PSMA website
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Table of contents
  1. APEC 2021: Virtual Format Provides All of the Traditional Content and Even More!
  2. 2021 PSMA Annual Meeting
  3. Committee Chairs Report at 2021 PSMA Annual Meeting
  4. Meet Your Directors
  5. About Our Members
  6. Welcome to PSMA
  7. PSMA Signs MOU with iNEMI
  8. Power Magnetics @ High Frequency Workshop
  9. PSMA/PELS Sponsors Virtual Capacitors in Power Electronics Workshop “Design Techniques for the 21st Century – Behind the Scenes, Make Sure You Choose & Use the Correct Capacitor”
  10. 3D Power Electronics Integration and Manufacturing Symposium (3D-PEIM)
  11. 2021 International Power Supply-on-Chip (PwrSoC) Workshop
  12. Registration is Now Open for the International Workshop on Integrated Power Packaging (IWIPP) 2021 Webinar Series
  13. WiPDA 2021 Workshop: The 8th Workshop on Wide Bandgap Power Devices and Applications
  14. White Paper: Energy Harvesting for a Green Internet of Things
  15. Diving Into Immersed Power Electronics
  16. Safety and Compliance are Mostly Learned in the Real World, Not the Classroom
  17. Events of Interest – Mark Your Calendar
Contents | Next->

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Previous issues of update: Q3_2020 | Q4_2020 | Q1_2021

PSMA UPDATE is published and distributed via e-mail quarterly by the Power Sources Manufacturers Association. Send editorial information and comments to:

P.O. Box 418
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(973) 543-9660
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Publisher: Mike Hayes   Managing Editor: Lisa Horzepa

Permission to reprint information and articles as published is granted: a courtesy line is appreciated.

Membership in PSMA is open to any organization or corporation involved in the power sources and supplies industry. For membership information, visit our website or contact us by fax, telephone or email.

If you or anyone in your company is interested in getting on the distribution list for future issues of PSMA UPDATE, please send e-mail to: Be sure to include your name and the name of your company.



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APEC 2021: Virtual Format Provides All of the Traditional Content and Even More!

This year's APEC 2021 will be presented as a fully virtual event with live and on demand content and a full exhibit hall for the first time in its 36-year history. Although we'll miss the camaraderie of the in-person event we attend every year, you'll see from the description to follow that APEC 2021 will not be a scaled-back or limited version of this important annual technical conference and tradeshow.

Hosted on the robust event platform, Social27, with on-demand content available beginning June 9 and live sessions from June 14 to June 17, 2021, participants and exhibitors of APEC 2021 will have many different ways to network. The online event will afford power electronics professionals – especially those based abroad – the flexibility of participating live and/or accessing the recorded materials on-demand.

When announcing their decision to hold the event online, the APEC Conference Committee cited uncertainties surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic. Continuing global travel restrictions and unknown future guidance on large-scale gatherings made it impossible for the committee to predict that the event would be safe to attend in-person, by June. As a fully online conference and exhibition, APEC 2021 will ensure the safety of attendees and presenters alike.

I encourage you, whether you're a long-time APEC participant – or you are new to APEC – to take advantage of the opportunity to advance your professional growth. APEC 2021 is an unmatched resource for learning about the latest technologies and trends impacting the power electronics industry.

Conference Program

The complete schedule for the plenary sessions, technical sessions, industry sessions, rap sessions and professional education seminars are now available online. Registrants will have access to session content during the live sessions. They will also be able to access recorded content until late July (except for the live-only Rap Sessions).

Here is a summary of the program details for APEC 2021

Plenary Sessions

The APEC Plenary Sessions continue a long-standing tradition of addressing issues of immediate and long-term interest to the practicing power electronics professional.

Unlike prior, in-person APEC events where "keynote" Plenary Sessions were held on the conference's opening day, APEC 2021 virtual Plenary Sessions will be distributed over the first three days of the conference.

This year's lineup includes seven distinguished invited professionals who will share their thoughts on six topics, ranging from automotive and wide bandgap technologies to energy storage and the future of power passives:

  • "Auxiliary Automotive Drives Revolutionized by Power Electronics"
              Monday, 6/14, 9:00 a.m., EDT
              Annette Muetze, Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing, Graz University of Technology
  • "Wide Bandgap Technologies: Enabling a Broader Power Application Domain" 
              Monday, 6/14, 9:45 a.m., EDT
              Edoardo Merli, Power Transistor Macro-Division General Manager and Group Vice President, STMicroelectronics
  • "Native  a.m.erican Energy Sovereignty: Energy Storage and Power Electronics Benefits"
              Tuesday, 6/15, 9:45 a.m. EDT
              Stanley Atcitty, Distinguish Member of Technical Staff Sandia National Laboratories
  • "Maturing Wide Bandgap Semiconductors Fosters Standardization (JEDEC JC-70 addresses unique characteristics and behaviors of WBG)"
              Tuesday, 6/15, 9:00 a.m., EDT
              Stephanie Watts Butler, Texas Instruments; JC-70 Chair
              Peter Friedrichs, Infineon; JC-70.2 Co-Chair
  • "The Present and Future of Magnetics and Other Power Passives" 
              Wednesday, 6/16, 9:00 a.m. EDT

              Charles R. Sullivan, Professor of Engineering, Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth
  • "Quantum Computing - The New Computing Paradigm"
              Wednesday, 6/16, 9:45 a.m. EDT
              Heike Riel, IBM Fellow, Lead IBM Research Quantum Europe & Africa IBM Research

Technical Sessions

The Technical Program at APEC is peer-reviewed. Technical papers are carefully selected based on their ability to highlight the most innovative technical solutions at the highest quality possible. They cover all areas of technical interest for the practicing power electronics professional. Papers with broad appeal are presented during lecture sessions and those with a specialized focus are presented during dialogue sessions.

All sessions will be pre-recorded and available on-demand starting on June 9th. On the scheduled day of the session, a live Q&A will follow each presentation. In addition, "Office Hours" for presenters will be held in several time slots over the course of the conference.

The Technical Sessions and Q&A panels will take place over several timeslots on Monday, June 14th, Wednesday, June 16th and Thursday, June 17th. Technical Dialog (Poster) sessions will be held on Tuesday, June 15th. The timing of these sessions is designed to allow for maximum access by the worldwide APEC audience. The full schedule can be found at

Industry Sessions

Industry Sessions cover information on current topics in power electronics and are presented by industry sources. These sessions run in parallel with the traditional Technical Sessions track. Industry Sessions speakers are invited to give presentations only, without submitting a formal paper. This allows attendees to learn about up-to-the-minute information that otherwise might not be available in the published conference papers. While these sessions are technical in nature, they also target business-oriented topics of interest to purchasing agents, electronic system designers, regulatory engineers, and others supporting the power electronics industry.

All Industry Sessions and Industry Dialog Sessions will be presented in parallel with the Technical Session schedule, as detailed above. And, just as with the Technical sessions, all Industry Sessions will be pre-recorded and available on-demand starting on June 9th. On the scheduled day of the session, a live Q&A will follow each presentation. In addition, "Office Hours" for presenters will be held in several time slots over the course of the conference.

RAP Sessions

This year's RAP sessions, a perennial favorite at APEC, will be back in full force. RAP Sessions allow for more informal, and exciting, dialogue among attendees and presenters. While these sessions have always been held concurrently at in-person APEC events, this year's RAP sessions will take place in three separate time slots, so that interested attendees can participate in all three. And, as has always been the case, Rap Sessions are open to all registrants – but in this case, you'll need to provide you own cool drink and snacks. Here's the line-up:

  • RAP Session 1: Monday, June 14th, 2:00–3:00 p.m., EDT
    Distributed vs. centralized control for micro-grid and nano-grid
  • RAP Session 2: Wednesday, June 16th, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., EDT
    Does high level of integration make power converters more reliable or not?
  • RAP Session 3: Thursday, June 17th, 2:00–3:00 p.m., EDT
    Where does the expertise for the next generation of magnetics come from? The Magnetics companies or the engineer designing the power supply?

Professional Education Seminars

APEC Professional Education Seminars (PES focus on practical aspects of the power electronics profession and provide in-depth discussion of important and complex power electronics topics. Given by distinguished speakers and experts, each seminar combines practical application with theory, and is designed to further educate the working professional in power electronics or related fields. The list of seminar topics include:

  • Hybrid and Resonant Switched-Capacitor Power Converters: New Circuit Topologies and Control Techniques for High Power Density Designs
  • New Developments in Topologies and Magnetics to Reach 99% Efficiency Using the Latest Semiconductor Devices
  • Selecting the Best Power Semiconductor Device for Your Application
  • Isolated Gate Driver ICs in Power Electronics Systems – Insulation specifications, IC verification, Application Requirements and Design Optimization
  • Integrated PCB Winding Magnetic Components for High-Frequency Power Converters
  • Practical Considerations for the Application of High-Power Si and SiC Modules
  • Designing Compensators for the Control of Switching Power Supplies
  • Traditional and Emerging Digital Control Techniques in Power Electronics
  • EMC Design Fundamentals for Power Electronics Converters
  • Silicon Carbide (SiC) Power Converters: EMC Design Fundamentals, Layout Techniques, and Construction Methods
  • Reliability Analysis Methods and Tools for Power Electronic Components and Systems
  • Fundamentals of Switched Reluctance Motor Drives
  • Future Power Electronics 4.0 SiC/GaN 3-phase PWM Converter Concepts
  • A Practical Guide to SiC MOSFET and Schottky Applications
  • SiC Power Conversion and System Packaging Technologies for High Temperature High Pressure Harsh Environment Applications
  • Maximizing GaN FET & IC Performance

Professional Education Seminars will be presented in several time slots over the course of the conference. They will also be recorded and available on-demand. Please check the online schedule for details.

Technical Exposition

At the first-ever APEC virtual exposition, exhibitors will showcase their latest advances in power electronics technology. Importantly for networking opportunities, they also will be available to discuss specifics with attendees, share contact data and request product literature and other information.

The Exposition will be open for live attendance and free to all registrants during the following hours:

Tuesday, June 15th (EDT)
          10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
          2:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
          9:30 p.m.–11:30 p.m.

