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Powerbox, one of Europe’s largest power supply companies and a leading force for four decades in optimizing power solutions for demanding applications, has announced that Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Patrick Le Fèvre will present a paper on the subject of ‘smart grid security’ at the Applied Power Electronics Conferences (APEC).
Involved from the very early days with projects to add communication and intelligence to power supplies - which became known as “Digital Power” - Patrick Le Fèvre has frequently been asked about software security and how prepared the power supplies industry is to address such issues.
Although there is very little risk of a hacker reaching a single digital-POL at board level, the security risk increases exponentially as we move upward in the value chain, and in doing so the smart grid is probably the highest and the most exposed to attacks.
In February 2016, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued an alert, reporting a case that had happened in December 2015 in Ukraine, raising the information to a high level of attention by smart grid operators, motivating them to accelerate protection mechanisms and to develop preventative actions policies.
In his presentation, Patrick Le Fèvre will go through the history of the smart grid and talk about different cases that illustrate the growing threat, as well as explaining initiatives that will make the grid better protected against attacks. Step by step, the worldwide smart grid is getting stronger and safer, although the potential for threats remains high.
Join us at APEC (26 – 30, 2017 in Tampa, Florida) to meet our experts and to listen to Le Fèvre’s presentation on Thursday 30th of March, Industry Session 20 ‘Energy Management – Smart Micro-grid’.
BitCloud 4.0 Complete zigbee Software Development Kit is Available Now
The industry’s first zigbee alliance certified zigbee® platform with zigbee PRO and Green Power features (formerly known as zigbee 3.0) from a semiconductor company is now available from Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller, mixed-signal, analog and Flash-IP solutions. With greater interoperability and lower latency than ever before, this software stack, and corresponding BitCloud 4.0 software development kit, is ideal for the design of home automation, commercial lighting, smart energy and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. For more information about the complete software development kit, visit: www.microchip.com/bitcloud.
The zigbee certified solution enables cross-functional device support and will be backward-compatible with existing zigbee certified products for seamless interoperability. Along with the zigbee PRO (2015) feature set, developers can expect to find features such as low latency suitable for RF remote applications, mesh networking for large networks such as lighting applications, and the Green Power benefits of an energy harvesting switch.
The zigbee PRO Green Power feature, making its debut on the new certified software stack, enables battery-less devices to securely join a network while leveraging eco-friendly energy sources such as light, vibration or motion. Additionally, zigbee Light Link and zigbee Home Automation device types are now fully supported.
“We’re proud to be the first silicon manufacturer to offer a zigbee certified platform with zigbee PRO and Green Power features,” said Steve Caldwell, vice president of Microchip’s Wireless Solutions Group. “With both our hardware and SDK, we’re able to provide best-in-class functionality for a wide range of applications from large-scale commercial lighting to ultra-low power battery-less devices.”
“Having a long-standing member company like Microchip continue to invest in the creation and commercialization of new platforms based on our latest standards shows the strength of the zigbee market,” said Victor Berrios, Vice President of Technology, zigbee alliance. “This zigbee platform enables developers to create new, ground-breaking and interoperable designs for connected applications.”
ounded in 1998, Mornsun Guangzhou Science & Technology Limited has outgrown its peers in China and become a leading power converter manufacturer, offering comprehensive vertical services and power solutions to customers all over the world. The company is strategically located in Guangzhou, China, with three R&D centers, two manufacturing locations and a worldwide distribution network covering 40 countries.
To ensure product quality and promote innovations, MORNSUN's Total Quality Management (TQM) includes a complete management system with emphasis on technological development, material selection, design for manufacturability, failure analysis, personnel training and project management. This combined with an industry certification for ISO9002, ISO14001, OHSMS18001, SA8000 and ISO/TS16949 makes their products robust and reliable for most industrial and harsh environments.
MORNSUN builds products with magneto electric isolation technology, offerings include AC/DC converters, DC/DC converters, isolation amplifiers, IGBT drivers, LED drivesr and EMC auxiliary devicse. Power converters are in the range of 0.25 - 240 watts, with efficiency up to 93%, and low standby power consumption. They come with either 1500VDC/3000VDC/6000VDC or 3500/4000VAC isolation. They also feature extra protections like UVP, UVP, OVP, SCP and OCP, targeting automation & control, fire & security, power distribution and energy system, M2M and IoT market.
Besides product development, technology research and innovation are other focuses of the company. With over 200 engineers and institutional collaborative programs, their 400+ patents include new technologies, software, circuit design, product design and the manufacturing process. Several of these patents are already deployed in products like the R3 DC/DC converters, with MORNSUN's own PWM controller and variable frequency technology. Through innovation, MORNSUN has built an industry first ultra-wide DC-DC converter with input from 200 to 1500VDC, targeting PV industry, wind power, high voltage and energy storage systems. MORNSUN also works with semiconductor companies for reference design, such as the QA series featuring high operating temperature and isolation voltage, differential output, and low isolation capacitance. These are well received by the IGBT/SiC manufacturer and always appears in the gate driver reference design.
MORNSUN knows that good citizenship is good business, and is committed to environmental protection, paying close attention to Corporate Social Responsibility and the ElCC Code of Conduct. To that end, MORNSUN will continue to reduce energy consumption, to move to "paperless" documentation internally, and to invest in new, more efficient and energy saving production equipment. Let's work together and have MORNSUN power your product and empower your ideas.
Provided by Tiger Li, Sales Director, MORNSUN
ransphorm Inc. is a global semiconductor company moving the power electronics industry beyond the limitations of silicon. The company is making it possible for high voltage applications to achieve over 95% efficiency and over 40% reduction in energy loss through the use of its—and, notably, the industry's only—JEDEC-qualified gallium nitride (GaN) FETs.
Transphorm co-founders Dr. Umesh Mishra and Dr. Primit Parikh are well-known for their GaN research and development efforts at the University of California, Santa Barabra where Dr. Mishra still holds residency today. In 1996, the team raised the company Nitres, Inc. to develop GaN-on-Si LEDs. After Nitres' successful acquisition, Dr. Mishra and Dr. Parikh founded Transphorm in 2007, this time focusing on cultivating GaN-on-Si's benefits in switch-mode power supplies.
Transphorm TDPS2800E2C1 2.8kW totem-pole PFC evaluation platform
GaN is a wide bandgap semiconductor with inherent traits that make it ideal for dramatically increasing power density, eclipsing what traditional silicon solutions can achieve. Design engineers can use GaN devices in several topologies—hard-switched half-bridge, buck, or boost. However, where GaN truly excels is in a bridgeless totem-pole PFC, an architecture that requires GaN to achieve its fullest potential. In this use case, GaN yields a marked higher performance and an overall lower system-level cost than incumbent solutions.
GaN-on-Si's attributes make it an enticing solution for high voltage applications such as:
Automotive—On-Board Chargers: Reduction of electrical power conversion loss in a potentially smaller system footprint will positively impact the electric and hybrid automobiles' performance. Transphorm's GaN FETs can replace incumbent IGBTs in a totem-pole PFC to achieve >99% efficiency while enabling bi-directional power transfer with fewer components.
Data Centers—Servers: Inarguably, data centers are one of the largest consumers of electricity—projected to burn roughly 140 billion kilowatt-hours annually by 2020 according to the National Resource Defense Council. When replacing silicon MOSFETs with Transphorm's GaN FETs, power supplies are able to increase the total system efficiency to >96% for twice the output power in the same form factor, while exceeding today's 80 Plus Titanium standard.
Solar Energy—PV Inverters: Transphorm's GaN FETs enable PV inverters to increase their switching frequencies by as much as 4x the industry standard. This equates to operating at 100kHz with a 40% reduction in size—an invaluable benefit for densely populated regions with rising dependency on solar energy.
To put power consumption in perspective—every time electricity is taken from an outlet, it is typically converted to another form of power for consumption. With every conversion there is loss, and when you add the total losses in the U.S. alone, it comes out to 300 terawatt hours. Part of that loss comes from larger applications such as data centers, but it also occurs even in the laptop adapter we are all familiar with. The significance of 300 terawatt hours—the entire western United States uses 230 terawatt hours annually. In particular, Las Vegas consumes 33 terawatt hours, San Francisco 6 terawatt hours. Effectively, if you save 300 terawatt hours—which is what Transphorm aims to do—you can actually say that you are taking the western United States off the grid.
Since the company's launch, Transphorm has been wholly-focused on delivering the highest quality, highest reliability GaN devices capable of serving the above markets and more. To ensure this, Transphorm relies on its unique vertically-integrated approach where its engineering experts participate and innovate at every stage of the GaN technology's development—from design to wafer fabrication through to device delivery and application integration support.
600V and 650V GaN FETs in TO-XXX and PQFN88 packages
Transphorm's integrated approach is driven by a team with a combined 300+ years of GaN engineering experience. Throughout the past nine years, they have reached significant milestones advancing not only Transphorm's GaN innovations, but positively affecting the industry as a whole. The company's technical legacy tracks through a number of milestones:
- Resolving dynamic on-resistance for 600V GaN (2010)
- First 600V GaN-on-Si (2011)
- First—and only—600V GaN device to be JEDEC-qualified (2013)
- First generation devices (2014)
- Second generation devices (2015)
Headquartered in Goleta, CA, Transphorm has offices in San Jose, CA, and Yokohama, Japan, as well as a global sales force and distributor network. As of 2013, Transphorm holds a manufacturing partnership with Fujitsu, leveraging its automotive-certified fabrication facility. The company is in production with a comprehensive portfolio consisting of 600V and 650V discrete FETs in TO-XXX and PQFN88 packages for power levels up to 4.5kW. For more information, please visit transphormusa.com.
