Other news of interest

Announcing the Formation of the PSMA Reliability Committee
Posted: 2017-9-4

T he Power Sources Manufacturers Association (PSMA) is proud to announce the formation of a new Technology Committee - the Reliability Committee. The PSMA Reliability Committee was formed to identify key industry initiatives related to the reliability and performance of power supplies and associated products and will be Co-chaired by Tony O'Brien of Cisco Systems and Brian Zahnstecher of PowerRox.

The Committee held an inaugural meeting on Thursday August 10. The committee already has 10 members representing a mix of industry professionals including power supply vendors, OEMs/customers and semiconductor component vendors, ensuring broad coverage of issues that affect the whole power electronics industry. The first action of the Committee is to survey selected industry veterans to develop a prioritized list of the most pertinent initiatives related to reliability. The output of this survey will be combined with a focus on the robustness of software/firmware in digital power solutions and will determine the initial, tangible issues and direction for the Committee efforts.

If you are interested in having a direct hand in identifying and addressing key industry issues that plague developments, inhibit customer applications, delay schedules, increase costs, and drive field infant mortality rates, then please join us. Monthly meetings will be held via teleconference on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 11am Central Time, with the next scheduled call on September 13.

For more information and to join the membership list for the Reliability Committee , please contact the PSMA Association Office at power@psma.com.

About Our Members
Posted: 2017-9-2

ICF (NASDAQ:ICFI) is a global consulting and technology services provider with more than 5,000 professionals focused on making big things possible for our clients. We are business analysts, policy specialists, technologists, researchers, digital strategists, social scientists and creatives. Since 1969, government and commercial clients have worked with ICF to overcome their toughest challenges on issues that matter profoundly to their success. Come engage with us at icf.com.

We are an affiliate member of PSMA, forming a crucial link between the industry and government agencies focused on energy efficiency such the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Natural Resources Canada. We support these clients' decision-making through industry relationships and technical insight and have been the lead consultant to the EPA ENERGY STAR program for over 20 years.

In addition to government programs, we also support private-sector clients, including more than 75 Fortune 500 companies for whom we provide support ranging from technical expertise in sustainable materials management (SMM) or lifecycle assessment (LCA) to comprehensive services that drive integrated sustainability programs.

The hallmarks of ICF's approach are experience and integration.  We recognize the need for credible, current data, and for consistent life-cycle boundaries and assumptions.  Having designed and implemented a framework to convert information on life-cycle processes into GHG and energy factors that are consistent with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change guidance, we are uniquely well-qualified to apply our expertise to solve problems and identify opportunities for emission reductions for other firms. We have developed life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions factors for more than 50 materials types and have examined the implications of emissions abatement during production and recycling among the international electronics industry.

Our team is equipped with in-house and commercial LCA tools, including SimaPro and openLCA software, and a license to the ecoinvent v3 database. We can further help with:

  • Environmental Performance Case Studies
  • Corporate Baseline Environmental Footprint Analysis
  • Facility Attribute and Activity Data for Sustainability Analyses
  • External Reporting support
  • Tracking Contributions to UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • Climate Risk Assessment and Mitigation

At ICF, our corporate philosophy is simple: Hire the best people. Reward their creativity and entrepreneurship. Maintain the highest standards of integrity, ethics, and quality. And do this always with a clear focus on our clients' needs. Let us know how we can help with your toughest sustainability challenges—please contact Matt Malinowski, Technical Specialist, electronics energy efficiency at Matt.Malinowski@icf.com or 202-862-2693 Bobby Renz, Manager, climate, sustainability, and materials management, at Bobby.Renz@icf.com or 212-656-9216.

Provided by Matt Malinowski, Technical Specialist, ICF

Demonstrating core competence for more than 65 years and a proven reliable partner in the magnetics industry, Micrometals Inc. is an engineering driven company striving to exceed our customers' requirements for catalog or custom magnetic components.  Headquartered in Anaheim, California with two factories in the United States and two factories in China, Micrometals offers application engineering and technical support from North America and China as well as stocking warehouses located in Germany and Hong Kong.

Micrometals materials are organized into 4 product groups: Radio Frequency, Power Conversion, 200C Series™ High Temperature and MicroCubes.  Micrometals Alloy Powder Cores, formerly Arnold Powder Core Division of Arnold Magnetic Technology, are organized into 6 material groups: Sendust, Molypermalloy, FluxSan™, Hi-Flux™, Optilloy™ and the recently introduced SH High Frequency Sendust.

This new SH Material has high frequency losses that are one third that of traditional Sendust material. The lower loss of High Frequency Sendust will enable it to be used with switching frequencies up to about 5 MHz. This new material was developed to meet the demands of the Power Conversion Industry's move to the latest in GaN and SiC switching technologies.

Power Conversion Engineers are pushing switching frequencies higher in an effort to reduce cost, minimize size and increase device efficiency.  As a result, magnetic component design engineers are challenged to find materials that can operate at 1-20 MHz or higher.  The SH Sendust material or traditional carbonyl iron powder materials can be considered as an alternate option for MnZn ferrites which may have increased core loss and the gap losses at this higher frequency or NiZn ferrites for high cost and high hysteresis loss.  Sample core kits of both SH Sendust or high frequency iron powder materials are available by contacting the Micrometals sales department or local representative.

The wide variety of material choices can be daunting.  In order to assist the design engineer in the selection process Micrometals has introduced an on-line Inductor Design Software and Inductor Analyzer.  This engineering tool is FREE for registered users and is a web-based service that can be located at the Micrometals APC website (www.MicrometalsAPC.com).

The software part database includes standard catalog parts from both Micrometals and Micrometals Alloy Powder Cores.  Additionally, the user can create custom heights to precisely meet the customer application specifications.

The inductor design calculator accepts inputs for DC inductors or PFC chokes and generates core and winding suggestions based on user defined design parameters.

The design software outputs can be exported for further analysis or individual winding suggestions can be transferred to the Inductor Analyzer feature.  The Analyzer feature allows users to start with a wound core and customize or optimize to change number of turns, wire gauge or consider alternate materials or part sizes and immediately output electrical and dimension characteristics.