Wednesday, June 16th (EDT)
          12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.
          8:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.

Please visit the APEC website for additional information and updates.


PSMA and PELS will again be sponsoring two workshops scheduled in conjunction with APEC. The sixth High Frequency Magnetics Workshop "Power Magnetics @ High Frequency" will be held virtually June 2&3 and the fourth Capacitor Workshop "Design Techniques for the 21st Century – Behind the Scenes, Make Sure You Choose & Use the Correct Capacitor" will be held virtually June 29&30. For more information see the articles on each workshop in this issue of the UPDATE.

Register Today

The early registration deadline has been extended to Friday, May 7!

I look forward to seeing you at APEC "live and in-person" in 2022 when the pandemic is behind us. Until then, please register for APEC 2021 and join us in June for the virtual event. After all, we're fortunate to have this chance to network with our peers and learn about new products in the comfort of our local surroundings.

Provided by Greg Evans,
APEC 2021 Publicity Chair


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PSMA 2021 Annual Meeting

The PSMA Annual Meeting, traditionally held in person during APEC, was held virtually for a second year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Over 60 PSMA members and guests attended the meeting to elect four individuals to the Board of Directors, to get an update on  the current activities of PSMA, to ask questions and to join in the open discussion.

Ajay Hari

Tim McDonald

George Slama

Renee Yawger

Mike Hayes opened the meeting at 10 a.m. CDT welcomed all attendees andintroduced the other members of the Executive Committee - Fred Weber, President; Trifon Liakopoulos, Vice-President; and Tim McDonald, Secretary/Treasurer.

The first item of business was the approval of the minutes from the 2020 Annual Meeting. This was followed by the election of four people to the Board of Directors. Each candidate nominated introduced themselves and provided a brief summary of their background and reasons for wanting to serve on the board. Ballots had been distributed in advance of the meeting to the designated representative from all Regular Member companies and additional votes were accepted during the first half of the meeting.

After all ballot were received. the following candidates were elected to the Board of Directors for the three-year term (2021-2024):

  • Ajay Hari, ON Semiconductor
  • Tim McDonald, Infineon Technologies
  • George Slama, Wurth Electronics
  • Renee Yawger, Efficient Power Conversion (EPC)

Mike Hayes and the meeting attendees congratulated Tim McDonald who was elected for his second term and congratulated and welcomed the three new directors and thanked nominee John Bultitude of KEMET Corporation for his continued contributions to the Packaging & Manufacturing Committee and to PSMA.

The Chair recognized the contributions of Alexander Gerfer and Kevin Parmenter whose terms as Director expired at the meeting.

Chair's Report

On behalf of the Executive Committee, Mike Hayes briefly reviewed and discussed his vision and objectives that had been presented last year and outlined the 4 pillars for sustenance and smart growth, each championed by a member of the Executive Committee:

  • PSMA Chair's report, a nnual meeting cover Mar, 2021
    Keeping and Nurturing the Good Stuff – Tim McDonald,
  • Becoming more Applications and Problems oriented – Fred Weber,
  • Define and integrate metrics to monitor the parameters that matter – Trifon Liakopoulos,
  • Engage more with stakeholders – Mike Hayes

The PSMA Strategic Direction continues to include focus on IoT, Energy Storage and Smart Mobility. Mike highlighted the importance of providing educational resources to encourage students to enter the industry and inform and motivate professionals, especially younger professionals and thanked everyone who is involved with expanding the Industry-Education Committee initiatives.

In his summary Mike Hayes discussed some of the major Next Steps for the Association which include careful planning and financial monitoring to get back to stability from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic; further building links with other Industry Associations, including iNEMI, IPC, IEEE PELS, EPSMA and CPSS; focusing on KPIs; and using the Pillars to build  growth, succession planning  and sustainability Mike highlighted the great progress that has been made in the past year and the opportunities in the coming year. Mike recognized the contributions of the many volunteers who contribute to PSMA and, welcomed others to get involved.

Power of the Pillars

Fred Weber provided a brief update of the Power of the Pillars by first reviewing the status of the Tiger Team initiatives and giving a brief overview of those that have been accomplished, those that are in progress, and those that are currently tabled. Tiger Teams were introduced in the fall of 2018 by previous PSMA Chair Stephen Oliver and have had great success over the last few years in turning words into actions.

Fred then outlined the longer-term goals which currently include inter-committee interactions, becoming more application and solution focused, and growing the PSMA eco-system. He briefly reviewed the progress and current status of these initiatives.

Financial Update

Tim McDonald, Secretary/Treasurer, presented the Financial Report which included the current financial status of the Association and a seven-quarter financial forecast. Tim reviewed the background and assumptions used in developing the forecastand emphasized the forecast is based on the best-known data available - which may, and probably will, change as more becomes known on the results of APEC2021 and the several workshops scheduled over the next several months.

Tim highlighted the inherent risks in the forecast and the critical need to increase revenue from membership and other activities. All of the events PSMA sponsors over the past year have been postponed or switched to virtual and it is unknown when in-person events will resume. This has had and will continue to have a negative financial impact on PSMA. He set a goal to identify an additional revenue by the end of calendar year 2022 to make up for the losses experienced due to the impact of Covid-19.

APEC 2021

Conor Quinn, APEC 2021 General Chair, provided an overview of the strong Technical Program planned for APEC 2021 with six Plenary speakers lined up, 3 rap sessions, 16 Professional Education Seminars, and a full schedule of Technical and Industry Sessions. Thirteen of the Industry Sessions for APEC2021 have been organized by PSMA Committees.

Conor noted that the APEC Steering Committee and Sponsors are monitoring the ongoing uncertainties due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and a final decision on whether the conference will take place in-person or virtually is expected in the coming weeks. The safety of attendees and ability for the international APEC community to attend are key factors being considered. With the unexpected shift to virtual last year, APEC 2020 was a limited virtual event. Planning for APEC 2021 has included virtual contingencies to ensure that the quality of the conference will be maintained in either format. If the conference is held virtually, a platform provider has been selected with excellent capabilities, including live and on demand content and an interactive Expo Hall.

Note: APEC 2021 has since announced that the conference will be held virtually. For more information, see the article on page 1 of this issue.

Committee Reports

Each of the PSMA Committees presented their report for the past year and future plans. You can read more about these on page 3 of this issue.

Invited Speaker

The invited speaker at this year's Annual Meeting was Liuchen Chang, Power Electronics Society (PELS) President (2021-2022). PELS is one of the 46 IEEE Societies. He reviewed the organization of IEEE and PELS, membership, list of major sponsored conferences, technical committees, and current initiatives.

Luichen discussed the PELS 5-Year Strategic Plan and their interest in further strengthening the partnership with PSMA. He also identified a number of specific areas for collaboration that would be of benefit to both organizations and the power electronics community.

Mike Hayes thanked Luichen for his presentation and affirmed that PSMA will continue to work with and expand the areas of mutual benefits.

Open Discussion

Chair Mike Hayes then opened the floor for discussion of the major issues facing the Association and suggestions for future initiatives. Several attendees provided ideas and input on the need for PSMA to identify new revenue sources. It was noted that PSMA dues are relatively low when compared to other industry associations but some expressed concern that a large dues increase may result in the loss of members. Suggestions offered included recognizing the largest member companies do receive more benefits than smaller companies based on their number of employees and locations. It was also pointed out that the dues revenue can be increased by expanding the membership. Other suggestions included identifying sponsorship opportunities for webinars and events, as long as it can be accomplished while avoiding commercial influence or the appearance of such on the activities. The Board of Directors will consider all of the suggestions discussed.

Before adjourning, Chair Mike Hayes noted that this was the second year that the meeting was held as a virtual event and expressed hope that we can resume the face-to-face meeting at APEC2022. Mike Hayes thanked all presenters and attendees for their participation and suggestions.

The minutes from the PSMA Annual Meeting have been posted in the Members Only area of the PSMA web site together with the charts from the presentations.

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Committee Chairs Report at PSMA 2021 Annual Meeting

Each of the PSMA Committees provided updates on their recent activities. All of the committees are supporting the 2022 Power Technology Roadmap, with most planning to provide at least one webinar for the roadmap webinar series. Nine committees have organized Industry Sessions for APEC 2021. In addition, several committees are collaborating to organize a paid virtual Vehicle Electrification Workshop in the fall of 2021.

Fred Weber, Capacitor Committee Co-Chair, reported that the committee meets monthly with 10-12 attendees. The committee hosted their fourth Capacitor Fundamentals educational webinar "Choosing a Capacitor from Start to Finish" in August 2020 and will be holding the 4th Annual Capacitor Workshop "Design Techniques for the 21st Century – Behind the Scenes, Make Sure You Choose & Use the Correct Capacitor" in June 2021.

Mike Hayes and Brian Zahnstecher, Energy Harvesting Committee Co-Chairs, reported that the committee membership is approaching 50 members with 15 regularly attending monthly meetings. The second EnerHarv Workshop, originally scheduled for 2020 has been postponed until an in-person event can be scheduled. A white paper on Energy Harvesting issues is being prepared and is supported by 16 committee members who meet biweekly.

David Chen, Energy Management Committee Co-Chair, reported that the committee currently has 24 members with about 8 who regularly attend the monthly meetings. There have been significant interactions with the Capacitor, Safety & Compliance and Energy Harvesting Technical Committees. The committee is currently supporting and overseeing both the Energy Efficiency Database (EEDB) and Safety & Compliance Database (SCDB).

Eric Schneider, Energy Storage Committee Co-Chair, reported that this new Technical Committee began as a subcommittee of the Capacitor and Energy Management Committees and became an official standalone committee last month. The committee's focus is on Energy Storage technologies, applications and issues that are applicable to many of the other PSMA Technical Committees.

John Horzepa presented the Industry-Education Committee report prepared by Gerry Moschopoulos, Committee Co-Chair, who was unable to attend the meeting. The committee has begun meeting monthly again after being less active in recent years. These meetings have been well attended by both long time and new committee members discussing initiatives and resources to encourage student to pursue a career in power electronics. The objectives of the committee are to promote interaction between power electronics students and industry and to promote power electronics to university and pre-university students. The committee plans to collaborate with IEEE PELS to develop programs and provide support to young professionals as they enter the industry and are early in their career.