Provided by Andrea Fasano, Senior Manager,
Marketing Communications, Transphorm Inc.
Four members of the Board of Directors are elected at the PSMA Annual Meeting held every year during the APEC conference. Each Director serves a three year term and is eligible to be reelected for one additional term.
In this issue we would like to introduce you to Ed Herbert and Donald Woodard who are both serving their second term.
Ed Herbert received his BEEE from Yale University in 1963. He worked as a design engineer, a project engineer, an engineering supervisor, then as engineering manager until 1985. Since then he has been independent, promoting patented technology for license.
Ed serves as Co-Chair of both the PSMA Magnetics Committee and the Energy Efficiency Committee. He is an active participant in the Power Electronics Packaging Committee and Power Technology Roadmap Committee and an occasional participant in several other committees.
He helped with the design of the Energy Efficiency Database. He sponsored all three phases of Core Loss Studies and wrote Supplemental Reports further analyzing the data. He has chaired and presented at several APEC Industry Sessions.
Ed has been enriched by his association with PSMA and welcomes the opportunity to give more in return.
Provided by Ed Herbert, Independent Inventor
Donald Woodard is president of Venable Instruments, a leader in the research, development and manufacture of frequency response analyzers for testing, measurement and power supply design. The Company was founded in 1979 by H. Dean Venable, the pioneer of stability analysis, and Woodard became President in 1999. Woodard was elected to Power Sources Manufacturers Association (PSMA) Board of Directors in 2012, supported by his vast experience serving on the Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC) committee since 2002. His eight-year tenure as APEC’s Exhibits Chairman saw exceptional growth in both vendor participation and exhibit attendance. Woodard is known throughout the power electronics world for his proven leadership and active commitment to advancing the standards, collective direction and corporate responsibility within the industry.
Prior to extending his leadership acumen to Venable Instruments, PSMA and APEC, Woodard spent 25 years working in the private sector in executive management, sales and marketing roles at FMC Corporation.
Woodard graduated from the former North Texas State University (now The University of North Texas) in 1976 with a B.B.A. in Sales & Marketing. A native of East Texas, he and his wife of 31 years, Melony, have called Austin home since 1995. They are parents of two children, with two grandchildren rounding out their growing family. The Woodards are active members of Austin Ridge Bible Church and serve on several non-profit committees and outreach programs, such as Mobile Loaves and Fishes. In his spare time, he enjoys fly fishing, bird hunting, competitive shooting and all things rock and roll.
Provided by Donald Woodard, President, Venable Instruments
PSMA is pleased to announce that it is co-sponsorship of IWIPP 2017 (INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON INTEGRATED POWER PACKAGING) along with IEEE PELS, ECPE, CMPT & DEIS. The workshop will be held on April 5-7, 2017 at Delft Technical University, in the Netherlands.
The purpose of the workshop is to bring together researchers in the field of power electronics components, electrical insulating materials, and packaging technologies to rapidly promote the development and commercialization of high-density and high-efficiency power converters. Technical Papers ranging from core material technologies to power converters are sought that address important challenges and present solutions to increase reliability and manufacturability of power electronic components and systems while targeting increased performance and reduced system cost. This workshop is an opportunity to engage in a meaningful discussion about the latest technologies and techniques ongoing in both industry and academia, ensuring that a cooperative learning environment is fostered for all.
The conference has moved from the US to Europe for 2017 with more supporting organization sponsors (such as PSMA) engaged to broaden the available audience and overall breadth of the discussion. The co-sponsors have collaborated to form a technical and steering committee for the event and are encouraging their members and affiliates to participate.
PSMA will be heavily involved with the packaging portion of the workshop, where there are clear synergies and common areas of interest. We encourage our members to consider challenges from materials and devices through systems (thermal mechanical, interconnect, reliability, manufacturability…etc.) and welcome engagement across all disciplines. Industry partnership and exhibit space are also available to spur a unique blend of academia, research, and industry collaboration throughout the event.
Key dates for the workshop are as follows:
Abstract Submission: December 2, 2016
Notice of Acceptance: December 16, 2016
Final Paper Submission: February 3, 2017
Further details can be found at iwipp.org/conference/call-for-papers/
General Chair: Ty McNutt | Wolfspeed
Technical Chair: Patrick McCluskey | Univ. of Maryland
Local Chair: Bram Ferreira | TU Delft
Finance: Shashank Krishnamurthy | UTRC
Sponsors & Publications: Lauren Kegley | Wolfspeed
The Paris Climate Agreement became effective on November 4, 2016. This agreement is the most ambitious plan to curb greenhouse gases responsible for global warming. The agreement was conceived in 2015, supported by 191 countries, construed under United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and to date 84 countries, including China, India and the United States (US) have ratified this agreement. China, India and the US are three major countries responsible for 20.1%, 4.1% and 17. 9% of greenhouse gases respectively; so collectively, they represent 42.1% of the greenhouse gases. Without their serious participation and implementation of the plan, this agreement would be meaningless.
The Paris Climate Agreement has many goals, but most important among them is: "Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impact of climate change"
If all the countries who have signed this treaty follow their obligations, there will be a significant reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases and a slowdown in the rise of global temperature. The process on how to reduce greenhouse gases is up to each individual country and is dependent on their current status of greenhouse gases emissions, technical and financial resources and willingness to abide by this agreement without causing major economic disruption.
The reduction of greenhouse gases can be only accomplished by replacing some parts of the infrastructure systems that generate greenhouse gases by the systems that do not. Two major infrastructure systems that generate significant greenhouse gases are fossil fuel-based power generation and gasoline-based transportation. Substituting parts of these systems with non-polluting technologies using renewable energy in power generation and zero emission vehicles (ZEV) in transportation may accomplish goals set by the Paris Agreement by 2025. In power generation, there are many options including nuclear technologies, but it is widely believed that most will adopt solar and wind as replacements for coal and gas fired power generation. In transportation, ZEV will be mainly electric/hybrid vehicles. If the agreement is seriously adopted and followed by major countries, there will be a significant paradigm shift, from fossil-fuel based systems to electronic systems. This shift will provide massive opportunities for the power electronics industries, which will be at the center of the transformation.
Though global analysis of the total transformation is not possible in a short article, analyzing the US transformation may provide some insight. According to the US Energy Information & Administration, electricity generation in the US uses 33% coal, 33% natural gas, 20% nuclear, 6% hydropower, 0.6% solar, 4.7% wind, 1.7% other renewables and 1.0% other sources.
To combat climate change or global warming, the US had already developed policies, the Climate Action Plan, even before the Paris Agreement was discussed. It was developed in June 2013, and, if successfully and fully implemented, will meet the requirement of the Paris Climate Agreement. It will reduce greenhouse gases by 26% to 28% of 2005 levels by 2025. It is an ambitious plan, that states: "…In 2012, the President set a goal to issue permits for 10 gigawatts of renewables on public lands by the end of the year. The Department of the Interior achieved this goal ahead of schedule and the President directed it to permit an additional 10 gigawatts by 2020…".
Similarly, the administration has taken keen interest in providing information about the benefits of electric cars. The Department of Energy's eGallon program informs drivers about the comparative costs between gasoline and electric cars in each state to encourage them to adopt ZEV policies. The national average is about $1.14 per gallon of gasoline equivalent, so at current gas prices, it is cheaper to drive an electric car in the long run. California has an ambitious ZEV plan, which is based on a credit formula. If followed by all automakers, California will have about 1.5 million ZEVs by 2025.
China, which with about 20% of the global greenhouse gas emissions, has an even more ambitious plan. Coal accounts for about 73% of its electricity generation and to make any meaningful dent in its carbon footprint China will need very aggressive policies in the deployment of renewable energy. On June, 30, 2015, China submitted its own Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gases. Its target is to reduce carbon intensity (the amount of carbon used per unit of GDP produced) by 60-65% from 2005 levels.
Some scientists, businessmen and engineers are skeptical about many of the claims made by countries about their adopted strategies to meet goals set by the Paris Climate Agreement, but at least governments and industries are moving in the right direction and the year 2025 is not too far away. In the meantime, some interesting contradictory events are taking place, which will have some impact in meeting the Paris Agreement goals.
On October 24, 2016, it was announced that in 2015, carbon dioxide, a major component of global warming, reached 400 PPM, 44% more than pre-industrial levels. Noting such a rapid rise in carbon levels, some scientists argue that unless more drastic measures are taken, a tipping point will be reached soon and the Paris Agreement goals will be difficult to meet.
On October 26, 2016, it was announced that in 2015, the world installed more new renewable energy than coal, as countries attempted to shift away from fossil fuels and to take advantage of massive cost reductions in wind and solar technology. Thus, making some governments optimistic about reaching the Paris Agreement goals.
As mentioned before, whether the world will meet the goals of the Paris agreement by 2025 is an open question, but most countries are moving in the right direction. So, the portion of renewable energy in power generation and the use of electric vehicles in transportation will be increasing every year. That should benefit the power electronics industries, but to date, it seems there is no "rational exuberance" coming from the power electronics industries.
Provided by Mohan Mankikar,
The views expressed in this article are solely of Mohan Mankikar. They do not represent the views of PSMA. Mohan Mankikar has been a part of the power supply industry for over thirty years. An active member of the PSMA since its founding, he had been a board member of the PSMA and currently serves on the Advisory Council. He can be reached at:
incoln International’s Renewable Energy Group is pleased to present the latest Solar Energy Stock Index Report, which tracks relevant solar company metrics in this growing industry.