Micrometals will gladly extend engineering and design assistance to aid in your core selection.  Please direct application questions to Applications@Micrometals.com.  Additional information about high frequency magnetics and the inductor design software is available at our websites:  www.Micrometals.com, www.MicrometalsAPC.com

Questions about samples, price and availability of all products above can be directed to Sales@micrometals.com.

Provided by Joseph Barbeito, Director of Sales & Marketing, Micrometals, Inc.


Meet Your Directors
Posted: 2017-9-2

 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.

At the PSMA Annual Meeting in March 2017, Alain Chapuis was elected to his second term and new board members Dhaval Dalal, Fred Weber and Brian Zahnstecher were elected. In the last issue we introduced you to Dhaval and Brian. In this issue, we will introduce you to Alain and Fred.

Alain Chapuis – CTO Power Solutions, Bel Power Solutions Inc.

Alain joined Melcher/Power-One, now part of Bel Power Solutions (based in Uster, Switzerland), as a Design Engineer in 1991 where he designed highly efficient single stage power factor corrected isolated rectifiers and fully hybridized DC/DC converters for the avionics market. He moved quickly into engineering management functions with a strong focus on the development of technology intense AC/DC and DC/DC products.  In 2002 he was instrumental in conceiving and implementing the first board level digital power converters providing a system level power solution allowing configuring, controlling and monitoring of an array of POL converters through a serial bus and a graphical user interface. More recently he pushed the deployment of full digital controls in AC/DC front-ends along with leading edge efficiency and power density improvements for the server and storage market by using enhanced power conversion topologies in conjunction with GaN and SiC power components. Alain has held the positions of VP Engineering, VP Digital Controls & Software and now CTO.  Alain holds an MS Electronics with honors from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and is inventor of more than 50 US patents in the domain of power conversion and control.

Provided by Alain Chapuis, CTO Power Solutions, Bel Power Solutions Inc.

Fred Weber is the President and owner of Future Technology Worldwide, LLC  (FTW) which is a Manufacturers' Representative organization. Fred has more than 30 years of technical sales, account management, and business development experience. FTW has created a well-balanced portfolio of cutting edge power products and services suppliers for its customers. FTW maintains for its principals the highest level of sales representation for business, market development, and growth in the Great Lakes Territory. Fred offers a high level of practical experience, technical know-how, and a solid reputation for opening doors, and building relationships with engineering, purchasing, and management.

Fred Weber has an Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Evansville, and an MBA from the University of Michigan. He continues to actively improve his technical knowledge and place himself in positions to be aware of technology trends and advancements. Fred is very active in PSMA (Power Sources Manufacturers Association) and also AEC (Automotive Electronics Council). He is co-chair of the Capacitor Committee and the Transportation Power Electronics Committee at PSMA, and is an active participant of the Magnetics committee. Fred is also working on the AEC team that is updating the AEC-Q200 specification (passive components) for Automotive products.

Fred enjoys many outdoor activities including, scuba diving, sport clay shooting, and running. His wife, Tina, is a Purchasing Manager for GM, and they have two daughters, Jessica is working towards her PhD in Organic Chemistry at MIT, and Samantha is working as a Pediatric Nurse for Detroit Children's Hospital.

Provided by Fred Weber, President and owner of Future Technology Worldwide, LLC



PSMA's Power Technology Roadmap 2017
Posted: 2017-7-21
Will Power Empower the Electronics Industry?

The Power Sources Manufacturers' Association (PSMA) published its tenth and latest edition of  the Power Technology Roadmap (PTR 2017).  PSMA undertakes this project, where participants from respective fields analyze trends in key power supply parameters, applications, components and emerging technologies, once every two years. From its early days in 1994, when the first PSMA Power Technology Roadmap was released, it has gone through significant evolution in its scope and content. 

This edition of the Roadmap is a product of two-year effort involving 82 participants that includes online webinars, technical articles and online surveys that provided inputs for forecasting. The webinar topics are wide-ranging and all-encompassing, covering as many aspects of power supply technology as possible. Webinars in this edition of the Roadmap include wireless transfer, component technologies, passive devices, high frequency magnetics, isolation technologies and many others. The technical articles are very focused in their pre-defined subject matter and the online surveys are designed to gather information to project future trends in key parameters. Such a unique combination of subjects and scope prepared with the inputs of knowlegable participants from the industy, makes this report unique and highly comprehensive.

The Roadmap provides both a quantitative and a qualitative analysis of technology. While the online surveys are used to gather quantitative data, the qualitative analysis is provided by industry experts who have contributed to the report either by presenting a webinar or by writing an article on a specific topic.

At the core, the PTR provides a three-dimensional overview of three key aspects of power technology:

  • Trends in key metrics in following power supplies and converters:
    • Ac-dc front-end power supplies (200 W – 2000 W)
    • External ac-dc power supplies (10 W – 100 W)
    • Isolated dc-dc converters (100 W, regulated)
    • Non-isolated dc-dc converters (subdivided into the standard non-isolated dc-dc and power supply in a package (PSiP) converters)

These products were selected because they are widely used in the industry. The same products were used in the past, thus making a comparative analysis easy. The key metrics used for trend analysis include efficiency, cost, power density and reliability. With 2016 as the base year, the projections were done for 2019 and 2021. In addition, the report provides some retrospective analysis that checks past forecasts, to see if they were accurate or inaccurate. This analysis will be used to make any future adjustments.

  • Component technology that includes, power semiconductors, ICs and magnetic materials  
  • Applications trends and emerging Technologies:

Application trends are included for automotive, computing, consumer, lighting, medical, motor control, battery changing and energy harvesting. The emerging technologies are associated with magnetics, integrated magnetics, 3D power packaging, additive manufacturing and nanofluids.

The Roadmap is an important report that can provide companies with information about various technologies, data for benchmarking their current products and technology trends for strategic planning.