George Slama, Magnetics Committee Co-Chair, reported that the committee meets at least once a month, with an average of 15 attendees. Under the leadership of Matt Wilkowski, George Slama, and Ed Herbert, the committee, with technical support from IEEE PELS, is organizing the 6th Power Magnetics @ High Frequency Workshop scheduled for June.

Frank Cirolia and Greg Evans, Marketing Committee Co-Chairs, provided an overview of the committee and highlighted some of the activities on its current agenda. The committee meets monthly with 4-7 people attending each call.  Several planned initiatives for 2020/2021, including the 35th Anniversary celebration and the Chuck Mullet Lifetime Achievement Award have been put on hold due to the pandemic.

Power Packaging and Manufacturing Committee Co-Chair Brian Narveson reviewed the activities and results of the committee this past year. There are over 20 people on the committee, with a good cross-section of industry and academia. The committee is very active, supporting 3 upcoming workshops: 3D-PEIM in Osaka, Japan, IWIPP in Aalborg, Denmark, and PwrSoC in Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Dhaval Dalal, Power Technology Roadmap Committee Co-Chair, reported that the next Power Technology Roadmap Report is scheduled for publication in 2022. The committee continues to evolve the report each cycle to add more relevant sections.  A new section on dc-ac inverters will be added in 2022. The 2020/ 2021 Power Technology Webinars have been very well attended, and Dhaval thanked the PSMA Technical Committees for their support in providing high quality presentations. The Committee continues to collaborate with iNEMI. They presented a webinar for iNEMI in August 2020 and participate in the quarterly meetings with the new iNEMI Roadmap Chair.

Brian Zahnstecher, Reliability Committee Co-Chair, reported that the committee holds monthly meetings and has 18 members. Brian is actively seeking an additional co-chair, since Tony O'Brien stepped down last fall. Work on the Power Supply Communication Bus Reliability Initiatives Special Project has been significantly delayed and the committee is exploring alternatives. The committee has collaborated with EPSMA and IPC in exploring possible future activities that would benefit the memberships of each Association.

John Horzepa reported that the Safety & Compliance Committee recently held its first meeting after being dormant since 2019 and is looking to identify new leadership. Ongoing activities include the Safety & Compliance Database (SCDB) on the PSMA website and former committee co-chairs, Kevin Parmenter and Jim Spangler contribute monthly articles on Safety and Compliance issues to How2Power. The Committee will be hosting an Educational Webinar on EMC in April which hopefully will generate renewed interest and support for the committee.

Tirtha Sarkar, Co-Chair of the Semiconductor Committee, reported the committee meets monthly with 5-10 attendees at each meeting. The committee has been very active this past year and has welcomed a new Co-Chair, Reenu Garg from Microchip Corporation, to help shoulder the responsibilities. The committee again plans four Industry Sessions for APEC2021. The committee also supports the Workshop on Wide Bandgap Power Devices and Applications (WiPDA).

Fred Weber, Transportation Electronics Committee Co-Chair, reported the committee has been very active this past year meeting monthly with 12-15 members attending each call. The committee recently changed its name, dropping the word Power, and adding Electronics to better represent power electronics focused on Autonomous Vehicle Technology.

All of the PSMA Technical Committee meetings are held via webconference and are open to individuals interested in learning about and participating in the work of the committees. Contact the PSMA Office at if you are interested in attending a committee meeting. This is an excellent way to network with others and to influence the technical direction of the committees.


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Meet Your Directors

Four members of the Board of Directors are elected at the PSMA Annual Meeting held every year, usually during the APEC conference. Each Director serves a three-year term on the Board and is eligible to be reelected for one additional term.

At the PSMA Annual Meeting held virtually in March 2021, Tim McDonald was elected for his second terms and three new board members were elected - Ajay Hari, George Slama and Renee Yawger. In this issue we would like to introduce you to Ajay, George and Renee.

Below are the biographies and statements they submitted when running as candidates for the Board of Directors.

Ajay Hari, Applications Director, ON Semiconductor
Ajay Hari
Applications Director, ON Semiconductor

Ajay Hari is an Applications Director at ON Semiconductor, where he leads a team of product definers, systems, and applications engineers working on of Ac-Dc and isolated Dc-Dc applications. Prior to ON Semiconductor, Ajay worked for National Semiconductor/TI, specializing in isolated power conversion. Ajay started his career at General Electric as a design engineer. Ajay has a Master's in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Florida and has authored many technical papers, articles, and holds over 18 patents in power electronics.


I have been actively involved with PSMA since 2015 and co-edited the applications section of the bi-annual PSMA Technology Roadmap for the years 2015, 2017, and 2019. I believe that the PSMA provides an excellent platform for power engineering professionals to give back to the community. The mission of the PSMA to bring together various resources of power sources industry is a worthy mission and would like to support it by bringing in a fresh perspective to the board of directors. With the advent of wide bandgap semiconductors, low cost digital processors, and advances in artificial intelligence, power electronics is at the cusp of another exciting growth phase and if given a chance to serve as a Director I would like to contribute in a meaningful fashion to this new growth phase.

Provided by Ajay Hari, Applications Director, ON Semiconductor

George Slama, Senior Applications and Content Engineer, Wurth Electronics
George Slama
Senior Applications and Content Engineer, Wurth Electronic

George Slama spent nearly two decades working at Electronic Craftsmen, a well-respected custom transformer and power supply manufacturer in Canada serving the industrial market. Being a small business, as many such places are, it was the perfect learning ground allowing the opportunity to move around to many different roles as the company developed, technology evolved and opportunity arose. His move to Midcom in South Dakota in 1997 continued the trend, now at a mid-sized company that had a different emphasis. There he spent many years working on low temperature co-fired ceramic transformers, which eventually became a separate business when Wurth Electronics purchased Midcom. Today George serves as Senior Application and Content Engineer in the Technical Marketing group helping to provide and vet technical literature, presentations and software for customers and internal use worldwide.
George serves as the current chair of the IEEE PELS Electronic Transformer Technical Committee, which writes and maintains standards and recommended practices for the transformer industry. He also serves on the IEC TC51 committee, "Magnetic components, ferrite and magnetic materials", is a co-convener of Working Group 9 – "Inductive Components" and serves as a US technical advisor.


I have been fortunate to spend my entire career in the custom magnetics and power supply industry. At first, it was interesting, then I when through a phase where I was not sure – it just didn't seem high tech. Finally, I embraced it with the realization that no electronic gadget works without power conversion and it was going through a big change. I came to realize that my work was part of many diverse products, both large and small. From telephone systems to elevators to aircraft radar to the United Nations and seemly everything in between... high voltage to low voltage, large to miniature, wide band or narrow, high frequency or low, up to the bleeding edge. Getting involved in custom switching power supplies added more things I contributed too. The entire journey has been one of continuous learning and working with smart and talented people both as colleagues and as customers. The creativity of those designing the final product whether it's a phone or a rocket to the Mars is only possible when matched by the creativity of those who design the components that go into it. Microcontrollers run everything today and they do not work for a microsecond without proper conditioned power, our specialty.

PSMA is about working and cooperating together to advance the industry. The various committees work individually and cooperatively to promote and disseminate new knowledge. We also want to encourage, educate, and raise up the next generation of engineers who will taking the reins. I am currently a co-chair of the Magnetics committee and am part of the Education committee. My goal as a director is to foster good interaction between all members to further our industry and to show young engineers that this is an exciting, challenging and rewarding field.

Provided by George Slama, Senior Applications and Content Engineer, Wurth Electronics

Renee Yawger, Director of Marketing at Efficient Power Conversion (EPC), Director Corporate Marketing at EPC Space
Renee Yawger
Director of Marketing at Efficient Power Conversion (EPC),
Director Corporate Marketing at EPC Space

Renee Yawger has over 25 years of sales and marketing experience within the semiconductor industry.  Prior to joining EPC, she was at Vishay Siliconix for nearly 15 years.  Over her tenure she has held various positions in sales support, customer service, and regional marketing.

In 2010, Renee joined EPC when the company first launched its commercial GaN-based power products.  EPC is the leading provider of gallium nitride (GaN)-based semiconductor power conversion technology, providing greater space, energy savings, and cost efficiency in applications such as DC-DC converters, remote sensing technology (lidar), motor drives, wireless power transfer, envelope tracking, and class-D audio amplifiers. At EPC, she is responsible for product marketing and marketing communication worldwide. She is also responsible for the corporate marketing function at EPC Space, which is a joint venture of EPC and VPT targeting the radiation hardened power electronics market for mission critical applications.  Radiation hardened GaN-based power devices address critical space-borne environments for applications including power supplies, light detection and ranging (lidar), motor drive, and ion thrusters.


It is an honor to be considered for a position on the PSMA Board of Directors. I have enjoyed serving on the semiconductor committee for the past few years and look forward to bringing my experience in marketing and promotion to help grow PSMA membership and contribute to the promotion of the many exciting power technology advances taking place across our industry.

Provided by Renee Yawger, Director of Marketing at Efficient Power Conversion (EPC)

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  About Our Members 
About Our Members

B ased in Tampa, Florida, Current Solutions, Inc is a premiere solutions provider for quality OEM power sources. Founded in 1995, Current Solutions has built a dedicated team of professionals that specialize in identifying the perfect solution for the ever-changing landscape of power needs in various industries. The ultimate pairing of our experts with the best products are what set us apart from our competition.

Current Solutions is known to be an innovator in providing solutions and being at the forefront of technological advancement in the marketplace.  In 1996 it all started with the creation of the largest Rep owned Power Source website in the industry. We now Represent partners with over a million square feet of factories, comprised of 2000 people and $250 million  Dollars in annual sales.  These product specialists, experts and engineers help make us virtually unmatched in providing the ideal power solution for our clientele.  This is why we partner with only selected leading manufacturers that are known to deliver a top-quality product.