The Solar Energy Stock Index Report, published by our Global Renewable Energy Group each quarter, provides you with information on the following:
This data is included with the permission of Lincoln International. For more information, you may contact John McManus (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the Association Office.
incoln International is pleased to present you with the latest DealReader from our global Renewable Energy Industry group. This will provide you with:
incoln International is pleased to present you with the latest EMS Stock Index from our Global Electronics Industry Group. This report will provide you with:
Powerbox (PRBX), one of Europe’s largest power supply companies, and a leading force for four decades in optimizing power solutions for demanding applications, announced the addition of Fusion Sourcing Group as one of their manufacturing sales representative partners on the East Coast. Headquartered in NJ, with local offices in NY, NJ, Eastern PA, DE, MD, and VA, Fusion Sourcing Group brings to PRBX an immediate extended reach of highly capable, highly motivated, specialized power electronics sales professionals, who share in our common mission – to build lasting relationships with customer partners who value creative solutions to challenging power conversion problems in demanding applications.
According to Christopher Lins, Powerbox Vice President of Sales – North America, “Building a strong PRBX business in North America depends upon building strong partnership relationships with existing and potential customers. The pace at which we are able to accomplish this task is largely dependent on the pace at which we are able to find qualified opportunities in our target markets at the right time. The Fusion Sourcing Group team is laser-focused on power electronics. I am highly confident our combined efforts will offer customers a compelling safe-harbor in a sea of competing forces. When all you do is power, it matters.”
Adds Martin Sjöstrand, Powerbox CEO, “We are thrilled by this partnership, which by adding Fusion Sourcing Group local market knowledge, power product expertise, and a team of highly skilled sales professionals, will benefit all of our customers by bringing differentiated power solutions to their demanding applications.”
Gary Chessen, President of Fusion Sourcing Group, stated, "Powerbox' concentration on defining and creating innovative power solutions tailored to customer needs is a perfect addition for Fusion Sourcing Group in our mission to 'Be a Resource' for the customers we serve. Fusion's long-term commitment and history in the power electronics market place, coupled with Powerbox' extensive capabilities portfolio and product line up, puts us in a great position to meet our customers' requirements for current and future generations of products and applications. We are excited to be on board!"
ON Semiconductor Granted Trusted Test Status, Enhancing Credentials to Support U.S. Military and National Security Applications
Trusted Test complements company's existing Trusted accreditations, allowing ownership of end-to-end Trusted supply chain for its customers
ON Semiconductor, driving energy efficient innovations, has been granted Trusted Test status for its Pocatello, Idaho facility through the Department of Defense's (DoD)'s Defense MicroElectronics Activity (DMEA) accreditation program. The award adds to ON Semiconductor's existing Trusted Foundry, Trusted Design and Trusted Broker accreditations and improves overall program efficiency for Trusted projects, resulting in important customer benefits, including improved cycle time and reduced program costs.
Trusted Test Accreditation expands ON Semiconductor's commitment to the Trusted process flow, from design through product shipment, providing more control over Trusted supply chains. Combined with its Trusted Design and Trusted Foundry services, customers can also benefit from the company's Trusted Broker status where it will manage part or all of the complex Trusted services.
The accreditation program is part of the DoD's strategy to ensure that electronic components used in U.S. military and national security applications are trustworthy and secure. An assured "chain of custody," supply chain integrity, and prevention of tampering are critical for Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) used by national security agencies. A key part of the Trusted Foundry program is that it uniquely provides the U.S. Government with guaranteed access to leading edge trusted microelectronics services for low volume applications. ON Semiconductor's accreditation further demonstrates their investment in, and commitment to, meeting these stringent government requirements.
"The addition of Trusted Test Accreditation further demonstrates the high quality and security of our facility, processes and products," said Vince Hopkin, senior vice president, Digital and DC/DC division at ON Semiconductor. "Combined with previously awarded Trusted Foundry, Design and Broker accreditations, it allows us to offer improved project execution at reduced costs for new Trusted programs."
For more information, visit www.onsemi.com.
Positronic, a global manufacturer of high reliability electronic connector products based in Springfield, Missouri, USA, has appointed Powell Electronics as an authorized distributor for the full line of Positronic products in the North America market.
“We are pleased to establish a formal partnership with Powell Electronics, knowing their long-standing reputation and expertise for service and distribution in our industry”, states Positronic President and CEO, Mr John Gentry. “Powell is an excellent fit for us and a significant part of our channel to market strategy going forward,” he added.
According to Powell CEO, Mr Ernie Schilling, Jr, “Powell is honored to be a Positronic channel partner. We believe the synergies and similarities in corporate culture and shared market focus will lead to a very effective and successful engagement.”
Powell Electronics is now authorized to sell the entire Positronic connector product offering, which includes power and hybrid, D-sub, rectangular, modular and circular connectors. Many configurations of these series types will be stocked in the Powell Electronics warehouse in New Jersey and available for immediate shipping. Customized or tailored solutions are available as well.
Visit www.connectpositronic.com for more details.
ON Semiconductor Imaging Technology Plays Integral Role in World's First Multi-Aperture Computational Camera
Space saving, power-efficient customized image sensors prove instrumental in bringing performance and functionality normally associated with DSLRs into smartphone size designs
ON Semiconductor, driving energy efficiency innovations, has drawn on its extensive expertise in image sensor technology to help support Silicon Valley start-up Light. The company has provided Light with key imaging hardware for its game-changing L16 camera solution, which utilizes advanced computational processing to set new performance benchmarks.
ON Semiconductor recognized very early on that there would be an adoption of a multi-sensor approach to imaging within the consumer imaging markets. This has now been validated, with several dual camera systems. The Light L16 takes this trend much further, employing 16 image sensors that are distributed across the front surface of the camera to present the user with a light capture area equal to, or even exceeding, that of many digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras currently on the market. The L16 thereby enables dramatic improvements in resolution and optical zoom, while remaining aligned with the streamlined form factors of the handsets.
Through close collaboration with Light, ON Semiconductor was able to supply specially customized sensor devices, based on its 1/3.2-inch format AR1335 CMOS image sensor product offering. These had the cutting-edge pixel technology and inherent compactness necessary to meet both the unique configuration and elevated operational demands of the L16. With up to 10 sensor devices capturing image data simultaneously, this solution delivers an impressive 52 megapixel (MP) resolution, plus over 5X optical zoom without any degradation in image quality.
"Leveraging ON Semiconductor's deep imaging heritage and proven industry-leading technical capabilities to support the innovative ideas of an exciting start-up is a powerful combination," said Taner Ozcelik, Senior Vice President and General Manager of ON Semiconductor's Image Sensor Group. "For the L16, we leveraged our extensive product portfolio that covers a wide range of optical formats and resolutions for scientific, industrial, space, automotive and consumer sectors."
"Light is pleased to have worked with ON Semiconductor on the L16 camera. The input from their experienced engineering team has shown itself to be invaluable in the development of this camera," states Dr. Rajiv Laroia, co-founder and CTO of Light. "Thanks to their efforts we have been able to design a compact, power efficient image sensor subsystem that is fully optimized for our specific needs. This is the first commercially available imaging solution to contain such a large array of image sensing devices, and we expect it to have a major impact on the photography industry."
For more information, visit www.onsemi.com.
Driving new efficiencies through automotive electrification
Imagine electric cars dropping us off at our destinations, and then directing themselves to parking spaces to quickly recharge until needed again. Imagine these self-driving cars operating with zero-emissions throughout our cities, communicating with themselves and the infrastructure, while providing passengers with safety, comfort and convenience. Advanced electronics are driving many changes in automobiles to enable this vision.
Download and learn about:
- Trends and challenges with the changeover to electric vehicles (EVs), hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs) and electronically assisted combustion engines.
- Technology requirements for a wide range of electrical/combustion configurations
- A dual 12-/48-V architecture for both battery-operated and power-hungry applications throughout the car
- Other advancements, including high-voltage technology, circuit isolation and GaN
Download at www.ti.com.
Non-Isolated Digital Point-of-Load Standard for 60 A Current Range Published by Architects of Modern Power®
New ‘gigaAMP™’ standard builds upon previous standards released by AMP Group for non-isolated platforms
The Architects of Modern Power® (AMP Group) consortium today announced an additional standard aimed at establishing common mechanical and electrical specifications for the development of advanced power conversion technology for distributed power systems. The ‘gigaAMP™’ standard, introduced to provide a higher current option in a land-grid array (LGA) footprint, builds on the previously-released ‘picoAMP™’ standard, published in September 2015, which defined standards for a lower range of non-isolated platforms ranging from 6 A to 18 A. The 60 A ‘gigaAMP’ standard defines a compact footprint of 25.1 x 14.1 mm in an LGA format.
The new ‘gigaAMP’ standard also adds to the previously released ‘teraAMP™’ standard for non-isolated digital point-of-load (POL) dc-dc converters, released in February 2015, and the ‘microAMP™’ and ‘megaAMP™’ standards released during electronica in November 2014. The first products to meet with this new ‘gigaAMP’ standard will be announced by AMP Group® members later in the year.
“The ‘gigaAMP’ standard is a continuation of the AMP Group’s efforts to establish industry standards that cover every aspect of board-level digital power technology,” stated Martin Hägerdal, President of Ericsson Power Modules. “And the addition of this new standard at 60 A helps to further address the growing demands on performance, complexity and flexibility in intelligent power supply infrastructures,” added Steve Pimpis, President & CEO of Murata Power Solutions.