The organizers for the 2017 PSMA Power Technology Roadmap have made an interesting argument that the Roadmap is designed to "Empower the Electronics Industry". It is stated in the title of the report. At first glance, the concept that power supply technology will empower the electronics industry seems like wishful thinking or even preposterous, but it should not be rejected out of hand. Dr. Conor Quinn, Co-Chair of the organizing committee gave a plenary presentation at APEC 2017 in Tampa that focused on this stream of thought.

Dr. Quinn stated, that in the past the power supply industry was technology-responsive to all established and traditional markets such as consumer, computers and networking. Companies or industries engaged in these markets did not much care about the development of power supplies as these markets designed their own products and then purchased a power supply as an afterthought to fulfill their specific needs. However, this may not be the case in the development of emerging new markets including automotive, solar inverters, variable frequency drives and LEDs. These markets are power-technology driven markets. Power is not a secondary after-thought, but is central to the development of these markets. Many new applications are power-centric as alternative energy and efficient use of energy takes center stage in the development of future markets. For companies participating in such new products, knowledge of the power supply technology and its evolution will be essential for their successful development. The new 2017 Power Technology Roadmap will provide that information, knowledge and insight. It is designed to empower the electronics industry.



Provided by Mohan Mankikar,
President, Micro-Tech Consultants



PSMA Magnetics Committee Magnetics Workshop
Posted: 2017-7-12

Power Magnetics @ High Frequency- Transforming the Black Magic to Engineering
Date: Saturday March 25 2017
APEC 2017 Tampa Florida

The "Power Magnetics @ High Frequency – Transforming the Black Magic to Engineering" workshop sponsored by the PSMA Magnetics Committee and IEEE PELS was held on the day before APEC 2017, Saturday March 25, 2017 from 7:00 AM thru 6:00 PM in Tampa Florida.

This second workshop continued the tradition of the inaugural workshop by bringing together experts from all aspects of the magnetics industry, from research and academic organizations, world renowned consultants and the everyday heroes of magnetics design who are responsible for commercializing magnetic products on a regular basis. The number of workshop attendees increased to over 150 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 invited 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 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 who included Dr. Johann Kolar (ETH), Donna Kepcia (Magnetics), Dr Ray Ridley (Ridley Engineering), Dr. Charles Sullivan (Dartmouth), Bruce Carsten, Zoran Pavlovic (Tyndall), Ed Herbert (PSMA), Chuck Wild (Dexter Magnetics), J. C. Sun (Bs&T Technologies), Andreas Muesing (Gecko-Simulations), Rodney Rogers (Allstar Magnetics), Ryu Nagahama (IWATSU), Lorandt Foelkel (Wurth Elektronik), Chris Oliver (Micrometals), Dr. Bernard Michuad (EPCOS), Jan Simecek (EPCOS), Laili Wang (Xi'an Jiaotong University), John Lynch (Fair Rite Products).Based on post workshop survey results, the High Frequency Magnetics workshop series will continue to be held the Saturday before APEC. The third workshop will be in conjunction with APEC 2018 in San Antonio Texas. To increase the interactions during the third workshop, an increased emphasis on the technology demonstration sessions will be pursued to increase the "hands on" and "how to" dialogue. The third workshop will also continue to drive efforts to improve the characterization and specification of magnetic materials and magnetic cores to support the power electronics industry, addresses technical issues such as fringing as well as identify efforts to move the industry forward in terms of magnetic material and magnetic structure development.

Anyone interested in participating as a presenter as part of the technology demonstration session during the next workshop planned for March 3, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas should contact Matt Wilkowski (matt.wilkowski@intel.com). We are looking forward to the third workshop and driving the industry forward to meet the expectations of the workshop attendees.

Organizing Committee 
Steve Carlsen Raytheon
Ed Herbert Independent Inventor
Rodney Rogers Allstar Magnetics
Chuck Wild Dexter Magnetics
Fred Weber Future Technology Worldwide
Matt Wilkowski Intel

International Workshop on Integrated Power Packaging (IWIPP) 2017
Posted: 2017-7-2

The 2017 International Workshop on Integrated Power Packaging (IWIPP), which was held at the Technical University of Delft from April 5-7, was a great event focused on upcoming developments in packaging from the device to the system, with 80 total attendees across industry, research, and academic institutions in the fields of power packaging and system design. This year's attendees were exposed to three days of inter-disciplinary technical content focused on the enhanced understanding of the major issues within the power packaging industry. On both Wednesday and Thursday morning, the conference agenda was opened with curated tutorials – one on Packaging & Thermal Management by Dr. Patrick McCluskey of the University of Maryland, and one on Electrical Insulation by Dr. Thierry Lebey of the University of Toulouse. Friday morning introduced a Modeling & Reliability Panel Session with leaders from different simulation and modeling fields across both academic and industry organizations. This year's technical sessions addressed Systems & Circuits,  Power Modules, Packaging & Interconnects, Thermal Management, and Sensors, Passives, & EMI. In addition to the technical sessions, tutorials, and panel sessions, each day also included invited keynote presentations selected to discuss the future of the wide bandgap and power packaging industry.

Wolfspeed's Brice McPherson, a power module design engineer, presenting on how innovative thermal management techniques can improve the Hybrid-Electric Vehicle Market.
Second day of Technical Sessions.

The 2017 IWIPP Student Travel Grant Award winner was Andrea Wallace of the University of Arkansas, who presented on her research group's work with Thermo-Mechanical Reliability of Silicon Carbide Schottky Diode Flip-Chip packaging. Andrea is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Center for Space & Planetary Sciences Department, pursuing research in the field of Power Packaging for High Temperature Applications under Dr. Alan Mantooth. Andrea's Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, coupled with her career goal to work with space-bound systems, lead her to choose the power packaging research field and to attend the 2017 IWIPP event, due to its inter-disciplinary nature.

General Chair, Dr. Ty McNutt, of Wolfspeed presenting IWIPP's 2017 Student Travel Grant Award Winner, Andrea Wallace, with her conference stipend.
View from Wolfspeed's Conference Banquet activity, which was a guided tour through the historic canals of Delft.