Some of our partners include (Click here to read more about each of these manufacturers):
  • Adapter Tech
  • Arch
  • Cincon Electronics
  • Cotek
  • Exeltech
  • Integrated Power Designs
  • Qi Xin Electronics

By partnering with such a diverse range of manufacturers, Current Solutions is able to help our customers find the best product to fit their needs. Our large selection of products provides solutions for Audio/Video, Communications, Gambling/ Gaming, ITE, Lighting, Medical, Military, Oil & Gas Rail, Security, and other markets and applications. With partners that are based in the United States and  Asia withworldwide and high quality manufacturing capability in the United States,China, Taiwan and the Pilippines, Current Solutions can provide high quality and competively priced products to meet a diverse range of requirements and specifications. And if you can't find what you are looking for, Current Solutions will work to provide a custom solution that fits your needs.

Visit to find out more.

Provided by Al Johnson Jr, President, Current Solutions, Inc

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Welcome to PSMA
   We are pleased to welcome three new member company this quarter. We hope your company is a member. To learn about the benefits of membership, please visit our web site

William Gerard Hurley
National University of Ireland, Galway
University Road
Galway, Ireland
H91 TK33
Telephone: +353876592335

Professor Hurley received the B.E. degree with 1st class honours in Electrical Engineering from the National University of Ireland, Cork.  He was awarded the Irish ITT Fellowship to the U.S.A. and obtained the M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MA.  And completed his PhD degree and was awarded the higher doctorate D. Eng degree at the National University of Ireland, Galway.

He is currently Professor of Electrical Engineering at the National University of Ireland, Galway.  He is the Founder and Director of the Power Electronics Research Centre at NUI Galway. Prof. Hurley has given invited presentations in Mexico, Japan, Singapore, Spain, Czech Republic, Hong Kong, China and USA. Prior to joining NUI, Galway, he worked for Honeywell Controls and Ontario Hydro in Canada and in the University of Limerick, Ireland from 1983 to 1991.

Prof. Hurley is a Fellow of the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineering (IEEE), a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers of Ireland and a member of Sigma Xi.  He received the IEEE Power Electronics Society Middlebrook Award for technical achievement in 2013 and he was appointed a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE for 2014-2015.


Lite-On Technology Corporation
Chen Chen
No. 90, Jian 1st Rd.
Zhonghe Dist.
New Taipei City 235029
Telephone: 886-2-2222-6181

Founded in 1975, Lite-On Technology Corporation focuses on the development of optoelectronics and key electronic components, and strives to maintain their competitive edge through resource integration and optimized management. Lite-On produces products that are used in a broad range of applications, such as computers, communications, consumer electronics, automotive electronics, LED lighting, cloud computing as well as healthcare.

In 2014, Lite-On successfully completed its "One Lite-On " program by integrating nine of its main subsidiaries under one management. The main business strategy remains a focus on improving resource utilization, automation, production optimization, and streamlined processes to continually improve productivity and efficiency.

In recent years, Lite-On has been shifting its production focus from IT and communication towards cloud computing, LED lighting, automotive, smart manufacturing and G+AIoT applications. Lite-On continues to leverage its existing advantage as a world-class enterprise in this age of changes and challenges to become the partner of choice for global customers developing innovations and applications for photonics, energy-saving and smart technologies.


MilPower Source
Nicole Murray
7 Field Lane
Belmont, NJ 03220
Telephone: 833-933-0636

MilPower Source designs rugged power conversion, power management, and networking solutions exclusively for military and aerospace applications. With nearly 40 years of experience, MilPower designs and manufactures "off the shelf" (OTS), factory configurable, and fully custom solutions to address the demanding requirements of today's MIL-Standards, austere environments, and rugged military and aerospace applications.

Headquartered in Belmont, New Hampshire, MilPower designs prototyping, testing, assembly, characterization, calibration, and QA capabilities. Their innovative design teams, proven performance and customer-centric approach delivers an optimal experience for every customer by helping each one overcome their unique challenges. MilPower is comprised of seasoned professionals around the globe - from design engineers and technicians, to subject matter experts and solution architects all driven by a single purpose: to create the best power conversion, power management, and networking solutions possible for our customer's mission-critical applications.


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PSMA Signs MOU with iNEMI

T he International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI) and the Power Sources Manufacturers Association (PSMA) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate and share information. The two organizations will continue to partner in key areas such as roadmap development and anticipate co-hosting technical webinars for benefit of the members of each organization and  industry at large.

"iNEMI has had a long working relationship with PSMA, particularly in the area of roadmapping, and we hope to further expand our interaction to the mutual benefit of our respective memberships," said Shekhar Chandrashekhar, iNEMI CEO.

"All electronic assemblies need a power source, all power sources require expertise in interconnect, packaging, assembly, manufacturability and testability," said Mike Hayes, PSMA Chair. "The synergies between our organizations are obvious, and we look forward to building further our collaboration with iNEMI especially in educating, guiding and cross connecting our respective communities."


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Power Magnetics @ High Frequency Workshop
Virtual Sessions June 2 & 3 2021

T he PSMA Magnetics Committee and IEEE PELS " are jointly sponsoring a 2 day virtual workshop, "Power Magnetics @ High Frequency," on June 2 & 3, 2021. The 2021 workshop is the sixth high frequency magnetics workshop scheduled in conjunction with APEC and is widely recognized as the premier event for the exchange and discussion of the latest advances in magnetics and applications technology presented by leading experts from both academia and industry suppliers.

This virtual event will continue the focus on identifying the latest developments in magnetic materials, coil (winding) design, construction and fabrication, evaluation and characterization techniques and modelling and simulation tools. The objective is to target those power magnetics advancements that are deemed necessary to meet the technical expectations and requirements of new market applications to satisfy the ever higher operating frequencies and emerging topologies which are being driven by continuous advances in circuits topologies and semi-conductor devices.

The target audiences for the 2021 Power Magnetics @ High Frequency Workshop include the designers of power magnetic components for use in electronic power converters who are responsible to implement the most technologically advanced power magnetic components necessary to achieve higher power densities, specific physical aspect ratios such as low profile, higher efficiencies and improved thermal performance. The target audiences also include people involved in the supply chain for the power magnetics industry ranging from manufacturers of magnetic materials and magnetic structures, fabricators of magnetic components, providers of modelling and simulation software as well as manufacturers of test and characterization equipment.

The first day of the workshop will focus on "EMI Issues Caused and Solved by Magnetics" and the second day will be focused on "Integrated Magnetics." The morning sessions will feature invited presentations and demonstrations from leading experts from both well recognized companies supplying the magnetics industry and from renowned universities supporting -the industry. The afternoon sessions will feature keynote presentations by Fang Luo,Stonybrook University, who will discuss "EMI Issues Caused and Solved by Magnetic Components" and Qiang Li, CPES-Virginia Tech, who will discuss "High Efficiency and High Density 48V LLC Converters with Integrated Planar Magnetics for Data". Alexander Gerfer, Wurth Elektronik, will review the day's morning session each afternoon, highlighting the "Best of the Best" and then lead a panel discussion with the presenters for the day.

The tentative agenda for each day of the workshop can be viewed at 2021 Power Magnetics at High frequency Workshop Agenda

During each morning session workshop attendees will have the opportunity to submit their questions for that day's presentations that will be answered during that afternoon panel Q&A. As with past workshops, the presentations will also be posted to the website available to workshop registrants to view and submit questions in advance of the workshop that will be answered during the Q&A panel session for the respective topic.

The early registration fee for the workshop is $225 per participant reducing to $165 for students and members of PSMA and IEEE PELS. On May 1, the registration fee will increase to $255, reduced to $195 for students and members.

Registration includes attendance at the live workshop sessions as well as access to all of the workshop materials and session recordings.  Attendees of the "Power Magnetics @ High Frequency" workshop will also be able to attend the "Design Techniques for the 21st Century – Behind the Scenes, Make Sure You Choose & Use the Correct Capacitor" workshop at no additional cost.

The workshop's partner, Frenetic, has generously sponsored four student registration fee waivers that helps to bolster participation of students who are focusing on the power magnetics industry.

The latest information on the workshop as well as registration information is available on the PSMA website at:

Organizing Committee
Steve Carlsen, Independent
Ed Herbert, PSMA
Chema Molina, Frenetic
Rodney Rogers, Allstar Magnetics
George Slama, Wurth Elektronik
Fred Weber, Future Technology Worldwide
Chuck Wild, Dexter Magnetic Technologies Inc.
Matt Wilkowski, EnaChip

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PSMA/PELS Sponsors Virtual Capacitors in Power Electronics Workshop

"Design Techniques for the 21st Century – Behind the Scenes, Make Sure You Choose & Use the Correct Capacitor" workshop scheduled to take place June 29 & 30.

The Power Sources Manufacturers Association (PSMA) and the IEEE Power Electronics Society (IEEE PELS) are jointly sponsoring a 2 day virtual workshop titled, "Design Techniques for the 21st Century – Behind the Scenes, Make Sure You Choose & Use the Correct Capacitor." The workshop will be conducted virtually June 29 & 30.

The 2021 Capacitor Workshop is the fourth in the series of workshops scheduled in conjunction with APEC and is being recognized as the leading event for discussing the emerging technologies and applications for capacitors required for next generation power electronics and control systems. Each year the workshop has generated a growing interest and we are using the valuable feedback from past attendees to guide us in planning this year's sessions. Since two-thirds of the passive components used in next generation power and control products are capacitors, we continue our efforts to educate and inform the industry about the latest news and developments of the Capacitor Industry. The 2021 Capacitor Workshop will highlight the evolving capacitor technologies and focus on the characteristics and considerations in the use of capacitors in rapidly evolving market applications.

The 2021 Capacitor Workshop will concentrate on evolving and challenging Automotive and eMobility applications. These include design of power supplies, filter and driver. The workshop will also address the environmental influences to be considered in the choice of capacitor technologies.  Finally, the workshop will address the differences between simulation and reality.