The Architects of Modern Power consortium formed in October 2014 is an alliance between CUI, Ericsson Power Modules and Murata with the objective of providing the most technically advanced, end-to-end solutions with a complete ecosystem of hardware, software and support. Whereas other power supply standards groups are only focused on the mechanical specifications of board mount power supplies, the AMP Group has realized that the standardization of monitoring, control and communications functions, and the creation of common configuration files for plug-and-play interoperability will define the future of intelligent distributed power systems.
incoln International is pleased to present you with the latest EMS DealReader from our Global Electronics Industry Group. This will provide you with:
- Q2 2016 deal volume comparison by total transactions, deal type, geography and size
- Recent EMS transaction announcements
- Margin Performance in the EMS Industry
he world market for merchant power supplies is rose 3.9 percent year over year to reach $19.7 billion in 2015. Growth is expected to remain flat in 2016, before stabilizing to modest growth from 2017 to 2020. IHS Markit forecasts that the market will reach $23 billion in revenue by 2020.
AC-DC Non-Commodity Market to Exceed AC-DC Commodity Market in 2016
IHS Markit splits the market into “commodity” high-volume consumer power supplies and lower-volume “non-commodity” power supplies, in order to improve the clarity of the analysis.
The AC-DC non-commodity market is projected to be the fastest-growing market on a revenue basis from 2015 to 2020, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.2 percent, according to the IHS Markit Power Supplies Intelligence Service. The increase will be driven by strong growth in the lighting and military and aerospace markets, in particular. In 2016 the AC-DC non-commodity market is expected to exceed the AC-DC commodity market in revenue, becoming the largest merchant power-supply market by type.
Revenue for the AC-DC commodity market peaked in 2015, as demand declined in key commodity applications -- in particular, power supplies for computer and office and mobile devices and chargers.
Revenue for the DC-DC converter market is estimated to have grown by almost 4 percent in 2015. Much of this growth was driven by the server, networking and the military and aerospace markets. Growth is predicted to slow from 2016 to 2020, as demand for some segments of end-equipment weakens – particularly, cellular infrastructure.
LED Lighting Leads Growth in Non-Commodity Power Supplies
Lighting is projected to be the fastest-growing application from 2015 to 2020. The market for merchant power supplies in lighting applications is estimated to have been worth $1.26 billion in 2015, which accounted for 6.4 percent of total market revenues. The lighting market for power supplies is projected to increase to $5.2 billion in 2020 as LED lighting adoption penetrates the commercial markets.
Provided by Victoria Fodale,
Power Magnetics @ High Frequency
Transforming the Black Magic to Engineering
Date: Saturday March 25, 2017
The PSMA Magnetics Committee and IEEE PELS are organizing the second “Power Magnetics @ High Frequency – Transforming the Black Magic to Engineering” workshop to be held on Saturday, March 25, 2017 - the day before and in the same venue as APEC 2017 at the Tampa Convention Center.
The organizing committee is currently working on the specifics for the workshop structure and the presentations. The primary focus of the workshop is to address the latest improvements in magnetic materials, coil (winding) design, construction and fabrication, evaluation and characterization techniques and modelling and simulation tools so as to target the advancements that are deemed necessary to meet the evolving market needs. The technical expectations and requirements for higher application frequencies and emerging topologies are being driven by recent advances in circuits topologies and semi-conductor devices to satisfy new market applications.
The target audiences for the workshop include the designers of power magnetic components for use in electronic power converters to achieve higher power densities, specific physical aspect ratios such as low profile, higher power efficiencies, improved thermal performance etc. Other target audiences are the manufacturers of magnetic materials and magnetic structures, the fabricators of magnetic components, the providers of modelling and simulation software as well as the manufacturers of test and characterization equipment who are all critical participants in the supply chain for the power magnetics industry.
The agenda of the workshop is designed so that there will be keynote presentations by invited speakers followed by question and answer forum addressing the latest trends in:
- conductor geometries and magnetic core geometries for reducing physical size while minimizing ac power losses
- magnetic materials
- design and fabrication (manufacturing) techniques
- design techniques, simulation tools and modelling
- power conversion topologies and applications driving the reduction of the physical size while improving the efficiency of power magnetics technologies
The keynote presentations will be followed by an interactive session of table top technology demonstrations each addressing specific technical disciplines and capabilities consistent with the workshop agenda. The session will begin with a brief overview and mapping of up to nine technology demonstration stations. Current plans are for each technology demonstration station to provide a ten-minute presentation. Interaction between the attendees and the presenters will be encouraged during this portion of agenda as a segue from the opening keynote presentation and the technical issues session which will follow. The technical disciplines expected to be displayed during the technical demonstration session include:
- AC power loss measurements
- Core loss modelling and/or simulation with empirical verification
- Inductor modelling supported by empirical verification
- Near magnetic field measurements
- Thermal measurements
- Impedance measurements
- Engineering methodology specific to new structures and/or magnetic materials including both modeling and verification
- Roadmaps addressing the needs of the power magnetics industry
- Standardization activity addressing any of the above topics
The third session of the workshop will be a technical issues session. Three potential technical issues have been proposed based upon responses to the attendee survey conducted after last year’s workshop. These are:
- engineering magnetic materials and structures for emerging applications,
- engineering, physical, electrical and thermal integration of magnetics into power supplies, and
- engineering technical and manufacturing trade-offs to include safety agency requirements during commercial product development.
The presenter for each technical issue will provide typical traditional engineering solutions and discuss several alternative engineering approaches to the technical issue before focusing on the solution that they will propose.
The fourth and final session is currently planned to be a combination of a wrap-up session followed by small focus group discussions. The first portion of this session would be identification of items to be addressed by a roadmap for the magnetics industry covering de-facto industry practices and standards and emerging trends as well as both short term goals covering incremental improvements and longer term evolutions that are on the horizon. The second portion of this session will allow additional interaction between the attendees and the presenters on a one on one or in small focus groups.
The organizing committee welcomes suggestions for specific topics that would be of general interest to the magnetics and the power industries. In addition, the committee welcome proposals for participating as a presenter in the technical demonstration session and proposals for technical issues that should be addressed. Please contact email@example.com with your suggestions and proposals or contact Matt Wilkowski of the organizing committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The latest information on agenda as well as registration information for the workshop will become available on the PSMA website over the next few months at: www.psma.com/technical-forums/magnetics/workshop .
Steve Carlsen, Raytheon Systems Company
Rodney Rogers, VAC Magnetics LLC
Fred Weber, Future Technology Worldwide
Chuck Wild, Dexter Magnetic Technologies Inc.
Matt Wilkowski, Altera
PSMA Offers Power Supply Safety & Compliance Database as Free Resource for All Industry Professionals
On-line database provides comprehensive review of international operational, environmental and safety standards; access offered free to PSMA members and non-members
The Power Sources Manufacturers Association (PSMA) announces the availability of a new on-line Safety & Compliance Database. The continually updated resource lists the many state, national and worldwide organizations currently active in establishing and maintaining safety, electromagnetic compatibility, material toxicity and environmental standards for power supplies used in commercial applications. Recognizing the database as an invaluable tool for power electronics industry professionals, the PSMA is offering it free of charge to both PSMA members and non-members alike.
Intended users of the Safety & Compliance Database are those who design power systems for products that will be offered in the global marketplace, and who therefore need to comply with current and evolving safety and standards for their target markets. The database can be searched by specific applications; giving the most recent status of standards, identifying key documents, meetings and milestones associated with each standard, and providing links to the appropriate websites of controlling organizations.
“As companies design their new products for global markets, they have to grapple with current, new – and sometimes conflicting – safety standards and regulations,” reported Kevin Parmenter and Jim Spangler, co-chairs of the PSMA Safety & Compliance Committee. “Our new Safety & Compliance Database provides a vital resource for engineers and product planners as they keep abreast of standards, including ongoing activities, proposed changes and updates, and information on the latest versions.”
The PSMA contracted with Anagenesis Inc. to create and provide continual updates to the database. Interested users can opt in to receive weekly email alerts about new information and changes. The database also features the ability for users to request permission to direct and track information on emerging standards, which enables the database to evolve and improve.
The Safety & Compliance Database is easily accessible from the Quick Links on the upper right of the PSMA homepage or the Safety Database tab of the Safety & Compliance Technical Forum. Anyone who already has an account on the PSMA website, just needs to log in to access the database. Those who have not yet registered must follow an easy registration process to request access.
ON Semiconductor Joins Automotive Equipment Supplier Association That Champions Business Interests of Members
Enables Closer Collaboration on Important Policy Issues, Such as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems
ON Semiconductor, driving energy efficiency innovations, today announced that it is joining the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA), which champions the business interests of more than 430 member automotive suppliers. All members also belong to the parent Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), which represents more than 1,000 companies from both the original equipment and aftermarket segments of the light vehicle and commercial vehicle industries.
Joining these organizations enables ON Semiconductor to work more closely with its customers on the policy issues that matter to the automotive industry, such as the promotion of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). MEMA estimates that ADAS technologies alone have the potential to prevent 30 percent of all crashes, and ON Semiconductor is a leading supplier of the components that are used in these systems.
"As the No. 2 ranked non-microcontroller automotive semiconductor supplier, we have long recognized the importance of working closely with customers to promote the policies and technologies that will advance innovation in vital areas like safety and sustainability," said Lance Williams, vice president of automotive strategy and OEM development at ON Semiconductor. "OESA and MEMA are two of the automotive industry's most well respected trade associations, and we look forward to expanding our collaborations with their more than 1,000 member companies."