While the conference was heavy with technical sessions, there were also plenty of networking opportunities available to attendees. On Wednesday, upon conclusion of the technical sessions, attendees were invited to a Poster, Lab Tour, & Exhibition Reception, sponsored by Murata. There were three posters, which represented technical papers included in the proceedings, and five technical demonstrations from TU Delft researchers; a tour of TU Delft's famous High Voltage laboratory was also provided during Murata's Welcome Reception. On Thursday evening, the conference attendees celebrated a successful event with a boat trip through the historic canals of Delft, followed by the Wolfspeed Conference Banquet where prizes from IWIPP's industrial sponsors were raffled off. Winners received: an Apple Watch, courtesy of Wolfspeed; an Apple iPad, courtesy of Murata; a Lego® Mindstorms® set, courtesy of Littelfuse; and Holland's famous Stroopwafels, courtesy of ISP Systems.

The 2017 event brought together a multi-faceted group of supporting technical organizations; in addition to the Power Sources Manufacturers Associations (PSMA), the event also included: the IEEE Components, Packaging & Manufacturing Technology Society; the IEEE Dielectric & Electrical Insulation Society; the IEEE Power Electronics Society; and the European Center for Power Electronics. These societies all remain committed to expanding the future development of the International Workshop on Integrated Power Packaging. The next International Workshop on Integrated Power Packaging is currently being planned, and the 2019 location will be announced on the website in the coming months. For 2019, the IWIPP Steering Committee plans to expand its commitment to bringing together inter-disciplinary thought leaders in the field of power packaging to discuss innovative solutions to the industry's biggest challenges. Please stay tuned for more information about the event from PSMA and to learn how you can become involved in the 2019 event.

Provided by Lauren Kegley, IWIPP 2017 Sponsorship & Publications Chair


Call for Papers: The 5th Workshop on Wide Bandgap Power Devices and Applications (WiPDA 2017)
Posted: 2017-7-1


Monday, October 30 – Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort, Albuquerque, NM USA

The IEEE Workshop on Wide Bandgap Power Devices and Applications (WiPDA, www.wipda.org ), sponsored by IEEE and PSMA, is a fast-growing yearly event which provides a forum for device scientists, circuit designers, and application engineers to share technology updates, research findings, development experience, and application knowledge. The 5th WiPDA will be held from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1, 2017, at Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort, Albuquerque, NM.

What to see in Albuquerque?

Albuquerque is home to the University of New Mexico (UNM), Kirtland Air Force Base, Sandia National Laboratories, the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History, and the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute. The Sandia Mountains run along the eastern side of Albuquerque and the Rio Grande river flows through the city, north to south. Albuquerque is also the home of the International Balloon Fiesta, the world's largest gathering of hot-air balloons from around the globe. The event takes place during the first week of October. The workshop venue is the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort just north of Albuquerque. It offers a perfect combination of luxurious amenities, culture, history, and stunning landscapes that create a one-of-a-kind experience. Visitors can play a round of championship golf at the Twin Warriors golf course, ride a rescue horse, or watch a radiant sunset while dining on fresh, regional cuisine at the Corn Maiden restaurant. This year's poster session and banquet will be held at the Cottonwoods Pavilion, located on the Tamaya grounds along the banks of the Rio Grande river.

This year's event will have a similar structure as previous years, including an extensive program of tutorials; keynote, technical, and poster sessions; a panel discussion; an exhibition; and a banquet.

The topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Heteroepitaxial and bulk materials growth
  • Gate dielectrics and surface passivation
  • Device structures and fabrication techniques
  • Device characterization and modeling
  • Very high efficiency and compact converters
  • SOAs including short-circuit, spike, and transient tolerance
  • Harsh environment (e.g. high temperature) operation and reliability
  • Packaging, power modules, and ICs
  • Hard-switched and soft-switched applications
  • Common-mode and EMI management
  • Gate drive and other auxiliary circuits
  • High-performance passive components
  • Applications in renewable energy and storage, transportation, industrial drives, and grid power systems

Technical Papers: Technical papers addressing all aspects of wide-bandgap power electronics are welcome. Technical oral sessions will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, and a poster session will be held Tuesday night. All presented papers will be included in the conference proceedings and submitted to the IEEExplore database.

Tutorials, Keynote Sessions, Panel Session, and Exhibitions

WiPDA 2017 will offer tutorials covering both device and application topics on Monday afternoon. Keynote sessions will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, in which leading experts from academia, industry, and research institutes will share their insights on technology developments and future trends. A panel session with leading experts from US federal agencies, industry, and academia will be part of the meeting. Also, a number of booths will be available for exhibition.

Student Travel Grants

The organizing committee anticipates being able to fund 16 student travel grants at $625 each, supported equally by PELS and PSMA.

Key dates for this year's event: 

Two-page abstract deadline: June 16, 2017
Notification of acceptance: July 21, 2017
Final paper submission: August 25, 2017

If you have any questions, please contact the organizing committee:

Robert Kaplar, Sandia National Labs (rjkapla@sandia.gov )
Maryam Saeedifard, Georgia Tech (maryam@ece.gatech.edu)
Sameh Khalil, Infineon (sameh.khalil@infineon.com)
Mike Mazzola, Mississippi State (mazzola@ece.msstate.edu)
Fang Luo, University of Arkansas (fangluo@uark.edu)

We are looking forward to meeting you in Albuquerque, New Mexico!


Lincoln International's Solar Energy Stock Index: Q1 2017
Posted: 2017-7-1

Lincoln International is pleased to present you with the latest Solar Energy Stock Index from our Global Renewable Energy Group. This will provide you with:

The Solar Energy Stock Index Report, published by our Renewable Energy team each quarter, provides you with information on the following:

  • Quarterly performance of the Solar Energy Stock Index versus the S&P Index
  • Relative market valuations of each Solar Energy sector
  • Current financial data for each company in the index
(498k pdf)

This data is included with the permission of Lincoln International. For more information, you may contact John McManus (jmcman@optonline.net) or the Association Office.