Are you interested in learning more about the high temperature capabilities of EDLC Super-Capacitors, high voltage hybrid Aluminium Polymers?  Have you asked yourself, what is the difference between the result of the simulation you did and the first measurements of your prototypes? How will a capacitors' lifetime differ when environmental conditions change? All of these and many more questions are targeted to be answered during the workshop.

The 2021 Capacitor Workshop will provide an optimal balance between theoretical and practical information, featuring invited keynote presentations from leading industry players as well as presentations on the advances in capacitor research and development together with demonstrations of the latest technologies. In addition, there will be panel sessions of the presenters to address questions and expand on the information presented.  If you have any specific areas or issues that you would like included, please email Pierre Lohrber of the Workshop Organizing Committee at

The early registration fee for the workshop is $225 per participant reducing to $165 for students and members of PSMA and IEEE PELS. On May 1, the registration fee will increase to $255, reduced to $195 for students and members.

Attendees of the "Design Techniques for the 21st Century – Behind the Scenes, Make Sure You Choose & Use the Correct Capacitor" workshop will also be able to attend the "Power Magnetics @ High Frequency" workshop at no additional cost.  You can learn more about the Power Magnetics @ High Frequency Workshop at

Registration includes attendance at the live workshop sessions as well as access to all of the workshop materials and session recordings. 

The workshop's partner, Cornell Dubilier, has generously sponsored three student registration fee waivers that helps to bolster participation of students with the power electronics industry.

The latest information on the agenda as well as registration information for the workshop is available on the PSMA website at:


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3D Power Electronics Integration and Manufacturing Symposium (3D-PEIM)

The Third Biennial International 3D-PEIM-21 Symposium Hybrid (live/virtual) event will occur on June 21-23, 2021, Osaka University, Japan


T he Third Biennial International Symposium on 3D Power Electronics Integration and Manufacturing (3D-PEIM-21) will be held for the first time in Asia on June 21-23, 2021, at the Suita Campus of Osaka University Japan. However due to the Covid19 pandemic,  Japan may not be open to foreign travelers, everyone can attend this live event virtually. You can switch between virtual and in-person attendance up to May 21st.

We are building on the 2016 and 2018 Symposia's successes with the 3D-PEIM-21, again assembling world-class experts representing far-reaching topics on additive, embedded, co-designed, and integrative packaging technologies. In creating the 3D-PEIM Symposium, the PSMA Packaging Committee offers power electronics researchers an excellent opportunity to learn about the latest leading-edge R&D innovations in 3D power packaging. The focus of the Symposium will be on additive, embedded, co-designed, and integrative packaging technologies. Sessions will address mechanical, materials, reliability, and manufacturability issues in deploying smart power-dense components and modules, exploring the path to developing and manufacturing future 3D power electronics systems. Recognizing the importance of the Symposium, all previous speakers signed up for the postponed 2020 3D-PEIM event have committed to participating in our upcoming 2021 3D-PEIM.

This Symposium is one of numerous PSMA sponsored events that is part of its ongoing commitment to educate and inform the power electronics industry.

The Technical Program Co-Chairs are Prof. Katsuaki Suganuma, Osaka University, Japan, Dr. Minora Ueshima, Senior Manager, Daicel, Japan and Prof. Guo-Quan Lu, Virginia Tech.

General Chair Professor Tsuyoshi Funaki states, "I am glad we are the first to host the 3D-PEIM Symposium outside the USA. It is very appropriate that 3D-PEIM 2021 is held here because there are many power device and peripheral packaging material manufacturers in Japan. We are planning on providing an amazing on-site or virtual experience for all attendees. I also believe that all attendees will gain significantly advanced packaging knowledge through discussions at this event."

Technical Program

The detailed program with time zone information for virtual attendees is available at Due to time zone challenges, all sessions will be recorded and available to paid attendees after the Symposium.

The Symposium will feature table-top exhibits during the breaks, lunch periods, and evening networking sessions for in-person attendees. Virtual attendees will be able to interact with speakers and the audience during live question and answer sessions. On the last day of the Symposium, in-person attendees are invited on a guided tour of the Osaka University Laboratory for Power Electronics and Electrical Energy and the Graduate School of Engineering Gallery. Additional information and registration details are available at

Opportunities Available for 3D-PEIM 2021 Exhibit Partnerships
Information can be found at  If you have questions, contact info@3d-peim.



Technical Sponsors:

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2021 International Power Supply-on-Chip (PwrSoC)

October 24-27, 2021
Sponsored by PSMA and IEEE PELS

pwrsoc 21 logo

T he 2021 Power Supply on Chip (PwrSoC) Workshop is scheduled to be held in-person from October 24, through October 27, at the Singh Center for Nanotechnology on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia PA.

Throughout its history, each workshop has spotlighted advanced technologies needed to build granular and modular power supplies and provided compelling demonstrations of commercialized products that make a clear case that PwrSoC and PSiP technologies are becoming more prominent and mainstream.

The technical program chairs for the 2021 International Power Supply-on-Chip (PwrSoC) Workshop are Hanh-Phuc Le of University of California at San Diego and Matt Wilkowski of EnaChip. Hanh-Phuc and Matt have both been presenters, session chairs and program chairs for past Power Supply on Chip workshops. A team of world-renowned experts, innovators and pioneers of the Power Supply on Chip technology has been assembled to chair the workshop's nine sessions.

  • Plenary Session - Jose Cobos, University Polytechnic Madrid
  • Systems and Applications - Francesco Carobolante, IoTissimo
  • Topologies and Control - Bruno Allard, Université de Lyon
  • Wideband Gap Integration - Brian Ma, University Texas Dallas
  • Integrated Capacitors & Energy Storage - Medhi Jatlaoui, Murata
  • Integrated Magnetics - Masahiro Yamaguchi, Tohoku University Japan
  • System Integration Manufacturing and Packaging - Baoxing Chen, Analog Devices
  • Granular Power - Santosh Kulkarni, Dialog Semiconductor
  • Posters - Minjie Chen, Princeton University

The technical program committee is in the process of identifying a pool of respected international experts from academic, research and industry for the areas covered by each of the technical sessions. The session chairs are looking to build on the glimpses of technology developments, product developments and emerging market applications that were provided during the PwrSoC corridor webinar event this past November with the goal of publishing an agenda for the topics and presenters by early summer 2021. If interested in providing a presentation, please contact one of the session chairs or technical program co-chairs.

As with past workshops, all lecture presentations are by invitation from the respective session chairs. A call for posters is planned for early summer 2021. Registration for the 2021 Power Supply on Chip workshop is expected to open during the summer of 2021.

The 2021 November PwrSoC corridor event did provide a first look at the progressions since the last in-person workshop in Taiwan with presenters and attendees from all global regions. This virtual event was highly attended with many first-time attendees representing the growing international interest in PSiP and PwrSoC technologies and PwrSoC's technology posturing to grow and become more mainstream in the next few years.

The planning of the technical program, supporting activities as well as identifying workshop partners to contribute to its success are in process. If interested in being a workshop partner, please contact the workshop financial chair, Trifon Liakopoulos, at

Continuing the tradition of the enthusiasm, market relevance and success of past workshops, we are looking forward to the in-person International Power Supply-on-Chip (PwrSoC) Workshop 2021 in Philadelphia, PA during the week of October 24 thru 27 2021 bringing to light the technology and market application developments since the most recent in-person PwrSoC workshop in Taiwan during October 2018.

General Chair:
Mark Allen

Technical Program Co-Chairs
Matt Wilkowski
Hanh-Phuc Le

For more information about previous and coming PwrSoC events, visit

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Registration is Now Open for the International Workshop on Integrated Power Packaging (IWIPP) 2021 Webinar Series

A Virtual Corridor Event August 23-27 sponsored by PSMA and IEEE societies

Corridor Webinar series - IWIPP 2021

To maintain our charter of Industry Education, the Power Sources Manufacturers Association (PSMA) together with the IEEE sponsoring societies are sponsoring a free webinar series on August 23, 25, and 27, 2021. The webinar series is a corridor event made possible by the financial support of our sponsors, with the intention of bridging the gap from the 2019 IWIPP workshop to the next IWIPP workshop in 2022 which was delayed one year due to the pandemic. Register now at Registration – IWIPP .

The IWIPP corridor webinar series will consist of three  2.5-hour webinar sessions highlighting the most recent technology developments. Each session will address a different set of applications and technology advances. The sessions will be on Monday August 23, Wednesday August 25, and Friday August 27. Each session will begin at 7:00 AM CDT (3 PM CEST).  There will be three 25-minute presentations per session followed by a live panel-style question and answer session with the presenters. Each of the webinar sessions will remain open until the presenters have responded and answered all the questions submitted. The agenda of the webinar events is as follows:

Past workshop attendees have always recognized the IWIPP Workshop as a high-value event that brings together leading global academic and industry experts to formally and informally discuss issues to advance and productize packaging, materials, and system technologies. As Dr. Francesco Iannuzzo, Professor, Aalborg University, Chair for the 2022 Workshop and the 2021 Corridor Webinar has indicated, "… the 2021 webinar series will fill a void in the timing of the live workshop series created by the COVID-19 situation by taking advantage of experiences with virtual workshops that have become more prevalent this past year. Our objective is to further develop the interactive experiences of a virtual format which may become more usual in the future."

Registration for the corridor webinar series is now open at Registration – IWIPP. The webinar series will be free of charge but the number of attendees that can register is limited; therefore, we advise you to register early.

Registered attendees for the workshop will have access to the presentations prior to the webinar series. This will allow registered attendees to submit questions in advance of the webinars. Recordings of the presentations and panel Q&A will be made available to registered attendees after the webinar series is completed. This will allow registered attendees across global time zones to conveniently access the presentations and submit questions.

Throughout its history, the workshop has spotlighted advanced technologies to build granular and modular power supplies and compelling demonstrations of commercialized products.

International Workshop of Integrated Power Packaging (IWIPP) 2022

The technical program chair for the 2022 workshop is Dr. Nick Baker, Aalborg University. A team of world-renowned experts, innovators and pioneers of the Packaging, Materials and Systems technology has been assembled to create the technical program.