About OESA and MEMA
The Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) champions the business interests of more than 430 member organizations. Since 1998, the association is committed to addressing issues of common concern throughout the supply chain, and advocating on behalf of the automotive supplier community. OESA strives to foster collaboration throughout the supply chain and help members make critical business decisions. Through industry events, peer group councils, research and analysis, OESA provides relevant, timely and unique information and resources to and for the automotive supplier industry.
OESA is one of four divisions of the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA). MEMA is the trade association for motor vehicle and mobility suppliers and parts manufacturers and remanufacturers. Its members supply both the original equipment and aftermarket segments of the light vehicle (car and truck) and commercial vehicle (on- and off-road) industries. MEMA serves the industry as the voice of the motor vehicle and mobility supplier industry, speaking out on behalf of the largest manufacturing sector in the United States.
For more information, visit www.onsemi.com.
Power Magnetics @ High Frequency- Solving the Black Magic!
Date: Saturday March 19 2016
APEC 2016 Long Beach California
he inaugural “Power Magnetics @ High Frequency – Solving the Black Magic!” workshop sponsored by the PSMA Magnetics Committee and IEEE PELS was held on the day before APEC 2016, Saturday March 19, 2016 from 7:00 AM thru 5:00 PM in Long Beach California.
The workshop has been described by a number of attendees as an unprecedented number of magnetics expertise in a single meeting. The number of workshop attendees was 130+ with about 85% of the attendees from industry and 15% of the attendees from academia/research. The agenda of the workshop included panel discussions and technology demonstrations to supplement traditional lecture type presentations which led to high energy dialogue between the attendees and the invited experts throughout the workshop.
The purpose and the focus of the inaugural workshop was to:
- identify the latest improvements in areas of magnetic materials, coil (winding) design, construction and fabrication,
- identify, discuss and demonstrate evaluation and characterization techniques as well as modelling and simulation tools needed to meet the technical expectations and requirements for power magnetics operating at higher frequencies
- identify and discuss the technical expectations and requirements of higher application frequencies and emerging topologies that are being driven by continuous advances in circuits topologies, semi-conductor devices driven by new market applications.
Many thanks to the invited presenters and panelists which included Dr. Charles Sullivan (Dartmouth), Dr. David Perreault (MIT), Dr. Ray Ridley (Ridley Engineering), Bruce Carsten, Dr. Khurram Afridi (University of Colorado, Boulder), Jenna Pollack, James Lau (CWS), Mark Christini, (Ansys), Len Crane (Coilcraft), Ruska Patton (EMSCAN), Colin Warwick (Keysight Technologies), Mike Wens (MinDCet), Tom Wilson (Simplis Technologies), Jason Cuadra (Transphorm), Rodney Rogers (Vac Magnetics), J. C. Sun (Bs&T Technologies), Cem Som (Wurth Elektronik), Chuck Wild (Dexter Magnetics), Joel Salas (Ferroxcube), Anuj Sharma (Hitachi), Chris Oliver (Micrometals), Brian Hatley (Miles Platts), Kyle Jensen (Rubadue Wire).
Based on post workshop survey results, the High Frequency Magnetics workshop series will continue, and plans are for a second workshop in conjunction with APEC 2017 in Tampa Florida. In an effort to increase the interaction during the second workshop, an increased emphasis on the technology demonstration sessions will be pursued so as to increase the “hands on” and “how to” dialogue. The second workshop will also continue to drive efforts to improve the characterization and specification of magnetic materials and magnetic core to support the power electronics industry and identify efforts to move the industry forward in terms of magnetic material and magnetic structure development.
Anyone interested in participating as a presenter or as part of the technology demonstration session during the workshop in Tampa Florida should contact Matt Wilkowski (email@example.com). We are looking forward to the second workshop and driving the industry forward to meet the expectations of the workshop attendees.
Steve Carlsen Raytheon
Ed Herbert Independent Inventor
Rodney Rogers VAC Magnetics LLC
Matt Wilkowski Altera
he total market for power semiconductors based on wide-band-gap materials, such as silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN), is forecast to pass the $1 billion mark in the next five years. Energized by demand from hybrid and electric vehicles, power supplies, and photovoltaic (PV) inverters, global revenue from SiC and GaN power semiconductors is projected to rise to $3.7 billion in 2025, up from just $210 million in 2015, according to IHS Inc., the leading global source of critical information and insight. Revenue is projected to grow with a double-digit annual growth for the next decade.
All AC-DC power supplies rated at 75 watts (W) and above, and power supplies used in lighting applications rated at 25W and above, are required to include power factor correction (PFC), according to the latest IHS SiC & GaN Power Semiconductors Report. SiC devices, starting with SiC Schottky diodes, have generally only been used in the power factor correction circuit for AC-DC power supplies. The use of SiC Schottky barrier diodes in power supplies, particularly in the power factor correction (PFC) stage of AC-DC power supplies, has been increasing rapidly. The main benefits of using SiC diodes is that faster switching can be achieved, resulting in lower power conversion losses and increased power density.
In contrast to SiC, GaN power semiconductors may offer a viable competitor to silicon diodes and transistors across a full range of high and low voltages; and they could be used in all areas of power-supply design. Although GaN devices could potentially be used in more power supplies eventually, they will not account for the majority of SiC and GaN revenue in the power supply application, over the next 10 years. In fact, revenue from GaN sales comprise less than a third of total revenue in 2025.
Most single-phase electricity mains power supplies in consumer and office equipment typically use 600V–650V devices, making them an ideal target for GaN power transistors. However, apart from telecommunications and server supplies with special requirements, these power supplies will most likely continue to rely on Si semiconductors. Industrial three-phase mains power supplies requiring 1200V-rated devices are better suited to SiC technology.
Since IHS began studying the SiC and GaN power market in 2009, GaN Schottky diode development has almost completely stopped, because GaN diodes do not offer very compelling benefits over Si Schottky diodes below 600V. It has proved too costly to develop GaN diodes to the point where they could be made price competitive with silicon diodes. Furthermore, SiC Schottky diodes are considered to have adequate performance and a competitive pricing roadmap. The first GaN Schottky diodes are not expected to be commercially available before 2020, at the earliest.
The forecast shown in the figure below summarizes specific power supply applications: computing, telecommunication, consumer devices, and all other power supplies. For the sake of consistency, device prices and their declines are assumed to be the same for each power supply application.
Computing Power Supplies
An average of over 15 percent of all computing power supplies contained PFC circuitry in 2015, but this proportion is expected to decline – falling to less than 7 percent in 2025. As equipment power efficiency improves over time, shipments of commodity power supplies for computing applications without PFC circuits are expected to grow faster than non-commodity power supplies with PFC circuitry.
Computing and server power supplies will be the most valuable sector for wide bandgap semiconductors, because the efficiency benefits will provide the best energy cost savings in this application sector.
Telecommunication Power Supplies
Of these areas, backbone, networking equipment and cellular phone infrastructure employ PFC in most power supplies used. Base-station power supplies usually have 48Vdc outputs and are commonly known in the market as “48V rectifiers.”
Many power supply vendors have already been using SiC Schottky diodes in the PFC circuits for years. There is interest in wider adoption of SiC and GaN devices in the future, as increased switching frequency and efficiency improvements appear possible. However, this increase in adoption is not predicted to happen until reliability is proven and prices fall to roughly double those of the silicon discretes they replace.
In contrast, the adoption of GaN power transistors is only just beginning. GaN power devices offer many of the same advantages over silicon as SiC devices; but they should, in theory, cost less than SiC power devices. However, GaN is a much newer technology, with far less life-test data to prove reliability. The first high-end switch-mode power supplies for telecom and data center applications using GaN transistors will start mass production in 2016.
Consumer Electronics Power Supplies
Of these products, approximately 13 percent employed power factor correction (PFC) in 2015. Again, this proportion is expected to decline slowly, falling to under 10 percent in 2023, as equipment becomes more power efficient and fewer power supplies exceed the 75W threshold above which PFC is required. Only 1 percent of power supplies in consumer electronics use DC-DC converters.
Other Power Supplies
Less than 3 percent of power supplies for products, other than those listed above, used PFC in 2015, but the proportion of “other” power supplies requiring PFC is expected to increase to 6 percent in 2025. Shipments of power supplies for lighting applications, which require PFC above 25W output, are forecast to grow faster than other applications in this group. Fewer than 2 percent of power supplies in “other” applications use DC-DC converters.
Although the market for power supplies for “other” applications is very large, only a small proportion require PFC. Like consumer electronics, adoption of SiC and GaN power semiconductors will remain very low until device prices fall close to parity with Si MOSFETs and IGBTs.
IHS estimates that revenue from SiC and GaN power semiconductors used in power supplies exceeded $100 million in 2015, with SiC Schottky diodes accounting for over 80 percent of the total. Sales of SiC MOSFETs, other SiC transistors (including SiC JFETs and SiC bipolar junction transistors) and SiC power modules will increase as the market adopts wide-band-gap semiconductors, but will only increase the total market by a relatively small amount.
In contrast, the device type with the fastest growing market is projected to be GaN power transistors. Prices for GaN transistors are closing in on Si prices, and are anticipated to match Si alternatives in about 2018 or 2019. They are already low enough to trigger power supply manufacturers to start designing in GaN, leading to revenue taking off in 2018. The wide-band-gap market share of GaN power discretes (transistors and diodes) is forecast to rise from 4 percent in 2015 to 24 percent in 2025. The integration of GaN transistors into GaN modules is forecast to cause a rise in module sales to over $22 million (7 percent market share) by 2025.
SiC Schottky diodes will remain the most valuable wide bandgap semiconductor type overall, but their share of the market will fall below 50 percent by 2025, as the total market passes $450 million.