Lincoln International's Solar Energy DealReader: Q1 2017
Posted: 2017-7-1

Lincoln InInternational is pleased to present you with the latest DealReader from our global Renewable Energy Industry group. This will provide you with:

  • Q1 2017 deal volume comparison by total transactions, deal type, geography, and target company sector
  • Recent Solar Energy transaction announcements
  • Global Solar Energy ratio analysis
(460k pdf)

This data is included with the permission of Lincoln International. For more information, you may contact John McManus (jmcman@optonline.net) or the Association Office.


Lincoln International's EMS Stock Index: Q1 2017
Posted: 2017-7-1



Lincoln International is pleased to present you with the latest EMS Stock Index from our Global Electronics Industry Group. This report will provide you with:

  • Quarterly performance of the EMS Stock Index versus the S&P Index
  • Relative market valuations of each EMS sector
  • Current financial data for each company in the index
(648k pdf)

This data is included with the permission of Lincoln International. For more information, you may contact John McManus (jmcman@optonline.net) or the Association Office.


Lincoln International's EMS DealReader: Q1 2017
Posted: 2017-7-1




Lincoln International is pleased to present you with the latest EMS DealReader from our Global Electronics Industry Group. This will provide you with:

  • Q1 2017 deal volume comparison by total transactions, deal type, geography and size
  • Recent EMS transaction announcements
  • Terms & Turns: Revisiting the Cash Cycle
(529k pdf)

This data is included with the permission of Lincoln International. For more information, you may contact John McManus (jmcman@optonline.net) or the Association Office.


Battery-Free, Wireless Sensor Technology Detects Water Leaks During Vehicle Production
Posted: 2017-5-5
Collaboration between ON Semiconductor and RFMicron leads to effective leak detection system to improve outgoing vehicle quality, and alleviate risk of related latent malfunction and customer warranty issues

ON Semiconductor (Nasdaq: ON) and RFMicron have expanded their collaboration to develop a complete in-line vehicle production leak detection solution. The RFM5126 Moisture Intrusion Detection System uses battery-free, wireless sensors to detect in-vehicle water leaks caused by incorrect assembly. Detecting leaks and assembly issues before a vehicle leaves the factory is critical to improving outgoing quality and to avoiding customer warranty issues. The new automated leak detection system, assembled in the production line, enables detection of the smallest damage-inducing leaks.

The system employs moisture detection sensors that incorporate Magnus® IC from RFMicron. Magnus-based IC supports a revolutionary range of battery-free wireless sensors offered under Smart Passive SensorsTM and SPSTM.

Vehicle assembly is a complex process involving a range of materials, glues, changing components and human-driven processes. Even with the best traditional efforts, small leaks can go undetected during manual inspection procedures. These leaks may allow enough water into the vehicle over time to cause mold growth, and potential damage to expensive electronics modules and components. Statistics show that up to 3% of vehicles ship from the factory with leaks that will lead to mold growth and costly warranty repairs. The RFM5126 Moisture Intrusion Detection System is able to accurately identify these leaks with lower cost and labor impact versus traditional and less effective methods.

The unobtrusive, battery-free, wireless sensors are installed in the vehicle at the bare metal stage before installation of the interior trim and seats. After completing all assembly, vehicles move through a high-pressure spray test where the system flags any small, hard-to-find leaks. Drive-through portal stations that are easily installed on existing vehicle assembly lines facilitate communication with the sensors. The portal stations incorporate comprehensive sensor monitoring software that reports accurate leak locations, helping to speed the rework process. Over time, the system strengthens process improvement efforts by helping automakers identify issues that lead to leaks in the first place.

"Automakers can already detect the major leaks which tend to be visible, but they have great difficulty detecting small leaks which cause damage over an extended period of time," said Shahriar Rokhsaz, CEO, RFMicron. "The RFM5126 Moisture Intrusion Detection System identifies nearly all mold-causing small leaks and a large majority of 'micro leaks'. Our objective is to catch the small leaks before vehicles leave the factory. Our battery-free wireless sensors, and our associated software, provide a highly effective and cost-efficient solution to make this happen."

"Hard to detect leaks are a significant issue for automakers," said Gary Straker, Vice President of the Protection and Signal Division at ON Semiconductor. "This new system automatically detects very small leaks on the assembly line, giving the opportunity to address the root causes of the problem and make process changes to improve outgoing quality. As an added benefit, repairs at the factory are lower cost since the right materials and fully trained personnel are on-hand. Finding leaks and dealing with them earlier, combined with major reductions in repair costs and the avoidance of any impact on an automaker's reputation for quality, gives an attractive potential return on investment for the industry."

For more details, please read the white paper titled Moisture Intrusion Detection System: "Solving Water Leak Inspection Challenges on Vehicle Assembly Lines". Visit the website, watch the videos and learn more about battery-free wireless sensor technology.

2017 iNEMI Roadmap
Posted: 2017-5-5

The complete 2017 iNEMI Roadmap is now available. The final chapters are in, and the full roadmap document plus 100-page executive summary are ready for download. 

With 28 chapters and 2000+ pages, this is the largest roadmap we’ve published to date. It includes:

  • A new chapter on Internet of Things
  • Four chapters not updated or included last cycle:
    • Aerospace & Defense
    • Information Management 
    • Packaging & Component Substrates 
    • Test, Inspection & Measurement 
  • Expanded scope for two chapters:
    • Connectors now includes electronic and photonic connectors
    • Interconnect Substrates-Ceramic is now Ceramic Substrates & Photovoltaic Technology

For more information, visit www.inemi.org.


ON Semiconductor Establishes Advanced Sensor Design Center in Europe
Posted: 2017-4-22
Positions the company to deliver next generation autonomous driving solutions

ON Semiconductor Corporation, driving energy efficient innovations, today announced it is establishing a new sensor fusion design center in Europe. This team has combined experience of more than 1,200 years in silicon design for digital and analog technologies. The center positions ON Semiconductor to extend its market leadership in image sensors for automotive ADAS and viewing applications with new capabilities in imaging and video signal processing for automated driving systems. By combining this design center with its recently acquired mmWave radar technology and design center in Israel, ON Semiconductor is uniquely positioned to provide sensor fusion solutions for next generation highly autonomous vehicles.

