLMAIER Group will be exhibiting their HV connectors at the electronic trade fair in Munich. Trade visitors will find out all about the versatile connector for high-voltage applications from November 11th through 14th in Hall B3 at stand 256. The high-voltage connector made by the automobile supplier can be used throughout the industry, even in navigation and railway transportation. This high- voltage connector was developed for special fields from between 16 and 50 mm² in aluminum and copper wires and meets all the safety requirements at voltages of up to 1,000V and high direct currents. Thus, the connector has proved to be extremely resistant to elevated temperatures and ageing in a range of between -40 and 170 degrees C. The ampacity of a 50 mm° wire at 83 degrees C, for example, is 275A.

October 8, 2014 - 14.4 to 154 Vdc Input 20W DC-DCs with 10ms Hold-up; During electronica 2014, AUTRONIC Steuer- und Re- geltechnik GmbH will be introducing the HPBC20 dc-dc converters for PCB mounting with an ultra-wide input voltage range between 14.4- and 154-Vdc with an output power of 20W. Now, a single device suits for all international on-board power supply voltages of rail vehicles (24V, 36V, 72V and 110V) including the +/- 40% tolerance required according to EN 50155. Consequently, this ultra-wide solution is very interesting for companies with Europe-wide activities, since one converter is sufficient for the qualification of modules.

October 6, 2014 - Heliatek Completes 18 Million Euro in Series C Funding; Heliatek GmbH has successfully completed its C- Financing round by raising 18 million EUR. This Round was led by AQTON SE, an investment holding of German entrepreneur Stefan Quandt, with participation of all prior investors, Bosch, BASF, Innogy Venture Capital, Wellington Partners, eCAPITAL, HTGF and TGFS. Since the foundation of the company in 2006, 46 million EUR have been raised in order to develop the technology, the manufacturing process and now the market entry. The company succeeded with its innovative approach of organic solar films in a roll-to-roll production process.

October 3, 2014 - Pin-Shaped Lithium-Ion Battery for Wearables; Panasonic Corporation announced today that it has developed a pin-shaped lithium-ion battery (CG-320, nominal capacity 13mAh) with a diameter of 3.5mm and a weight of 0.6g suitable for powering small devices such as wearable devices. This product, on top of being the industry’s smallest cylindrical-shaped rechargeable Li-ion battery, features the high reliability and high output required for near-field communications (NFC). Mass production and shipping are planned to begin in February 2015 with a monthly production of one hundred thousand units. Also in 2015, Panasonic plans to introduce two additional models to this new product line, the CG-425 and CG-435, rated for 30mAh and 50mAh, respectively. All three batteries have a nominal output voltage of 3.75V.

October 2, 2014 - Wafer-Level Testing of Power Semiconductors; Keithley Instruments, Inc. today introduced enhancements to its Parametric Curve Tracer (PTC) configurations that incorporate high-power SourceMeter® Source Measure Unit (SMU) instruments. For test engineers responsible for configuring high-power semiconductor test systems, the new Keithley Model 8020 High Power Interface Panel improves connectivity and simplifies complex measurements like high-voltage capacitance-voltage (C-V) measurements. The Model 8020 reduces set-up times, minimizes opportunities for connection errors, improves operator and test hardware protection, and increases users’ confidence in the accuracy of their results. 

October 2, 2014 - Controller IC Supports 60W of AC-DC Power from a 40W Package; Dialog Semiconductor plc has announced the release of its new iW1770 PrimAccu- rate™ primary-side controller that offers a 60W peak-power mode from a 40W supply, eliminating the need to oversize the power supply design and enabling compact, lightweight, high power density adapters for Ultrabooks, network devices and other home electronics products. According to Dialog, conventional power supply designs must be sized to match the peak (maximum) power requirements of the system, which may be significantly higher than the normal system operating power.

October 1, 2014 - €4.3 Million Project aims for Ultra- Low-Energy Electronics; The European project E2S- WITCH is aiming to develop new electronic systems with ultra-low energy consumption. The nine partners, universities, research institutes and companies, are committed to making these ‘circuits of tomorrow’ more energy efficient. The mission of E2SWITCH will be to develop an ultra-low power electronic system based on Tunnel FET (TFET) heterostructures built on silicon substrates and exploiting a phenomenon of quantum mechanics for operating at voltages up to five times lower than those of the current standard mobile phone circuit.

September 29, 2014 - Sensorless Three-phase Brushless Motor Driver; Toshiba Corporation today announced the launch of three-phase brushless Hall sensorless driver ICs, the TB67B001FTG, TB67B008FTG and TB67B008FNG, for the cooling fans of PC servers and home appliances such as refrigerators. Mass production starts today. Quiet operation and downsizing of the motors are essential for the small cooling fans that are widely used for cooling PC servers and eco-conscious home appliances.

September 29, 2014 - TSMC Launches Ultra-Low Power Platform for IoT and Wearables; Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC) today announced the foundry segment’s first and most comprehensive ultra-low power technology platform aimed at a wide range of applications for the rapidly evolving Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable device markets that require a wide spectrum of technologies to best serve these diverse applications. In this platform, TSMC offers multiple processes to provide significant power reduction benefits for IoT and wearable products and a comprehensive design ecosystem to accelerate time-to-market for customers.

September 26 - DC Small Cell Power System for Telecom and Network Equipment; Korea’s DongAh Elecomm today introduced its new 288W LOPU-A4L rectifier from the Cheshire™ Series designed to support expansive growth in small cell 4G/LTE wireless/telecom base stations and network equipment. The LOPU-A4L rectifier module provides high-efficiency network power at competitive pricing, with quick and easy installation, a small footprint and inconspicuous IP65-rated enclosure for outdoor applications. The unit utilizes free-air convection cooling that requires no fans. It is designed to meet UL® and Telcordia Technologies Industry Standards with high reliability. 

September 24, 2014 - Kyocera Joins Advanced Silicon Solar Cell Program at IMEC; Belgian nanoelectronics research center imec and Kyocera Corporation announced today that Kyocera, the Japanese high-tech electronics company and manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) cells, modules and systems, has joined imec’s industrial affiliation program (IIAP) to advance next-generation crystalline silicon solar cells. This multi-partner R&D program aims at increasing the efficiency of solar cells and modules while at the same time lowering the cost for solar energy. This is done through the development of innovative industry-relevant solutions on different crystalline silicon solar cell technology platforms with improved efficiencies ranging from 22.5% to 25%. 

September 24, 2014 – 4kV to 20kV Aluminum-Nitride Power Semis at Darnell’s Energy Summit; Closing the morning plenary session at the 2014 edition of Darnell’s Energy Summit, Baxter Moody, Director of Device Development at HexaTech, Inc. presented a path to commercialization for high-voltage (4kV to 20kV) power semiconductor devices fabricated with Aluminum-Nitride (AlN). The company is currently sampling its first-generation of UV-C LEDs on AlN and expects to expand its products to include Schottky rectifiers in 2016 with power switches to follow. Hexatech manufactures its own AlN wafers and will migrate production to 2-inch wafers next year and 3-inch wafers the following year. HexaTech’s PVT process is considered ideal for high Al-percentage epitaxial layers. It has a low total dislocation density, ~1E2/cm2; no low angle grain boundaries; and a typical X-ray rocking curve FWHM < 20 arcsec. And, unlike SiC, there are no micropipes and no foreign polytypes in AlN. 


About the Author

Jeff Shepard is the Founder of Darnell Group and editor at He has a Master’s Degree in Econometrics and Quantitative Economics from University of California, Davis.





This article originally appeared in the Bodo’s Power Systems magazine.