Power supplies are already an important market for silicon carbide, with the power supplies market for SiC devices set to triple in the next 10 years. The power supplies market for GaN devices is forecast to grow from only 5 percent of the market in 2015, to more than 30 percent in 10 years’ time.
Twelve-member board of directors brings together industry leadership and expertise covering the gamut of technological advances impacting the power sources industry
The Power Sources Manufacturers Association (PSMA) is pleased to announce that a new slate of officers has been elected to lead its board of directors for the 2016-2018 term. The new officers are Chairman Eric Persson (Infineon), President Stephen Oliver (Navitas Semiconductor), Vice President Michael Hayes (Tyndal National Laboratories), and Secretary/Treasurer Michel Grenon, (Gaia Converter Inc.).
“Power conversion has emerged as an enabling technology in the electronics industry,” said Ernie Parker, PSMA’s new chairman. “Our Association’s critical work in producing its Technology Roadmap plus the influential work being carried out by PSMA coommittees, including Packaging, Alternative Energy, Energy Harvesting, and many others relies on the active participation of our members. We welcome and encourage all companies in our industry to become part of the organization.”
The twelve members of the board are elected by the member company representatives to serve three-year terms, with four members rotating off each year. In addition to the new officers, the following members round out PSMA’s board of directors for 2016-17:
Dusty Becker, Emerson Energy Systems
Alain Chapius, Bel Power Solutions
Ed Herbert, Independent Inventor
Brian Narveson, Narveson Innovative Consulting
Ernie Parker, Crane Electronics
Kevin Parmenter, Excelsys Technologies
Conor Quinn, Artesyn Embedded Technologies
Donald Woodard, Venable Corporation
Wolfspeed Launches the New SpeedFit Online Circuit Simulation Tool to Help Accelerate SiC Device Evaluation and Adoption
Developed using Plexim’s PLECS web-based simulation platform, Wolfspeed’s SpeedFit online simulation tool is the industry’s only such tool that is 100% dedicated to simulating and evaluating SiC power devices
Wolfspeed, A Cree Company, a leading global supplier of silicon carbide (SiC) power products — including best-in-class SiC MOSFETs, Schottky diodes, and modules — has introduced a free online circuit simulation tool that allows power electronics design engineers to simulate and evaluate the performance of SiC-based power circuits, and to aid in the selection of the optimum SiC devices for each application.
“The SpeedFit™ simulation tool allows designers to determine the right SiC device for their power system in mere seconds, a process that previously required hours examining datasheets and making calculations,” said Guy Moxey, Wolfspeed’s senior director of power marketing. “We’re confident this tool will increase the rate and ease of SiC-device adoption worldwide.”
Developed using the proven PLECS® web-based simulation platform from Plexim, the new SpeedFit circuit simulation tool features a simple, intuitive interface that power electronics design engineers can use to simulate any SiC-based power converter circuit topology: DC/DC, AC/DC, or DC/AC. Users simply input their specific application parameters, and the SpeedFit tool generates a comprehensive analysis of SiC device performance, including: voltage and current waveforms, average switching and conduction losses, and maximum junction temperature for specific operating conditions.
Engineers have the ability to select a topology, specify their recommended SiC power device or choose one from the library, define their thermal interface parameters and cooling method, and see the results immediately. The Speedfit simulation tool also allows users to specify external gate resistance, as well as major passive component values present in the circuit, allowing them to compare performance results for several different circuit configurations and devices. The tool quickly, easily, and accurately summarizes system parameters, device part numbers, and simulation results in a single, concise report.
“Since the SpeedFit simulation tool was successfully developed using our widely-adopted simulation engine, Wolfspeed has made files containing loss and thermal impedance information for their SiC devices available on their website so current PLECS platform users can download and access models for Wolfspeed™ SiC power devices,” said Kristofer Eberle, business development manager, Plexim. “Our PLECS Standalone tool features a free demo mode that provides access to a collection of pre-built designs, and can be accessed, along with free PLECS trial licenses for custom model development, on the Plexim website.”
Power electronics design engineers can access the free SpeedFit simulation tool now at www.wolfspeed.com/speedfit.
Course helps students understand connected embedded systems from microcontroller to cloud
Imagination Technologies (IMG.L) and Microchip Technology, together with Digilent Inc. announce the Connected MCU Lab, a new course developed through the companies’ respective university programs. The semester-long curriculum, available to universities worldwide, is designed to be an introductory and first microcontroller (MCU) class taken by undergraduate electronic engineering and computer science students. It delivers an interactive and compelling start to connected embedded systems education – covering MCUs and input/output (I/O), real-time operating system concepts, advanced MIPS processor architecture and cloud connectivity – all presented in a fresh and jargon-free style.
The Connected MCU Lab takes a hands-on approach, leveraging a Wi-Fi® enabled development board, tools, software, and cloud services – everything needed to design innovative Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. Lessons are based around the chipKIT™ Wi-FIRE board from Digilent Inc., which uses Microchip’s popular PIC32MZ MCU incorporating a 32-bit MIPS M-Class CPU from Imagination. A chipKIT Basic I/O Shield is used for expansion along with a PICkit™ 3 In-Circuit Debugger from Microchip. Teachers and students have free access to professional software tools including MPLAB® X Integrated Development Environment, MPLAB XC32 C compiler, and MPLAB Harmony Software Development Framework from Microchip, as well as Imagination’s cloud technologies.
The Connected MCU Lab curriculum, authored by Dr. Alexander Dean of North Carolina State University, includes presentation slides for each module, student guide, exercises, tests, solutions, and an Instructor’s Guide.
Says Robert Owen, manager, Worldwide University Programme at Imagination: “The need for internet connectivity and the demand for ease of development are rapidly driving the embedded world towards 32-bit MCUs. As a result, the next generation of embedded system designers and developers need to understand the techniques of connecting embedded systems to the cloud. This is an urgent teaching requirement as many college courses today are still using 8-bit and 16-bit MCUs. The Connected MCU Lab course makes it easy to give the next generation of engineers the skills they need. The 32-bit MIPS CPUs at the heart of Microchip’s popular PIC32 MCUs are ideal for teaching and projects, and the Wi-FIRE board is powerful enough to support very ambitious projects, enabling this course to provide a foundation on which students can grow throughout their degree.”
The MIPS CPU IP core in the PIC32 MCU is part of the same family as “MIPSfpga,” a soft IP core used in many computer architecture and SoC courses, thereby creating powerful synergy between two vital branches of engineering education.
Says Derek Carlson, vice president, development tools at Microchip Technology: “This latest offering demonstrates our ongoing commitment to delivering the highest standard of embedded education to the academic communities. By providing access to our popular PIC32MZ family of high-performance MCUs, we are empowering next-generation engineers and research students to better understand the increasing demands of future applications and gain hands-on experience of IoT design. Additionally, our MPLAB X Integrated Development Environment and MPLAB Harmony Integrated Software Framework will help students accelerate software integration, and gain deeper insight into product development cycles.”
Says Steve Johnson, president at Digilent Inc.: “At Digilent, our mission is to make electrical engineering and design technologies understandable and accessible to all, by providing high-value, industry-relevant educational tools and curriculum to educators and students. We are proud to partner with Imagination and Microchip to offer this new course that introduces students to the exciting world of cloud-connected embedded devices. As part of the Connected MCU Lab, the chipKIT Wi-FIRE boards will help students get projects up and running quickly, and open a large selection of options they can utilize in the development process to empower them to create ambitious solutions.”
Eighteen universities across Australia, China, Germany, Israel, Portugal, Russia and the United Kingdom participated in the Connected MCU Lab beta program. Academics are welcome to visit www.imgtec.com/universityhttp://www.imgtec.com/university to register and access the course materials.
Online seminar series will provide expert forums discussing power technology trends; twice-monthly events throughout 2016 will set the stage for the 2017 PTR edition
The Power Sources Manufacturers Association’s Power Technology Roadmap Committee announces a year-long series of webinars as a lead-up to the next edition of the PTR, to be published in March 2017. The webinar series, hosted by the PSMA, will gather experts from different fields to offer a range of technological perspectives. In addition to setting the groundwork for the upcoming roadmap, the webinars will provide participants with first-hand access to expert opinions on technology trends. The webinars will be held on the second and fourth Thursday of each month from 10:00-11:00 a.m. (Central time), beginning Jan. 14.
“PSMA members will automatically receive email invitations to register for each seminar in the series,” reported Conor Quinn of Artesyn Embedded Technologies and Dhaval Dalal of ON Semiconductor, co-chairs of the 2017 edition of the Power Technology Roadmap. “Non-members can also attend the events, free of charge, by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request an invitation.”
The webinar series will include a number of highly regarded industry speakers covering components, systems, packaging and applications. Renowned industry expert, Ray Ridley, PhD, will kick off the series with the webinar: “Trends in High-Frequency Magnetics and Power Supply Design.” Other scheduled topics include: 3D packaging concepts (Brian Narveson, Narveson Innovative Consulting), wireless power transfer (Dr. Siamak Abedinpour, IDT), and GaN power ICs (Stephen Oliver, Navitas Semiconductor). For updates to the schedule and news of webinars to be added, please visit: http://www.psma.com/technical-forums/roadmap/news-events.
“The PTR webinars provide a window into technology trends and are unique in terms of their diversity of perspectives, commercial-free tone and the opportunity they offer for audience interaction with industry experts. We are always looking to enrich and expand our panel of webinar presenters and we welcome any proposal from prospective speakers,” said Joe Horzepa, Executive Director, PSMA.
