Other news of interest

TDK selection tool for PTC inrush current limiters
Posted: 2021-2-24

TDK Corporation presents a new, user-friendly tool to help users select the right PTC inrush current limiters (ICL) for a range of different power supply and converter topologies. The intuitive tool is available online and does not need to be downloaded. The selection process is divided into four stages: After specifying the circuit structure and the capacitor bank's total capacitance, the developer must then enter the charging voltage and the maximum ambient temperature of the PTC inrush current limiter. After this has been done, the tool displays a list of suitable components for the user, and if a parallel connection is required, the number of components required is also shown. The most important key figures are also shown, as well as links to service distributors that sell the PTC ICLs.

One significant advantage of PTC inrush current limiters is the fact that they are intrinsically safe. In the event of an internal short circuit in the device when it is switched on, this component quickly limits the current to non-critical levels. Furthermore, this component ensures gentle charging of the DC link capacitors.
In addition to their use in converters and power supplies for industrial and household electronics, PTC inrush current limiters are also used in the field of e-mobility – such as in on-board charging circuits and for the charging and discharging of DC link capacitors in hybrid and electric drives.

You can find further information at

Positronic Becomes Part of Amphenol Corporation
Posted: 2021-2-2
Positronic, a global manufacturer of high reliability electronic connector products based in Springfield, Missouri, USA, announced that the company has been acquired by Amphenol Corporation. This acquisition brings together industry-leading knowledge and experience in the market and provides customers with a broad range of products and technical design support for their interconnect solutions.
“Positronic is a strong fit with Amphenol, aligning well with its technological expertise, manufacturing versatility, and customer support,” states David Kean, recently named General Manager for Positronic. “As part of Amphenol, Positronic will continue to provide the connector products and services our customers demand.”
Positronic products complement the Amphenol offering, and the acquisition will allow customers to take advantage of a broad D-sub military / aerospace connector portfolio and have access to new, innovative technologies in the future.
Prior to the acquisition, Positronic was a privately held company, founded in 1966. Over its 50 plus year history, Positronic has expanded globally with a broad range of power, D-sub, rectangular and circular connector products. The company has locations in the United States, France, Singapore, Indonesia, India, and China. Additional information can be found at www.connectpositronic.com.
About Amphenol Corporation:
Amphenol Corporation is one of the world’s largest designers, manufacturers and marketers of electrical, electronic and fiber optic connectors and interconnect systems, antennas, sensors and sensor-based products and coaxial and high-speed specialty cable. Amphenol designs, manufactures and assembles its products at facilities in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa and sells its products through its own global sales force, independent representatives and a global network of electronics distributors. Amphenol has a diversified presence as a leader in high-growth areas of the interconnect market including: Automotive, Broadband Communications, Commercial Aerospace, Industrial, Information Technology and Data Communications, Military, Mobile Devices and Mobile Networks. Visit www.amphenol.com for more details.


Cornell Dubilier Acquires Capacitor Division from NWL
Posted: 2020-12-21

Cornell Dubilier Electronics, Inc. announced that its subsidiary, CD Snow Hill, LLC, has acquired the capacitor producing assets of NWL, Inc.  Now possessing greater capabilities in custom high-voltage film capacitors for pulsed power and power conversion applications, the company is poised to expand its solutions for industrial, military, and medical customers.

“NWL has long been an industry leader in the design and manufacture of high voltage AC and DC film capacitors for applications where we see opportunities for growth.”, says Jim Kaplan, CEO of Cornell Dubilier. “This acquisition greatly expands our capabilities in custom capacitors needed for high-power lasers, military propulsion systems, inverters and more.”, continued Kaplan.

According to Robert Seitz, President of NWL, the sale of their capacitor operations will allow NWL to focus on its other core business segments: transformers, electrostatic precipitators, and power supplies.  Cornell Dubilier plans to assume operations at NWL’s former plant in Snow Hill, NC. Employees of the Snow Hill operation, many of them highly experienced, will be employed by Cornell Dubilier, ensuring the same high-level of service enjoyed by NWL’s customers over many decades.

With the addition of custom, high-voltage DC and AC film capacitors, CDE now offers one of the most extensive portfolios of power capacitors available to the global marketplace. The added capabilities complement the company’s core strength in power capacitors across multiple dielectric technologies including aluminum electrolytic, film, mica, and supercapacitors.  Please visit the CDE/NWL capacitor page here:  https://www.cde.com/nwl-capacitors/

Friends of PSMA
Posted: 2020-12-20


Friends of PSMA is a new feature of the PSMA Update. This space will be used to introduce readers to organizations that PSMA has cooperative relationship with to better serve our respective memberships and the international power electronics industry. If you have suggestions on other industry organizations to consider or ways that we can improve our current relationship with other industry associations, we would be delighted to hear from you.

In this article we introduce you to the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI)

The International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI) is an industry-led consortium of electronics manufacturing companies along with universities, government agencies, national labs and research institutes. iNEMI's focus — along with their membership — encompasses the full electronics manufacturing value chain. By working collaboratively, their members leverage expertise and resources to enable the industry to tackle issues that no one organization can address efficiently alone — moving faster while also reducing the costs and risks of technology introduction.