The planning of the technical program and supporting activities, as well as identification of industry partners to contribute to the workshop's success are in process. If interested in becoming workshop partner, please contact the IWIPP financial chair, Dr. Andrew Lemmon, Associate Professor, The University of Alabama, at

Continuing the tradition of the enthusiasm, market relevance and success of past workshops, we are looking forward to the virtual corridor event in August 2021 bridging discussions and developments since the most recent IWIPP workshop in Toulouse, France during April 2019, while looking ahead to the in-person IWIPP 2022 in Aalborg, Denmark.

IWIPP is sponsored by the PSMA Packaging & Manufacturing Committee, which is co-chaired by Brian Narveson, Ernie Parker and John Bultitude. They look forward to seeing all of you at the virtual corridor event August 23, 25, 27, 2021 and in-person at Aalborg University, August 24-26, 2022.

Sponsored by:
Power Sources Manufacturers Association (PSMA)
IEEE Power Electronics Society (PELS)
IEEE Electronic Packaging Society (EPS)
IEEE Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation Society (DEIS)
European Center for Power Electronics (ECPE)

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WiPDA 2021 Workshop

The 8th Workshop on Wide Bandgap Power Devices and Applications

A mid a still fluid situation, the organizing committee for the 8th Annual IEEE / PMSA Workshop on Wide Bandgap Power Devices and Applications (WiPDA) remains cautiously optimistic that the conference will be permitted to be held as an in-person event at the Sonesta Redondo Beach & Marina, Redondo Beach, California, November 7 – 9, 2021.

Regardless of format, the workshop will provide engineers and scientists with opportunities to share their expertise in wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductor technology. WiPDA 2021 will feature carefully selected tutorials as well as keynote sessions from industry leaders, panel sessions, technical sessions, and a poster session that cover four technical tracks: Silicon Carbide (SiC) power devices, SiC applications, Gallium Nitride (GaN) power devices, GaN applications, and new this year, Gallium Nitride (GaN) RF devices and applications and International Technology Roadmap for Wide Bandgap Power Semiconductors) (ITRW) sessions.  Topics in emerging WBG materials will also be solicited. 

Keynote Sessions:
The committee is thrilled to be able to offer participants the opportunity to attend keynote sessions featuring industry leaders discussing the latest developments in wide bandgap technology and applications.  The speakers include:

Full bios for keynote speakers can be found at

There will be many opportunities to network with leading WBG specialists in industry, academia and national laboratories, especially at the Industry and Sponsors Exhibition, which occurs simultaneously with the workshop. 

The workshop is sponsored by the IEEE Power Electronics Society (PELS), the Power Sources Manufacturers Association (PSMA), and the IEEE Electron Devices Society (EDS).  The General Chair is Sameh Khalil, Senior Principal Engineer, GaN Device Reliability and Product Engineering Management at Infineon Technologies.  He is supported by Vice Chair Helen Li, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, FAMU-FSU college of Engineering
Key Dates:

  • June 1, 2021:             Two-page abstract submission deadline.
  • July 15, 2021:            Notification of the acceptance.
  • August 25, 2021:       Submission to mentor
  • September 7, 2021:   Final paper submission deadline for workshop proceedings.

Call for Abstracts:
The abstract submission portal will open mid spring to accept authors' manuscripts.  Researchers are encouraged to submit their latest findings on the design and fabrication of WBG power devices, their insertion in power electronics circuits/systems, and on technology of SiC, GaN, their reliability and other emerging, high performance WBG power semiconductors. 
Authors and speakers are encouraged to submit their latest research findings in this WiPDA world-renown symposium. For abstract proposals, the technical topics of interest include:

  • Heteroepitaxial & Bulk Materials Growth
  • Gate Dielectrics & Surface Passivation
  • Device Structures & Fabrication Techniques
  • Device Characterization & Modeling
  • Very-High Efficiency or Compact Converters
  • Safe Operating Areas of Wide Bandgap Devices, Including Short Circuit, Spike, &Transient Tolerance
  • Harsh Environment (High Temperature) Operation & Reliability
  • Packaging Power Modules & ICs
  • Hard-Switched & Soft-Switched Application Analysis
  • Gate Drive & Other Auxiliary Circuits
  • High-Performance Passive Components
  • Applications in Renewable Energy & Energy Storage, Transportation, Industrial Drives, & Grid Power Systems
  • Wide Band Gap System Design Philosophies & Strategies
  • Radio Frequency (RF) GaN (NEW)
  • Technology Roadmap of Wide Bandgap Including Devices, Applications and Packaging (NEW)

The committee is deeply appreciative of our sponsors and valued audience members during these uncertain times.  Continue to stay safe and well and we look forward to seeing everyone in Redondo Beach in November 2021! 

Please subscribe to stay informed of the latest news and receive deadline reminders for WiPDA 2021. Also, join the WiPDA group on LinkedIn.

Stay safe!

Provided by Renee Yawger
WiPDA 2021 Publicity Chair


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White Paper: Energy Harvesting for a Green Internet of Things

T he Energy Harvesting White Paper Committee is preparing a White Paper on Energy Harvesting elucidating the enormous opportunities of the technology despite a reluctant adoption in some industries.

Although Energy Harvesting methods and devices have reached a credible state-of-art, relatively few devices are currently commercially available and off-the-shelf harvester solutions often require an extensive adaption to the envisaged application. A synopsis of typical energy sources, state-of-the-art materials and transducer technologies for efficient energy conversion, storage and management encompasses a wide range of successful research results. But developing power supplies for actual applications reveals their strong dependence on application-specific installation requirements, power demands and environmental conditions resulting in a less extensive portfolio of successful system integrations.

The industrial challenges for a massive spread of autonomous sensor systems are manifold and diverse. Reliability issues, obsolescence management and supply chains need to be analysed for commercial use in critical applications. On this front, the gap between currently available solutions and use-case scenarios is analysed from the perspective of the user. The white paper then proceeds to identify the key advantages of energy autonomy in environmental, reliability, sustainability and financial terms.

Energy harvesting could lead to a lower CO2 footprint of future IoT devices by adopting environmentally friendly materials and reducing cabling as well as battery replacement. Further research and development is evidently needed to achieve a technology readiness levels acceptable for the industry. From this discussion, this white paper will propose a future research and innovation strategy for industry-ready green microscale IoT devices, as a key and seminal initiative to provide useful information to the different stakeholders involved, encourage more interaction between them and deliver industry ready solutions.

Contact and further information: Thomas Becker, Thobecore (email:, Michalis Kiziroglou, Imperial College London (email:

Provided by Thomas Becker (left) and Michalis Kiziroglou (right)
PSMA Energy Harvesting White Paper Committee Co-Chairs



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Diving Into Immersed Power Electronics

Figure 01 – Mineral oil cooled PC
(Picture: PRBX / Courtesy of Puget System)

I n the quest to increase power utilization efficiency and to achieve the computation of more data in smaller spaces, the computing industry investigated alternative solutions to forced air-cooling. Cold wall and baseplate cooling methods, helped by liquid or gas exchangers have been used for decades and from a laptop, datacenters and on to radio base stations, a well-established technology to extract calories from dissipating components has been achieved. The technology worked well, but to jump from 40kW per rack to 250kW and more, even that technology reached its limits.

How to get more computing power from a datacenter with safety and efficiency has been the concern of many engineers, and the idea to get the full benefit of liquid cooling by immersing heavy computing systems into fluid became an interesting option. After more than 10 years of experimentation, business cases and trials, where does that industry stand in 2021 and how will power supplies adapt and develop to accommodate that technology?

From fish-tank to super high density datacenter

If you are a fan of online gaming requiring huge levels of computing power, you may remember PC conventions where geeks presented oil immersed computers in a fish-tank (Figure 01). Anecdotal as it may seem, beginning in 2005, the idea to benefit from deep liquid cooling technology has been explored by the gaming community but the biggest interest for that technology emerged from Bitcoin mining requiring massive computing power.

Figure 02 – KnC Miner 10 megawatt data center filled with high-powered
computers mining for cryptocurrency in Boden (Sweden)
(Picture: PRBX / KnC Miner-2014) Source: PRBX / Shutterstock / UvGroup

At the origin of Bitcoin mining, many companies took advantage of the cold Nordic environment and the locally produced renewable hydroelectric energy to setup datacenters. Nordic countries began many projects to support those initiatives. One example is the Swedish project, 'The Node Pole' promoting an abundance of stable and competitively priced electricity from renewable energy, inviting datacenter operators to benefit from this specific environment.

Many leading companies launched datacenters in Nordic countries, e.g. in Boden, Sweden. We could mention the Bitcoin company KnC Miner, who in 2014 opened a 10 megawatt data center filled with high-powered computers mining for cryptocurrency, capitalizing on the benefits of hydroelectric power and natural cooling. Although the source of energy powering a Bitcoin farm was renewable, nonetheless the energy dissipated was lost and concern was emerging regarding 'Energy Utilization'. Many Bitcoin mining datacenters all over the world were operating in huge halls, with thousands of computing units cooled by forced air, without any heat recycling (Figure 02).

While Bitcoin mining centers operating in Nordic conditions could 'get by' using forced air cooling, the methodology was definitely not a long term solution, and where massive computing units operating in the rest of the world - and not benefiting from natural cold air - it was not a solution at all. In any case, considering the environmental aspect and impact, wasting energy became a major concern and even in Nordic countries local communities placed high demand levels on datacenters to improve Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) and to optimize and re-use calories produced during the computing process, for example to heat water for public usage.

Figure 03 – Allied Control 2-phase Immersion Cooling
(Picture: PRBX / Courtesy of LiquidStack)
Source: PRBX / Shutterstock / UvGroup

Besides Bitcoin mining, the growing demand for mass computing architecture for simulations and future networks of autonomous vehicles motivated datacenter operators to consider alternative methods to deliver extremely high computing power in smaller spaces with a PUE close to ONE. The idea to immerse the heavily computing parts of datacenters in fluid grew within the engineering community, with functional systems being tested in 2010.

The road for immersion cooling was opened!