“The automotive image sensor market is growing rapidly driven through higher attach rates for ADAS and viewing systems and new applications for image sensors, such as driver monitoring, e-mirror and 360-degree sensing,” said Ross Jatou, vice president and general manager Automotive Solutions Division of the Image Sensor Group. “Expanding our design capacity positions us to extend our leadership in established segments and to deliver new, world-class solutions for emerging segments.”

The new United Kingdom design center for ON Semiconductor reports directly into the Automotive Solutions Division (ASD) within the Image Sensor Group. The new design center is located in Bracknell, England and expands a global sensor design footprint that now includes major locations in the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, India and Israel.

ON Semiconductor Unveils Innovative Modular Automotive Imaging Platform
Posted: 2017-3-4
Complete ecosystem in a compact form-factor enables accelerated time-to-market & significant reductions in allocated engineering resources

Autonomous Vehicles - ON Semiconductor, driving energy efficient innovations, has introduced the Modular Automotive Reference System (MARS) that gives system and software developers a ready-to-use camera for research and development activities. The leading-edge MARS platform enables users to reconfigure cameras with different lenses, image sensors, image signal processors (ISPs) and communications options for rapid prototyping and experimentation. The system is so flexible that it can be used for the full spectrum of automotive camera applications including advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), surround and rear viewing systems, in-cabin cameras (for gesture recognition, driver eye monitoring, or light level inspection purposes), and autonomous driving.

MARS enables shorter design cycles, reduced engineering costs, and assists automotive design teams in the implementation of imaging systems by providing them with a unique mix-and-match solution. Through it, various items of hardware can be combined in a robust and highly adaptable system with a compact form-factor. Due to the many different boards available, engineers have access to ON Semiconductor's broad portfolio of image sensors and co-processors, plus various automotive communications protocols from a select group of third party supply partners. This provides extensive scope in terms of finding the combination that best fits specific system requirements. The versatile platform can accommodate an almost limitless number of combinations due to consistent signal/power definitions for the interconnects utilized by these respective boards.

The ease of adapting this modular solution means that undertaking time-consuming activities such as creating custom boards (each capable of accommodating a different sensor option), testing out high-speed interface standards, or writing code for drivers, is no longer necessary. MARS is supported by a complete ecosystem, encompassing software development tools, schematics, gerbers, bill-of-materials (BOM) and much more. A comprehensive user guide is also included within the accompanying documentation.

"As image sensing proliferates in automotive applications, MARS will provide system and software developers tasked with turning concepts into reliable working applications with a valuable platform to simplify and speed proof of concept and development, and offer the scalability to get ideas from the lab to on-vehicle testing in real-world conditions," said Ross Jatou, General Manager and Vice President of Automotive Solutions Division of Image Sensor Group at ON Semiconductor. "The flexibility of MARS accelerates the component selection process by making the constituent sensors and co-processors totally interchangeable. The platform avoids the need to construct a multitude of custom boards to house different sensors for evaluation reducing engineering effort and shortening project times."

The support of commonly used communication standards (such as GMSL, FPD-Link, LVDS, MIPI, Ethernet) enables direct interfacing with existing vehicle electronic control units (ECUs). ON Semiconductor is working with an ecosystem of partners spanning lens developers, third party ISP vendors, communications IC vendors, software developers and SoC vendors. MARS modules are already prequalified with a range of these third party products and the company will expand these offerings going forward.

For more information, visit www.onsemi.com.

The Trump Administration's Impact on the Power Electronics' Industry
Posted: 2017-3-2

Even though the free market rules the business world, government policies and regulations on trade can shape the industry structure. Usually companies prefer more free trade and less government regulation. Companies like access to markets that provide higher revenues and higher profits, while governments like higher employment for its citizens. Sometimes these intentions can be contradictory. 

The electronic trade is vastly global. Although products from US companies are prominent and highly visible, most of these products, especially hardware, are manufactured in China. In addition, many components including active and passive devices are manufactured by multi-national companies located in Europe and Japan. From a trade perspective, the United States generally remains the most open country with the least restrictions. The new Trump administration has taken a staunch protectionist stance with its “America First” policy. It has promised to restrict trade by forcing companies to manufacture products in the U.S. to increase domestic employment. 

So, what will be the impact of the Trump administration’s policies on the electronics industry? The electronics industry, primarily hardware manufacturing, has moved to China; President Trump has consistently mentioned China as a currency manipulator that is engaged in unfair trade practices and has gamed the system for its own gains resulting in America’s loss. It is true that despite having original and superior product design, America has failed to “scale up the products.” America designs products but China manufactures them. Thus, China’s employment in electronic manufacturing has increased significantly. Though Mr. Trump is addressing this issue today, America’s weakness in mass scale manufacturing was succinctly addressed by the late Mr. Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel. He wrote a landmark article, “How America Can Create Jobs”, in Bloomberg Businessweek almost 7 years ago. Dr. Grove, argued that just having R&D is not sufficient, scaling or mass manufacturing of the product is also important and necessary. He mentioned that “scaling is hard work but necessary to make innovation matter.” In addition, Mr. Grove stated that job creation must be the Number 1 objective of state economic policy. This has been Mr. Trump’s slogan all along, and many will be surprised to find that Mr. Grove’s views expressed in the Bloomberg BusinessWeek article were quite similar to that of Mr. Trump’s today. 

On February 8, 2017, Intel’s CEO Mr. Brian Krzanich announced that the company will invest $7 billion in an Arizona plant that will employ 3,000 people. Mr. Krzanich made the announcement during a White House visit with Mr. Trump- but NPR’s Marketplace reported that this decision was 4 years in the making. Though Intel can manufacture its chips in the US, due to its highly-automated processes, most of the electronic hardware manufacturing has moved to China and is not expected to shift back to the United States anytime soon. China remains the global manufacturing center for the electronic hardware, including power supplies.