Over the last 25 years, iNEMI has also regularly published an electronics manufacturing technology roadmap, an industry-wide effort involving members and non-members, which anticipates technology requirements over the next 10 years, identifies gaps in capabilities and standards, and identifies R&D priorities to meet the needs of future products and applications.

Based on information from the roadmap as well as member needs, iNEMI organizes collaborative projects to help eliminate gaps, accelerate innovation and ensure technology and supply chain readiness.

iNEMI collaborations cover a broad range of technology topics that range from evaluating industry capabilities, driving sustainability in electronics products and manufacturing, materials characterization for high volume manufacturing, reliability testing, demonstration of new technologies and identification of industry best practices. Examples of some of our latest collaborative projects are profiled below to show the breadth of the scope and industry engagement, as well as the level of technical work accomplished. See a listing of all iNEMI projects. https://community.inemi.org/projects_all

New Packaging Technology Qualification Methodology

Current package qualification methods are based on past test methods that do not always consider new use conditions and applications. This can result in higher risk and delays in terms of materials development and additional packaging qualification cycles. With industry input, this project team identified inconsistencies in qualification methodologies and confirmed the need for new test methods for applications in harsher environments. They recommended updates on test methods and qualification standards and developed guidelines and best practices for new package qualification across a broad range of applications.

Back End Commonality for Advanced Packaging: Large Form Factor

Advanced packaging and adoption of heterogeneous integration and system-in-package (SiP) are driving the trend for larger package sizes. These larger packages present new and unique handling challenges in semiconductor assembly processes (chip to package), as well as PCB assembly (package to board). This cross-industry team is proposing to demonstrate a large form factor tray and drive new guidelines for handling these emerging package formats for cost-effectiveness and operational efficiency. Based on the success of the demonstrators, they will make relevant recommendations to standards organization(s) on handling media design.

Conformal Coating Evaluation for Improved Environmental Protection

Conformal coatings protect printed circuit boards and components mounted on them from the deleterious effects of moisture, particulate matter and corrosive gases. The conventional method of testing the effectiveness of these coatings is to expose coated hardware to a corrosive environment for extended periods of time, typically lasting many months, to determine the mean time to failure. This project team is working to develop an effective conformal coating evaluation test with a duration of less than a week to save time and enable faster qualification of materials.  

Characterization of Third Generation High-Reliability Pb-Free Alloys

With the continuing introduction of new Pb-free solder alloys the industry needs to build the knowledge base required to ensure correct selection of solder alloys for processing and the required reliability. As these are relatively new materials, thermal fatigue data is lacking. For example, there is limited understanding of the impact of additions of fourth and fifth element major alloying additions as well as microalloy additions on performance. The team is characterizing 10+ alloys, as well as conducting thermal cycling and thermal shock testing over different ranges to establish the correlation between microstructure and thermal fatigue performance.

Wafer/Panel Level Package Flowability & Warpage — this project is working to drive higher yield of mold-first WLP/PLP assembly processes, with better control of flow and warpage. This is a graph from a simulation to determine potential warpage.

Warpage Characterization

iNEMI's several successful warpage-related projects have studied warpage in PCBs and advanced packaging technologies. These projects have gained significant insights into dynamic warpage behavior, studying effects such as design, processing and temperature, and have developed modeling approaches to better predict warpage. Our latest warpage projects are continuing the study of warpage in new packaging technologies in the Package Warpage Prediction and Characterization project, which looks to establish a reliable modelling framework to optimize package warpage simulation. The High Density Interconnect Socket Warpage Prediction and Characterization project is focused on the impact of molding and design on large size socket warpage. As the size and density of advanced packages increase, they require larger and more complex sockets, and socket warpage has become a key issue in board assembly. This project will focus on the socket warpage measurement guidelines and prediction methods needed for these larger sockets.

5G/mmWave Materials Assessment and Characterization

Circuit designers need dielectric properties data for materials at millimeter-wave (mmWave) frequencies to optimize device performance of new 5G hardware and ensure quality. There are presently no standard reference materials or even agreed upon characterization test methods for materials at mmWave frequencies. Without this information, manufacturers are forced to extrapolate materials data from low frequencies to high frequencies, which can lead to mistakes that have potentially devastating costs.

iNEMI's 5G/mmWave Materials Assessment and Characterization project is developing guidelines and best practices for a standardized measurement and test methodology that can be shared with industry and relevant standards organizations. The initial focus of the large cross-industry team is to benchmark current available test methods and identify any gaps for extending test methods to 5G/mmWave frequencies.

Smart Manufacturing: Data Management Best Practices for PCB Assembly

An automated method to collect, analyze and use machine/process data is a key enabler for the factory of the future. Implementation is hampered in many cases by the diversity of the equipment and lines already in use. This project team will study existing PCBA processes and develop a generic reference data architecture and best practices to enable efficient implementation of smart PCB assembly, defining guidelines for data format, inputs/outputs, timing, frequency, etc. Physical implementation to validate these best practices and demonstrate the ability to improve process/machine performance is also planned.