When Bitcoin meets Big Data

We could name many experiments performed all over the world to design immersed, high computing power machines in fluids, but it's worth mentioning the 1.4MW container data center and its 240kW flat racks launched by the Hong-Kong based company Allied Control (now LiquidStack) and rewarded with the 'Best Green ICT Award' in 2014 (Figure 03).

From the first generation launched in 2012 to the third generation launched in 2015, cooperating with 3M under a project named 2PIC (2-phase Immersion Cooling), Allied Control increased the Total Watts Per Square Foot from 0.25kW to 3.23kW while maintaining a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.02. This has been made possible by optimizing the immersion cooling technology with the 3M coolant Novec 7100.

Presented at many conferences, e.g. Open Compute Project Summit (OCP Summit), immersion cooling offers unprecedented benefits in terms of performance. As shown in Figure 04, the power density per rack can increase from 40kW to 250kW (and more), the computing power from 10kW to 100kW per square meter, and the energy used for cooling to reduce from 2.0 pPUE (partial Power Usage Effectiveness) to below 1.02 pPUE.

In addition to improving performance, immersion cooling is also considered by datacenter managers as a possible solution to reduce the risk of fire. We are all able to recall the fire at the French OVH datacenter in Strasbourg and the collateral damage that impacted their customers. Despite all caution and measures in place to prevent a fire, the increased power density of existing datacenters cooled by conventional methods remains a high concern for datacenter managers.

Figure 04 – Comparison of air cooling vs. fluid cooling performances
(Picture: PRBX / Courtesy of 3M)

The dielectric coolants used in immersed datacenters have a dielectric strength that's thousands of times higher than air, so even if there's a short circuit in the coolant, there's no spark or ignition, which clearly greatly reduces the risk of fire. As well, immersed data centers are using a very limited number of fans, mainly used outside the computing environment in the heat exchanger.

All considered, immersed datacenters have lots of benefits and following on from Google, Alibaba and many others, the recent announcement from Microsoft to use two-phase immersion cooling in its Quincy, Washington Azure datacenter confirms the demand for Big Data computation taking over from the original Bitcoin experimentation phase.

Making datacenters more powerful and better in Power Usage Effectiveness is great but is cooling working and what will that mean for power supplies manufacturers?


Two technologies are commonly used for immersion cooling: Single-phase Liquid Immersion Cooling (SLIC) and Two-phase Liquid Immersion Cooling (TLIC). Both technologies make it possible to achieve more than 200kW per rack with impressive PUE. The decision to use one or another technology depends on operational conditions and best practices as applied to specific industries. A lot of literature has been published on both, but in simple terms this is how it works:

Single-phase Liquid Immersion Cooling (SLIC)

Figure 05a – Single-phase Liquid Immersion Cooling (SLIC) basic principle
(Picture: Powerbox (PRBX))

Figure 05b – SLIC DUG immersion-cooled data hall in
Houston hosting more than 40,000 servers
(Picture PRBX/ Courtesy of DUG Technology)


Single-phase immersion cooling (Figure 05a) servers are usually installed vertically in the container and cooled by a hydrocarbon-based dielectric fluid that's similar to mineral oil, as was used by the gaming geek in the early days. The heat is transferred from the dissipating components to the coolant, which is then cooled via a heat exchanger in a cooling distribution unit (CDU). Single phase is very simple to operate and maintain. Beside hyperscale datacenters (Figure 05b), SLIC is the preferred solution for industrial computing systems operating in harsh environments requiring a very high level of safety.

Figure 06b – TLIC servers at Microsoft Quincy, Washington datacenter
(Picture: PRBX / Courtesy of MICROSOFT)

Two-phase Liquid Immersion Cooling (TLIC)

In a two-phase immersion cooled system (Figure 06a), servers are immersed inside a bath of specially engineered fluorocarbon-based liquid. Because the fluid has a low boiling point (often below 50 degrees C vs. 100 degrees C for water), heat from the servers easily boils the surrounding fluid. The boiling of the liquid causes a change of state from liquid to gas, thus giving two-phase immersion cooling its name. The vapor is then condensed back to the liquid form via water-cooled condenser coils that are integrated into the top of the sealed racks. The condensed liquid drips back into the bath of fluid to be recycled through the system (Figure 06b).

Figure 06a – Two-phase Liquid Immersion Cooling (TLIC) basic principle
(Picture: Powerbox (PRBX))

Power to Immersion

The vast majority of datacenter equipments are powered by a front-end rectifier converting the AC voltage to 48V DC. Some are using a High Voltage DC (HVDC) distribution (e.g. 400 VDC). In the case of immersed equipment, the power supplies are often outside the tank and power supplies are off the shelf, however a number of highly integrated, high-density computing units are integrating the complete power solution.

Figure 07 – PRBX AC/DC power supply OFI600A-12
designed for immersion cooling applications
(Picture: Powerbox (PRBX))
Originally used in harsh environments where safety is important and cooling is complicated, immersed electronics has been in practice for many years. With the high demand for small networks with high computing capacity, the development of a new generation of highly integrated, immersed servers began, including the AC/DC power supply (Figure 07).

Although most of the power supply components are compatible with the different coolants used in SLIC and TLIC, power designers must carefully select electrolytic capacitors. Electrolytic capacitors are designed to sustain humidity, however their sealing capsule properties can be affected when permanently immersed. Because operating such a capacitor in an immersed conditions may be outside its normal specifications, it is important to simulate, test and verify capacitors' life time when immersed for deployment as such.

Another important parameter to take into consideration is thermal conditions, which in the case of a liquid coolant is very much different to that when operating in air conditions. In both cases, by circulation in the case of SLIC, and evaporation in the case of TLIC, the calories are evacuated from dissipating components much faster than in air. In some components such positive temperature coefficients (PTC) are temperature-dependent and in the case of immersed applications the gradient between low and high temperatures is much lower. Power designers must take this into consideration.

Coolants have high dielectric properties and there is no problem in operating high voltage switching topologies in immersed power supplies, although it is important to maintain a high physical isolation e.g. the use of a conformal coating to prevent corrosion from electrolyte effect that might happen when immersed in fluid.

Most of the layout principles used in air-cooling apply in immersed applications but it is important to make sure the fluid circulation is optimized within the power supply.

Last but not least, when operated in immersed conditions temperature measurement can be a challenge. Although conventional temperature sensors are often used with specific coupling to the dissipating components, other types of monitoring by digital measurement are often used instead. Also, techniques such as ripple and noise envelope analysis help to monitor the overall performance and to apply preventative maintenance when parameters are outside critical limits.

What's the next step?

What was started by gaming geeks immersing their computers in fish-tanks, and now to hyperscale massive computing datacenters, the immersed computing world is aimed to grow fast. The outbreak of COVID-19 is boosting Datacenter service demand and also new technologies such as autonomous vehicles, and 5G in its early stages. SLIC and TLIC will continue to improve performance levels, as will power supplies manufacturers working on highly efficient topologies using Wide Band Gap semiconductors (SiC and GaN). After 10 years of experimentation and local initiatives, the world of immersed computing is opening up nicely.

Power designers love a challenge and developing multi kilowatts immersed power supplies is a challenge they cannot resist.

Provided by Patrick Le Fèvre
Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Powerbox



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Safety and Compliance are Mostly Learned in the Real World, Not the Classroom

Like everyone else, engineers are feeling the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in their work life, with many working remotely from home, either partially or full time. Project schedules in some cases are being impacted, and there have been supply chain disruptions, either caused or exacerbated by the pandemic. Meanwhile, for some aspects of engineering such as compliance activities, it seems to be business as usual.

As has been discussed in previous Safety & Compliance columns, there are new environmental regulations coming into effect that change the disclosure requirements regarding the material composition of electronic products. With the pandemic disrupting companies' abilities to meet the new requirements, I am seeing companies requesting postponements of the new milestones in reporting, only to have these requests denied.

Perhaps these regulatory activities are not being paused because they mainly involve processing of data, which like other work, can be done remotely. Another way to look at them is that compliance requirements are considered so important, they must not be disrupted even in the face of a public health crises.

Perhaps this thought was on my mind as I came across an article written a few years ago by Lou Frenzel, titled "7 Critical Things They Don't Teach You in EE School"1. The topics Frenzel focused on were "power supplies, pc board design, video, motors, test and measurement, wireless and digital signal processing" and he noted some of the reasons why each of these areas are important for EEs, why universities tend not to teach about them (at least in undergrad programs) and how engineers are largely left to learn these subjects on their own.

In reading about these neglected subjects, in my mind I could not help but add safety and compliance issues to the list. As with the topics that Frenzel discussed, knowledge of safety and compliance requirements and practices is critical to performing our jobs as electronics engineers. Yet so many aspects of S&C are never addressed in engineering studies.

Just consider the main areas we write about in this column:

  • Safety and risk/hazard reduction requirements and regulations. Think fault conditions that lead to shock hazards or fire. Engineers need to understand how to prevent faults that lead to these events, while satisfying the global safety agency requirements that provide the legal assurances these problems will not occur.
  • EMI-EMC issues. Electromagnetic interference (EMI) and electromagnetic compliance (EMC) issues encompass a range of potential problems that can make a product design perform poorly or make it unmarketable. These include your design interfering with itself or other equipment, or the ac power mains interfering with your design.
  • Energy efficiency standards and guidelines. These encompass both voluntary and mandatory requirements. Naturally, power supply designers become very familiar with many of these requirements in their work, but in many cases power supply specifiers and other non-power specialists need to understand the requirements too.
  • Environmental/materials compliance regulatory issues. These concern the chemical composition of all the components in your product and disclosure requirements to satisfy the raft of regional and global regulations like RoHS, REACH, WEEE, California Prop 65, etc.  

It is pretty much a given that none of these topics will be covered in any kind of undergraduate engineering curriculum. But stepping back for a moment, the lack of attention to these issues is somewhat an extension of the "ideal" way in which electronics is taught in general.

For example, in your undergrad courses, they taught you that a capacitor is a schematic symbol or a simulation file or both. In any case it was a perfect component and, in reality, there are no perfect or ideal components.