The 2017 edition will be introduced at APEC 2017 with a summary of the key findings to be presented as part of the APEC 2017 Plenary Session. For those interested, Horzepa added: “the PTR Committee welcomes subject matter experts who are willing to actively participate and contribute in the development of the 2017 PSMA Power Technology Roadmap.”
About the Power Technology Roadmap
The Power Technology Roadmap provides a consolidated outlook of trends in power conversion technology for the next two to five years. The trends provided in the report are intended to give a broad outlook of the power conversion technologies, components and applications. The complete Roadmap document is published every two years, incorporating the content of the Roadmap Webinars Series conducted over the months prior to publication.
A Tool for Current Benchmarking and Future Strategic Planning
ecently PSMA published its biennial Power Technology Roadmap, The PTR 2015. Beginning in 1994, this is 9th edition of the Roadmap. Though originally started as a triennial project, the roadmap is now published once every two years, because of rapidly changing technology, quick obsolescence of existing technologies and ever widening scope of power/energy landscape.
The Technology Roadmap is an extensive report that not only projects forecasts of various power supply-related parameters, but also provides essays and presentations on various power supply-related technology topics. It is a multidimensional document that covers a wide spectrum of power supply related subjects in both a quantitative and qualitative manner. It is an anthology of power supply related technologies.
At the heart of the Roadmap report are the quantitative trends of important technical parameters such as efficiency, power density, control topologies and many other in four different power supplies. For the 2015 Roadmap Edition, these power supplies are: AC-DC front end, AC-DC external power supplies, isolated DC-DC converters and non-isolated, point of load converters (POLs). These four types of power supplies are selected because they currently represent the majority of product spectrum. They are offered by many power supply companies and widely used in many applications. The parametric trends are time-based and projected out to 2019. This is very useful for learning the trajectory of the power supply technologies for various aspects of product development. Though these are mostly technology related parameters, they are also useful in the marketing of power supplies. From that perspective, the Roadmap provides inputs for future product development and successful business practice.
The data and trends included in the Roadmap report are not easily available in the power supply industry, as it mainly consists of many small private companies. The information is generally not publicly or widely available and that can lead to wrong forecasts and computations. For example, not too long ago, during a Server Consortium meeting, some participants were using the baseline efficiency of a front-end power supply at 77 percent, and showed that an efficiency gain of 92 percent would result in "significant saving" in electricity use and resulting carbon emission. It was unknown to many of the participants that the front end power supply efficiency had already reached 88 percent at that time and the gain in efficiency would be of 4 percent instead of 15 percent, as initially forecasted. So the savings in electricity use and carbon emission would be less than predicted. A document like the PSMA Power Technology Roadmap would have come handy in their assumption, methodology and computation. Most participants in this meeting were server manufacturers, university professors and government agency representatives and their assumptions about existing power supply efficiency were arbitrary and not up to date.
The PSMA Power Technology Roadmap provides the time relevant objective market information, because the organizers and contributing participants are part of the power supply/electronics industry; the market data is from a wide number of sources directly involved in the respective industries.
Interestingly, the 2015 Roadmap also provides some retrospective analysis. An analysis was made of the projected data from previous roadmaps and checked against the current data to see if the projections were on track. For example, they looked at the efficiency projections forecasted in 2010 versus actual efficiency achieved in 2015. It was projected that for a 48 VDC front end power supply, the efficiency in 2015 would be 93 percent, while the actual efficiency in 2015 turned out to be 96 percent. So the projections were pessimistic in this case. Depending on the parameters, some projections were pessimistic and while others were optimistic. But the retrospective analysis provides a deeper understanding of various trends that should be helpful in future forecasting. In that respect, the PSMA 2015 Roadmap is an important report that can provide companies with technology data for benchmarking their current products, and technology trends for strategic planning.
In addition to the trend analyses, the PSMA 2015 Roadmap also contains essays and presentations on a wide variety of technology topics including: 3D packaging, power SoCs, additive manufacturing, high frequency magnetics, wireless charging, smart grid, energy storage and smart buildings. The scope of this report is very extensive and can be viewed in the table of contents at:www.psma.com/sites/default/files/uploads/psmaptr2015toc.pdf
Producing the biennial Power Technology Roadmap is one of the crowning achievements for PSMA. It is no easy task to organize and energize many participants to volunteer their time and efforts to produce a document that is as complex and comprehensive in a wide variety of power supply related technologies. Participating in this project in a true volunteer spirit as well as a great learning experience for the participants and the industry and is invaluable in understanding the technical evolution and applications of power supplies.
Provided by Mohan Mankikar,
The views expressed in this article are solely of Mohan Mankikar. They do not represent the views of PSMA. Mohan Mankikar has been a part of the power supply industry for over thirty years. An active member of the PSMA since its founding, he had been a board member of the PSMA and currently serves on the Advisory Council. He can be reached at:
SMA is pleased to announce the formation of a new technical committee, the Safety & Compliance Committee. If you or your company is involved with the design and marketing of power products it is critical that they comply with the safety and emission standards where they are sold. You are invited to participate in the Safety & Compliance Committee and benefit from the discussions and alerts on existing and changing standards.
The PSMA Safety & Compliance Committee mission is to provide a resource for our members and the power electronics community in the dynamic area of safety, regulatory and compliance issues and requirements concerning power electronics. These include:
The committee will support a comprehensive on line data base which will be a repository of standards and requirements that affect the power supplies and which will be periodically updated to include the status, trends and issues and upcoming changes by region and country. It is expected that the database would be updated and administrated using a similar process as for the PSMA Energy Efficiency database currently on the PSMA website.
Members of the Committee are encouraged to participate in monthly calls – in general each of the PSMA technical committees meet once a month via teleconference.
We would like to invite all parties interested in regulatory and safety aspects of power electronics to attend and participate. Help us to understand and to communicate the challenge and impact facing our industry in conforming to these evolving global standards. We encourage you to join our meetings or invite others in your organization involved in these areas.
So, let us know if you or others in your organization are interested in becoming an active member of the PSMA Safety & Compliance Committee. We expect you will find that you will get as much out or more than you put into it.
Provided by Kevin Parmenter, Safety & Compliance Committee Chair
he PSMA is a not-for-profit organization incorporated in the state of California whose purpose is to enhance the stature and reputation of its members and their products, to improve their knowledge of technological and other developments related to power sources, and to educate the entire electronics industry, plus academia, as well as government and industry agencies as to the importance of, and relevant applications for, all types of power sources and conversion devices.
By joining with other leaders in the Industry, you and your company will have a greater voice and influence on the directions of the Power Sources Industry. Some specific benefits of membership include:
PSMA membership dues are modest in comparison to the benefits offered. Is your company a member of PSMA? If not, why not? You can find the membership application on the PSMA web site at http://www.psma.com/webforms/psma-membership-application.
We look forward to receiving your application in the near future so you can take advantage of the registration discount at APEC. The 2015 Power Technology Roadmap will be available in mid March and all Regular and Associate members of PSMA will receive a free copy of the report as a benefit of membership. Affiliate members will receive a discount on the Roadmap and other PSMA reports.
|SMA membership provides many benefits for you and your company. It gives you personally the opportunity to meet, network and interact with your counterparts in other companies on an ongoing basis. It also provides an opportunity to be involved with the planning and managing of APEC, as well as giving you and your colleagues a discount on registration fees for attending APEC.
Your company gets a listing on the PSMA web site with a hyperlink directly to your company web site. In addition, your company has an invitation to provide a Spotlight Banner to showcase its latest product on the PSMA Home Page
Your company also receives free or discounted copies of PSMA publications and reports,
An important membership benefit is the opportunity to join and participate in one or more of the PSMA Technical Committees. Participating in one or more committees is the best way to increase the benefits from your company and your personal PSMA membership. People involved in PSMA Technical Committees all agree that their investment returns multiple benefits that surpass the time spent participating – both for their company and for their own careers. Just ask someone who is a committee member. The committee provides the opportunity to network with knowledgeable people who are influencing the power sources industry.
You are encouraged to join a committee and get involved in their activities. Most committees meet about once a month for about one hour by teleconference. You are welcome to attend a committee meeting before making a decision to join the group. If you are interested in attending one of the meetings, please contact the Association Office for call-in information.
This is an open invitation to participate in or join any committee. Bring your experience, interest and enthusiasm. Currently PSMA has the following committees:
Your participation will contribute added value to the subject and enhance your own knowledge.
It’s a great way to network with your colleagues.
For more information describing the committees and the dates for the next meetings, please view the PSMA web site or contact the PSMA office at email@example.com.
The Power Sources Manufacturers Association has drafted a power electronics timeline and a "corporate" genealogy chart for the industry to review. As we get inputs, we will be updating these files on a periodic basis. Consequently these files are subject to change until we hear from all affected parties or until enough time has transpired at which time the files will be finalized.
The PSMA Marketing Committee has prepared this presentation describing PSMA. You can use this presentation to inform your colleagues about the benefits of PSMA membership. You can also show this presentation at meetings you are attending on behalf of PSMA.
The Handbook of Standardized Terminology For The Power Sources Industry-Third Edition - has been made available as a download on the Members Only area of the PSMA website. Revised and expanded, this unique publication includes definitions for more than 1200 terms related to power electronics which were especially selected for the power electronics professional. The Third Edition also contains illustrations and four new appendices, including a listing of EMI specifications, excerpts from international standards of units and symbols, along with guides for authors of technical papers. Many new magnetic terms are described in this new 126-page third edition that are of particular interest to the practicing designer and marketer of power supplies and related products. Valuable information regarding worldwide power sources, standards agencies, and military specifications has been retained, updated and expanded from the previous edition. Titles of the appendices are: Testing and Standards Agencies; Designer's Reference; World Voltages and Frequencies; Military Specifications; EMI Specifications; Writing Technical Papers for Archival Publications; Units, Symbols and Style Guide; A Brief Writing Guide. These added resources provide concise, easy-to-use references for engineeers involved in technical writing and presentations. If your company is a member of PSMA, you may register for the "Members Only" area using your email address. The registration form requires you to enter your company PSMA member number. You may contact the Association Office if you do not know the member number.