Will President Trump change this global order with tariffs, duties or quotas?

Apple’s iPhone provides an insight into the strength of Chinese manufacturing. It is not just about low-labor costs, rather China seems to have the entire manufacturing infrastructure in place together with strong government support and fire-in-the-belly attitude when it comes to manufacturing iconic electronic products like Apple’s iPhone.

For insight into Chinese manufacturing, one has to read an excellent article written by Charles Duhigg and Keith Bradsher of the New York Times, about why Apple makes iPhones and iPads in China instead of the United States. The essence of the article is that when Steve Jobs wanted to change iPhone’s screen from plastic to glass, only Foxconn in China could scale up and deliver the product in six weeks in very large quantities. Though the glass itself was made by Corning, a US company, there was no US company that could deliver the product in such high quantities in such a short timeframe. Duhigg and Bradsher reported that the end-to-end process of building the iPhones required 8,700 mid-level engineers. In the United States, Apple estimated it would have taken 9 months to hire these many engineers; in China, it took 15 days. The United States just could not match China’s manufacturing and infrastructure prowess. Within 3 months, Apple sold a million iPhones. Today iPhones are considered one of the greatest products of 21st century that have changed lives of millions of people.

At least in electronics hardware, the US has lost its super mass scale manufacturing to China. Power supplies also reflect this situation with about 70% of power supplies being manufactured in China. Mr. Trump wants to impose a 35% tariff on Chinese goods coming to US. China said it will retaliate. Will this increased tariff suddenly make the US into a mass-manufacturing haven for the electronic goods or just create a devastating trade war?

On February, 9, 2017, in a letter to President Xi Jinping, President Trump called for constructive US-China relationship. The future awaits in suspense.


Provided by Mohan Mankikar,
President, Micro-Tech Consultants



Powerbox’s Patrick Le Fèvre to present “Smart Grid Security” at APEC 2017
Posted: 2017-2-21

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’.

Industry’s First ‘zigbee PRO with Green Power Certified Platform’ Unveiled by Microchip
Posted: 2017-2-14
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.”


International Workshop on Integrated Power Packaging 2017
Posted: 2016-12-11

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

Powerbox Adds Manufacturers’ Representative Fusion Sourcing Group to North America Sales Team
Posted: 2016-12-9

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
Posted: 2016-12-1
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 Appoints Powell Electronics as an Authorized Distributor
Posted: 2016-11-8

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
Posted: 2016-10-21
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.


TI Explore the green revolution in transportation
Posted: 2016-10-16
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®
Posted: 2016-9-21
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.

IHS Markit Forecasts Merchant Power Supply Market to Grow Modestly
Posted: 2016-8-31


The 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,
Senior Analyst, IHS Markit

  Victoria Fodale


PSMA Magnetics Committee and IEEE PELS High Frequency Magnetics Workshop
Posted: 2016-8-31

Power Magnetics @ High Frequency
Transforming the Black Magic to Engineering
Date: Saturday March 25, 2017
Tampa, Florida

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 power@psma.com with your suggestions and proposals or contact Matt Wilkowski of the organizing committee at mwilkows@altera.com.

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 .

Organizing Committee
Steve Carlsen, Raytheon Systems Company
Ed Herbert
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
Posted: 2016-8-31
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
Posted: 2016-8-16
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.

PSMA Offers Power Supply Safety & Compliance Database as Free Resource for All Industry Professionals
Posted: 2016-7-1
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.

The Outlook for Wide-Band-Gap Power Semiconductors in AC-DC and DC-DC Power Supplies
Posted: 2016-6-9


The 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.

IHS Figure 1 - market forecasts for SiC & GaN Power Devices

Computing Power Supplies
Power supplies used in computing include a mix of commodity and non-commodity AC-DC power supplies and DC-DC converters used in computing and server applications. Examples of non-commodity AC-DC power supplies in this sector include enterprise and high-end servers, and computer storage. Commodity AC-DC power supplies include those for computing (i.e., all desktop PCs, low-end servers, notebooks, tablet PCs, and the chargers or power adapters used with them) and office equipment (i.e., any other computer and office equipment, including monitors, printers, copiers, DSL modems, LAN hardware, hardware firewalls, cordless phones, IP phones, and fax machines). Among this list of products, over 99 percent of non-commodity AC-DC power supplies employ power factor correction (PFC), compared to less than 1 percent of commodity AC-DC 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.
GaN transistors will not be generally used in the commodity AC-DC power supplies in desktop PCs, low-end servers, notebook PCs and power adapters. They will be used only in the types of high-end computing equipment that use non-commodity AC-DC power supplies requiring PFC.

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
Power supplies used for telecommunication applications are non-commodity AC-DC power supplies and DC-DC converters used for the telecommunications application sector. This sector includes the following areas: access (infrastructure in the last one to three kilometers from the end-user), backbone (the underlying network communications conduit, including central offices and infrastructure), networking equipment (including service-provider routers, edge routers, core routers, high-end enterprise routers and network switches), mobile phone infrastructure (including all wireless network base stations), and other telecommunication applications (any fixed communications equipment not included in any other category). 

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
Power supplies used for consumer electronics are commodity AC-DC power supplies and DC-DC converters used for the consumer electronics and home appliance sectors. Examples include both internal power supplies and power adapters/chargers for gaming consoles, televisions, set-top boxes, CD and DVD players and recorders, digital cameras and camcorders and home appliances (including dishwashers, washing machines and dryers).

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.
Although the market for power supplies in consumer electronics is large, manufacturers predominantly use commodity AC-DC power supplies that do not require PFC. Adoption of SiC and GaN power semiconductors will remain very low until device prices fall close to parity with Si MOSFETs and IGBTs.