Nor is a capacitor a single type of device. There is a plethora of different capacitor styles. None of them are perfect, they all have equivalent series resistance (ESR) which varies with frequency, voltage, and time and equivalent series inductance (ESL), too. What is more, capacitance varies with applied voltage on many or most types of capacitors. Similarly, inductors and transformers are often introduced to engineering students as perfect components. Yet these have resistance and capacitance as well. They likely will not teach you how to design magnetics either.

Understanding of these non-idealities and component variations is often essential to electronics engineering in practice, yet these issues add layers of complexity to the subject matter, so EE instructors avoid them. So, it is not surprising that they also steer clear of safety and compliance issues, which also require consideration of non-ideal components.

For example, capacitors and inductors come into play heavily for safety requirements, as some of these components have safety agency approvals and some do not. So, engineers must learn when to use which types.

Similarly, there are safety aspects to transformer design. How do you get your magnetics to safely pass the regulatory requirements of UL, for instance, and how do you get your product to pass an agency approval review and get UL approval for your end product? Safety agencies will care about the electrical safety aspects of the design such as leakage currents as well as thermal aspects—components must run below certain temperatures under all conditions including fault conditions.

Safety agencies also want to know that fault conditions will not lead to fires, so they care about the flammability of power components and materials. And in general, the overall objective is that a fault will not lead to any unsafe condition for humans who are operating or in the vicinity of the product in question.

All these issues require knowledge of real components. The component parasitics that I just mentioned also come into play when you lay out your PCB. Here again we encounter many issues, which we were not taught about in EE school. Creepage and clearance on your PCB layout will need to be considered for safety and a poorly laid out PCB will create EMI that may cause your design to fail EMC testing, or simply prevent your design from functioning as designed. Conversely, a well-designed PCB will reduce EMI and make it easier to pass EMC.

Speaking of laying out PC boards, you should really know something about RF circuit design to be a good PCB layout person. RF circuit design teaches that the PCB is part of the circuit itself which of course is less true at dc, but it is still part of the circuit. This relates back to the EMI issues.

Although not necessarily related to the safety and compliance issues, the PCB layout tools themselves represent a subject that will confront you on the job. There are probably almost 100 PCB layout packages on the market, which one should you use? Does your organization make you use a specific one? How do you design a PCB on your computer with one of these packages? Do they teach PCB layout in school now?

Your career is only going to last long enough to learn one or perhaps two PCB layout tools. (You may need to learn a second, when the first becomes obsolete.) Learning to use a PCB layout tool typically involves on-the-job training and sticking with one software package to learn all its subtleties, tips, and tricks. These are simply more of the practical aspects of EE they will not teach you in school.

Closely related to PCB design are the issues of grounding and shielding your design. In practice, the more you know about grounding and shielding, the better. Ground, much like other real circuit elements, is nonideal. There are different methods for grounding your PCB and overall system. You will have to learn about these techniques on the job.

Grounding and shielding are especially important if your product takes power from the ac grid. The ac line is noisy, and your product will need to survive transients and surges and noise on the ac line. In general, it will be good if you know as much as possible about grounding and shielding, and what grounding methodology will be used on your PCB design and your overall system.

Additionally, regulatory agencies will require that the product not inject interference on the ac line, so typically products must have ac line filters installed. Should you build one or buy one? How do you know which approach to take? And if you buy one, how do you select an ac line filter from the many available? AC line filters require that you meet both safety as well as EMI-EMC requirements for the category of the product. For example, medical system requirements differ from industrial and commercial ones and military specifications are different once again.

Almost certainly, your EE instructors did not discuss the impact of market requirements on product approvals. Yet nothing can be built and sold without them.

Whether EMI is the problem, or there is some other aspect of your electronics design that does not work, at some point, you will need to troubleshoot. Unfortunately troubleshooting skills are generally not being taught.  Some universities have stopped senior projects where you build things, which is tragic. How else do you learn to debug things? 

Of course, part and parcel of troubleshooting is knowing how to run test and measurement equipment applicable to your kind of product. Instruments such as DMMs, oscilloscopes, frequency response analyzers, electronic loads, spectrum analyzers and others may come into play. PCB layout/human nature is to try to fix hardware with software, but troubleshooting, especially for compliance matters brings you back to the hardware realm.

Chances are your engineering education introduced you to simulation—an indispensable aspect of modern electronics engineering. But just because the simulations might say it will work, it might not. Simulation is not perfect. With homage to the late Bob Pease, his simulation tool was a soldering iron, and again, soldering is a skill they do not teach in engineering school, but one you must know. 
Just as you were taught electronics as the study of ideal components, you were introduced to circuits from the ideal point of view. You were taught theory on why circuits work but not why they do not work. When your circuits do not work, in the world of EMI-EMC especially, they will need to be corrected. Troubleshooting, as noted above, and circuit debugging are essential skills. But not everything works like it says on the component datasheets. What makes something stop working for no apparent reason then start working again? Intermittent problems are hard to debug and troubleshoot.

The source could be another non-ideality you did not learn about in EE school - that the datasheets sometime have mistakes. Or they may have "undocumented features" which you will discover on the bench. Or you may find these surprises in software.

For example, on the hardware side, there's that mysterious NC—"No connect" on the pin on an IC. Its meaning is not clearly defined which leads to a host of questions. Does NC mean that the pin is not connected inside the IC? Is it telling you "do not connect" anything to the pin? Or does it mean that it is tied to the substrate and it should be tied to – or GND? Is it for the IC supplier's testing needs? Will the EMC be impacted by the NC pins being addressed one way or another? Should you tie them to VCC? Tie them to GND or leave them floating? 

A Google search may not tell you the answer. It is likely that only the IC company that made the part knows. But how do you get support out of the component company? They do not teach that in school either. Common sense tells you that "hey, they will want to talk to me about this!" Depending on who you work for, that may or may not be the case. Today's high tech company wisdom is that "good and useful feedback only comes from key customers" This poor idea comes to you courtesy of the finance people who run all the companies now.

Now, sometimes the device supplier will help you and be thankful for your input and dialog if you work at a big key customer or a prospective one they would like to sell to. But then, sometimes, surprisingly, if you are at a customer they don't care about or never have heard of they will find your inputs annoying even though you are debugging their product for them for free. They will simply refer you to their website. So now how do you get things done? Again, nobody told you about this problem in EE school.

Another practical issue with your engineering education is that much of what you learn in school will at some point obsolete. Technology, especially component technology, keeps changing, often at a rapid pace. Keeping up with these changes can be a full-time job. From a compliance point of view, these changes are important, because they often impact EMI and EMC, and proper operation of your system in the real world.

Along with technology changing, industry standards and market requirements change, so all these things require continual learning. Energy efficiency standards are a case in point. These continue to evolve and expand across many applications, as power supply technology improves, we see how the energy efficiency requirements become more stringent. Engineers must learn how these apply specifically to their products and targeted markets. For example, do the relevant energy efficiency standards apply to both active and standby modes of operation? The lighting industry has a subset of lighting requirements which change rapidly as does the LED lighting efficacy.

The larger is issue is that engineers, in general, must learn what standards apply to the products they are designing. There is a long list of standards, directives, and regulations you were not introduced to in school. Some of these are produced by the large industry and academic organizations such as SAE, IEC, and the IEEE. 

And of course, there are certain common considerations—any product needs to consider transients, surges, and fault conditions.
The move towards a circular economy and chemical sustainability means that your product will also have to meet the global requirements for environmental disclosure such as the latest RoHS, WEEE, and conflict materials policies as well as California prop 65 requirements. All these things are essential while little or none of them are taught in engineering school.

So how do you learn and stay current? I am pretty sure that 8080 assembly code I learned in microcontroller class is not going to benefit me anytime soon. However, learning how to learn and use information and stay current is a benefit that school did teach you that is still valid—how to absorb and apply large amounts of information quickly is a valuable and timeless skill. Standards change and evolve continuously, and engineers should do the same to keep current.

Online courses, webinars and even conferences have gone online. Many organizations are sharing information online including publications and standards organizations as well as engineers who work within the various compliance specialties. So, take advantage of these resources.

Putting aside my earlier comments about unresponsive suppliers, do not rule out the suppliers of components and their applications engineers as sources of information. Also, request demos of products, services, and software—try before you buy. For those of you that live in the United States I have a saying that the burger you get at the restaurant does not look like the picture on the wall. So, try before you buy or as Ronald Regan used to say "trust, but verify." 

And, as a CEO I once worked for said, "the large print giveth and the small print taketh away. Test, demo and evaluate. This same CEO only asked me one question when he interviewed me, "can you get things done?" Now I understand why he asked me this. Looking around the world today, I see that we have a deficit of people who can.

While the various methods of self-learning noted above are necessary and useful, so much of what needs to be learned as an engineer can be learned more efficiently by working with more experienced peers. Of course, I am referring to mentoring.

There is simply no substitute for learning the practical aspects of engineering from those who have been in industry for many years and mastered the needed skillsets of designing, building, and getting products to market. Naturally, this applies to all aspects of safety and compliance activities. A mentor can help to steer young engineers in development of the skills and knowledge they will need to design compliant products.

However, corporate policies and priorities do not always encourage mentoring. Management that is more focused on today and the bottom line probably will not support mentoring, only to learn that critical skills have been lost when older engineers retire. (In the future I will write more on the topic of mentoring and bringing up the new generation of engineers to be successful.)

Engineers just starting their careers should weigh the opportunities for mentoring when interviewing with prospective employers. Likewise, those who are further along in their careers should take advantage of opportunities to pass on their knowledge, and when possible, advocating for companies to support such opportunities. The benefits of mentoring may not be quantifiable in the management metrics, but they are likely to have an impact on an organization's success in the long run.


  1. "7 Critical Things They Don't Teach You in EE School" by Lou Frenzel, Electronic Design, June 13, 2016

If you appreciate reference 1, you may also like this author's earlier article:

  1. "Top 10 Things They Do Not Teach You In Engineering School" by Lou Frenzel, Electronic Design, January 3, 2013. (Frenzel mentions standards in this one.)
Author: Kevin Parmenter
Director of Applications Engineering
Taiwan Semiconductor America

Editor's Note: This article was first published in the January 2021 issue of
How2Power Today (


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