A letter to the Membership from Chuck Mullett, PSMA Chairman March 18, 2003
In a recent monthly teleconference of our Membership Committee we had a lively discussion about how we are serving our membership, what projects we are doing, and how we might communicate better with you, our member companies. Realizing that communication is always a key ingredient, I volunteered to write to you and give you a personal snapshot of what’s going on.
Mission: To integrate the resources of the power sources industry to more effectively and profitably serve the needs of the power sources users, providers and PSMA members.
As it is with many trade organizations, membership can be a spectator sport. The organization appreciates your support in the form of dues, because there’s always overhead that must be paid. But, what good is an organization that simply collects dues, pays the phone bills and mailing costs, and tries to survive until the next wave of dues submittals? Clearly, this would be a waste of time. In organizations like PSMA, the worth of the group is directly and totally a result of the efforts of its members. This is not a new concept. Service organizations around the world have always operated in just this way. Think about Rotary International, comprised of business leaders who volunteer their time in an environment of fellowship to help each other succeed in their businesses and help students with scholarships, etc. They take on meaningful projects in their communities, help their communities, and have fun doing it. It is possible to maintain membership in Rotary by simply paying dues and attending meetings. But---it is clear that those who get the most out of their membership are the ones who get involved in the projects. They get to know the other members, gaining friendships and insight into their own businesses. In addition, and perhaps most importantly, they have a lot of fun. When people ask us about PSMA, we usually recite a couple of sentences about the organization, its membership and mission, and then we’re bragging joyfully about the projects recently completed and the ones in process. For me, personally, the projects are exciting, as they give me valuable insight It has become a tradition over the past few years to make use of the Saturday preceding APEC (usually in late February or early March) to hold a major workshop, taking advantage of the presence of the leaders of the power electronics industry. Two years ago Lou Pechi culminated the work of his Low Voltage Workshop team in an all-day meeting that resulted in the book that’s probably on you bookshelf. Leaders from several end users and power supply manufacturing companies spent countless hours preparing papers and presentations, and then more volunteers transcribed the workshop and edited the final report. If you’re involved in the move toward lower voltage power delivery, I hope you’ve had a chance to use it. Last year that pre-APEC Saturday was spent in PSMA’s Integration Workshop, organized by Arnold Alderman. We hope this project saved many of our member companies tens of thousands of dollars trying to figure out how to advance their power supply technology by the use of semi-custom or fully-custom ICs. The question, “Should I go into the silicon design business, joint venture with a semiconductor manufacturer or simply wait for the next wave of ICs” can be difficult to answer. Your Association decided that tackling this question rigorously and publishing the answers would be of considerable value to the membership. We enlisted the help of our colleagues in Ireland, PEI Technologies, after a bidding process involving several candidate organizations. Both volumes of this report have been sent to PSMA Regular and Associate member companies as a benefit of membership. This study cost under $35,000, because of the hundreds of volunteer hours spent by several PSMA members. Prior to this, we had spent well over a year and around $40,000 on the Status of Power Electronics Packaging (StatPEP) project, also using the crew in Ireland to analyze ten dc-dc converters and ten 500-watt ac-dc power supplies. They dissected these units after a battery of electrical measurements, took countless photos and x-rays, and reported the findings in the now-famous “StatPEP Report” that we hope is in your possession and has been of benefit to your company. Again, hundreds of hours were spent by PSMA volunteers overseeing the PEI work, writing papers, presenting them at the workshop and also presenting a half-day summary seminar at APEC 2000. We have now held the fourth Power Technology Roadmap Workshop, which took place on the Saturday preceding APEC 2003 in February. Don Staffiere started this triennial study in 1994 and faithfully repeated it in 1997 and 2000. It involves heavy effort of over 20 volunteers, not only from PSMA but also from other companies. The final product will be a comprehensive publication containing trending of all aspects of power electronics technology---design, manufacturing, components technology, marketing, sales and in-depth information from the users about their needs over the next five years. This exercise will be done without any outside contracts, except the printing of the reports. So---what else has PSMA done for me? Well, let me introduce you to the PSMA Web site! It’s hard to believe, but it consistently receives over 16,000 hits per month! If you supplied the requested information, there’s a link to your Web site, and your company name scrolls by continuously on the home page. Please, if you haven’t done so, drop by and give your mouse a little exercise---you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Be sure to look at the quarterly newsletter, UPDATE. The current edition goes on for 18 pages; including many APEC 2003 pictures and scenes of your PSMA team at work (Joe Horzepa has one of those wonderful digital cameras with the cheap film!) What MORE can PSMA do for me? Plenty! We’re strong, eager and capable. Over half of the sales revenue of the power supply manufacturers in the US is represented in PSMA’s membership. Membership from the components community is also very strong, and so is our membership from academia and leading consultants. As one of the three sponsors of APEC, we share in the financial outcome of the conference, and it’s been very positive over the past few years. Our financial net worth is over $70,000. As a non-profit organization, we simply return our revenues from APEC, member dues and publication sales, to our membership as efficiently and effectively as we can. In addition to the present system of value exchange here’s how you can “milk” much more out of your membership. I thought I would make a list, but as the thoughts rolled around in my head, I realized they all comprised a single theme. It’s extremely simple. “Get involved.” I can tell you, and so can my colleagues, that the benefits from being truly active in an organization like PSMA far outstrip all of the many publications that attempt to summarize its activities. There’s much more in store for you than simply hearing what goes on in our committee meetings, workshops and research projects. What happens in these activities is (and I’ll be the first to admit it doesn’t happen all the time) almost magical. After many years of sticking my neck out and getting involved in these activities I’ve come to some revelations. As I wrote in my paper for APEC 2000 about “Defining your own excellence,” these volunteer organizations have an unusually high population density of effective people. It’s partly because the volunteer aspect acts as an input filter---everyone had to exercise some initiative to be there in the first place. 1. They had to “show up” (it’s been written that this is 80% of success). 2. They had to say, “I’ll do that,” when the discussion rolled around to figuring out how to organize the project. 3. They had to deliver. The level of performance is extremely high, because the people are “turned on” about what they’re doing. Some valuable friendships are formed while working together on these projects. As many of them involve research about power supply technology, components, reliability, marketing and sales, this work may uncover valuable information that you might otherwise not find. More important than the content of the work, in my opinion, is the interaction with exciting colleagues who are really enjoying their careers. I can’t tell you how many times my life has been enriched by these experiences. One of the reasons I’m taking the time to write this is to share this with you. I hope you’ll accept my invitation to get involved yourself. I hope, even more, that you will pick one or two of your co-workers to get involved with us. Please pick up your phone and call me at my office in California, 805 933-4607, or drop an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can chat further about how your membership in PSMA can become much more valuable to you and your company. Sincerely, Chuck Mullett Chairman, PSMA
Years ago we had to surround ourselves with printed reference material to provide the data on components used in our designs and applications papers to help in their use. Many of these were free, but some others cost over $100 each and became obsolete almost as fast as we obtained them. Today, the picture has changed dramatically. Most of this information is available at no cost through the Internet; the amount of information is so huge that the new challenge is sorting it out. When the semiconductor committee of PSMA began to study the problem of helping engineers find the information needed, the change in the way we do our jobs became blatantly obvious. Even this task has been made easier, because of help from the Internet.
Here is our conclusion: Google is perhaps the most advanced search engine in the world at this time. Surprisingly, it’s not just for lay people who are looking for new recipes or ways to remodel their bedrooms. Its capability to provide us with the sophisticated technical help we need is astounding. It has the capacity to improve its performance, on its own, as it is used. Our job in helping our members and others in the industry has been reduced from one of searching, rating and cataloging materials to one of simply providing a few hints about using Google. We suggest you try it for yourself, get familiar with its capability, and use it the next time you need information. Here are some examples for you to try:
1. Go to Google.com and type in power factor correction. Our result was that 2,190,000 references were retrieved in 0.23 seconds. Now, type in “power factor correction” and see the difference. We got 155,000 references in about the same amount of time. What is even more amazing is that the references were valid! Even in the first case---we looked through the first 120 on the list, and didn’t find even one irrelevant citing.
2. Try “mag amp” and retrieve 8,870 references. All were valid until we got down to the 29th one on the list, which referred to a slow-release garden fertilizer. 28 out of 29 is a validity score of 96.6%---not bad for software!!!
In Example 1 we saw the difference of enclosing the phrase in quotation marks. Doing so causes the search engine to look for precisely that phrase. Without this, the search engine will find hits on each of the words individually, inviting irrelevant references.
To the right of the search window on the home page you will find “Advanced Search.” Clicking on it will produce a page full of easy-to-use tricks to improve the search, including “Advanced Search Tips” on the top line of the page. This gives even more useful information to produce more effective results. Google is so easy that if you’ll spend only 5 minutes with it, you’ll be producing better results than you can find in a world-class library, without leaving your desk. Try it first, then try other search engines. We did this, and found a plethora of irrelevant “hits.” We invite your comments.
A discussion of criteria to consider when deciding whether you should make or buy power supplies when creating equipment.