Other Power Supplies
The remaining market includes a mix of commodity and non-commodity AC-DC power supplies and DC-DC converters used in all other remaining applications. Examples of non-commodity AC-DC power supplies are those used in industrial applications, lighting, medical equipment, and military and aerospace equipment. Examples of commodity AC-DC power supplies are those used for mobile communications (power adapters for cellular phone handsets, including replacement chargers), LED lighting, and any other applications not covered in the preceding categories.

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 Figure 2, Market forecasts for SiC & GaN Power Devices

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. 

Provided by Richard Eden,
Senior Analyst, Power Semiconductors,
IHS Technology

  Richard Eden


Eric Persson Elected to Two-Year Term as Chairman of PSMA Board
Posted: 2016-6-1
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
Posted: 2016-5-14
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

Imagination, Microchip and Digilent deliver cutting-edge IoT curriculum for universities worldwide
Posted: 2016-4-23
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.

PSMA Launches Year-Long Webinar Series to Prepare for its Next Power Technology Roadmap (PTR)
Posted: 2016-1-6
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 power@psma.com 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.

PSMA's Power Technology Roadmap 2015:
Posted: 2015-9-22
A Tool for Current Benchmarking and Future Strategic Planning

Recently 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,
President, Micro-Tech Consultants



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: 
Micro-Tech Consultants
(707) 575-4820


PSMA Safety & Compliance Committee
Posted: 2015-6-22

PSMA 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:

  • Monitor trends, developments and standards covering military, industrial, computing, telecom/datacom and medical aspects of power conversion electronic products 
  • A focus on US and global EMI-RFI, safety, surge- transients, hold-up time standards
  • Discussion of existing and evolving standards and trends that apply to power converters and to provide a resource to members and the industry


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. 

Membership activities

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. 
As the saying goes, “Many hands make light work” and participants are invited who are knowledgeable and can actively contribute or are interested in networking with others in the industry to share experiences or concerns. 
In addition to the database activities, other committee activities may include organizing an Industry Session for APEC on Safety and Compliance issues and contributing to the PSMA Power Technology Roadmap.


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. 
If interested, please send contact information to power@psma.com.

Provided by Kevin Parmenter, Safety & Compliance Committee Chair


Why Should Your Company Be A Member Of PSMA?
Posted: 2014-12-21

The 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:

  • Networking: The opportunity to meet and interact with counterparts in other companies on an ongoing basis
  • Involvement: The opportunity to be involved with the planning and managing of APEC—the Applied Power Electronics Conference-- sessions that focus on the specific interest of members
  • Participation: The opportunity to participate in committees, workgroups and studies to derive a better understanding of market trends, industry trends and better operational procedures to improve performance
  • Discounts: Individuals from PSMA member companies receive discounts on registration fees for attending APEC
  • Industry Trends: Increase awareness and knowledge of trends and factors that can impact your career and provide valuable inputs for product planning
  • Company Profile: All member company profiles are listed on the PSMA Web Site together with a hyperlink directly to the company Web Site
  • PSMA Publications: Regular and Associate member companies receive a copy of all new PSMA publications and reports with discounts for additional copies. Affiliate member companies can purchase PSMA publications at a discount
  • Employment Resources: Post job openings on the PSMA website and browse student resumes
  • Benchmarking: The opportunity to participate in benchmarking studies with other companies in your industry
  • PSMA Newsletter: Receive “Update” the quarterly newsletter of the PSMA, with informative articles on activities in the industry and a calendar of upcoming industry events
  • Spotlight Banner: Your company’s products can be featured as a banner on the PSMA Home Page

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.


Get More From Your PSMA Membership – Join A Committee
Posted: 2011-8-28


PSMA 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:

  • Alternative Energy
  • Capacitors
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Energy Harvesting
  • Industry-Education
  • Magnetics
  • Membership
  • Marketing
  • Nanotechnology
  • Power Electronics Packaging
  •  Semiconductors
  • Technology Roadmap

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 power@psma.com.



Power Electronics Timeline DRAFT
Posted: 2011-6-29

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.

If you have any inputs to share, please contact ada@adaclock.com or the PSMA office.

PSMA Provides On-Line Energy Efficiency Standards Database
Posted: 2010-5-1

The Power Sources Manufacturers Association (PSMA) has announced availability of its On-line Energy Efficiency Database (EEDB) as a service to the industry. The number of energy efficiency standards and the world wide agencies that generate them continue to grow daily. It is time consuming for an individual or company to keep track of the many actions and activities by government and industry groups. The PSMA on-line energy efficiency standards database provides one click access to the very latest global standards and initiatives.

Some of the useful features:

  • Quick access to world region, agency, or standards application
  • Expanded data includes list of specific standards generated by an agency and parametric specifications for each regulation
  • Expanded description of regulations and agencies
  • Enhanced descriptions that include html code for quick linking to agency site or database location
  • Latest schedule of standards meetings

Dusty Becker, PSMA Board Chairman and chair of the PSMA Energy Efficiency Committee, states that The PSMA On-line Energy Efficiency Data Base which incorporates a number of improvements suggested by product planners to keep current is a valuable resource for engineers. We are pleased to offer this resource free of charge to our membership and to the industry. 

PSMA Presentation
Posted: 2008-4-3

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.

Handbook of Standardized Terminology now available on "Members Only"
Posted: 2008-1-4

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.

Getting More From Your PSMA Membership
Posted: 2005-9-27
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 chuck.mullett@onsemi.com. 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

An Engineer's Guide to using Google by Chuck Mullett
Posted: 2005-8-23

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.

Power Supplies - Make vs Buy
Posted: 2003-1-24

A discussion of criteria to consider when deciding whether you should make or buy power supplies when creating equipment.

Power Supplies - Make vs Buy



Technical Writing Guides
Posted: 2003-1-24

The following documents are provided to assist you in your technical writing. Please note that if you would like a hard copy of the Units, Symbols & Styles Guide in a handy one-page format, you may purchase copies in the Publications Section.

Units, Symbols and Style Guide

A Brief Writing Guide

Site Design: David Fogle Design

Contact us:   Tel: (973) 543-9660   Fax: (973) 543-6207   power@psma.com
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