Eco-Impact Estimator

There is an increasing need across the electronics manufacturing industry for eco-impact transparency and support for decisions at the design stage. A full featured life cycle analysis (LCA) can be burdensome in terms of time and data. An LCA-based estimator tool for assessing selected eco-impact of key electronic components can both speed up and improve design planning and decisions. This iNEMI project is focused on improving the component algorithms and methods for estimating the eco-impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) products. Leveraging prior development in earlier projects, this project is porting the LCA estimator to a hosted environment and updating lifecycle eco-impact data for key component categories such as PCBs, integrated circuits, cables and mechanical parts. 

Connector Reliability Test Recommendations, Phase 3

A standardized reliability test framework for evaluating electrical connectors across types and use conditions is needed. This new project is addressing gaps in existing connector test coverage. A test vehicle for identified connector types will be defined and then verified against a set of test parameters (developed by an earlier iNEMI project) that account for some of the harsher environments that many of today's electronics operate in. Results from this work will be shared with the industry and are expected to lead to updates in connector standards.


Provided by:
Cynthia Williams, Communications Manager,
International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative


1980 - A Pivotal Point in the Power Industry!
Posted: 2020-12-19


October 29, 2020, after seven months of silence due to a major upgrade of the 70 meter wide radio antenna located in Camberra, NASA sent a set of commands to the 43 year-old spacecraft, Voyager 2 that has travelled billions of miles from earth since its launch in 1977. Voyager 2 acknowledged it had received the call and executed the commands without any issue. Interesting for sure - but what is the significance of this to power engineers?

Although often considered as the last cog in the wheel by system designers, in truth the power supply is probably one of the most important parts of their equipment. From the thyratron tubes used in the type REC-30 power rectifier to supply HV power to teletype teleprinters in 1930 [1], through to the latest Wide Band Gap semiconductors, without their curiosity and passion, power designers would not have made a lot of things possible. Voyager 2 is a good example of that, but who remembers what happened in the late seventies and early eighties within the power industry and how leading power engineers changed the face of our industry?

Back in time to the battlefield!

Voyager 2 (NASA)

Launched on August 20, 1977, Voyager 2 was powered by a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) that turns heat from the decay of a radioactive material into electricity. The generated voltage is regulated and distributed to the 14 scientific instruments and to the master control board. The overall power system has been designed to accommodate the RTG and despite the schematic being kept secret, a brand new technology was mentioned, the 'switching power supply'!


Known since 1930, switching power supply principles have been explored by power designers for decades with the aerospace industry with NASA being the driving force in research and development. Considering the astronomical cost of a launch, and also the lifetime of space probes and satellites, space power designers sought for lower weight, higher energy efficiency and compactness. In the sixties NASA had already used switching power systems in a number of satellites e.g. Telstar in 1962.

In parallel with secret research conducted by aerospace and military organizations to miniaturize embedded power systems, power designers in the civil industry also considered alternative solutions to the old, heavy, bulky conventional architecture of transformer, rectifier, and linear regulation. Who launched the first commercial switching power supply is up for debate, but we can mention RO Associates who in 1967 introduced a 20Khz power solution, followed by a wave of products e.g. 1970 NEMIC Japan, 1973 HP 500W.

Figure 01

For leading power designers it was obvious that switching power technology was the future. But at that time linear power supplies were the standard and 'switching' was considered to be a suspicious technology. Some were predicting that the interference field generated by switching could cause major damage to the final application.

We should remember that in the seventies linear power supplies were the norm, and despite Lambda introducing a line of 'standardized' linear power supplies, the launch of Power-One's 'H' series is considered by many as the first 'off the shelf' power solution, first in USA and then in Europe. Based on a genius level concept of a folded aluminum plate used as case and power dissipater, Power-One launched an amazing number of variants offering systems designers a ready to use power supply (Figure 01).

Figure 02

Simultaneously in Japan - with very little information coming out from that country – power supplies manufacturers not only launched a complete range of linear power supplies but only few years after, a range of switching power solution. One example is the company ELCO/COSEL, which launched the linear "G" series in 1975, followed in 1977 by a complete range of switching power supplies, the "H" series (Figure 02)! In truth, Japan was really ahead of the curve. Another example being SONY who in 1960 at the time when the TV industry used electronics tubes (valves), were the first to use transistors in their TVs and were probably the first to implement a switching power supply in TV equipment in the early seventies.

We should also remember that in the late seventies and early eighties, the vast majority of companies developing electronics equipment had their own in-house power departments designing dedicated power solutions for their applications. Not surprisingly, for many in-house power designers the launch of the Power-One 'H' series was perceived as a threat. Many equipment manufacturers adopted standardized 'off the shelf' power supplies, refocusing their internal power department's R&D to the emerging switching power technology in order to stay ahead of their competitors.

With passion, talent and curiosity!

The seventies was full of talented engineers researching enhanced switching power solutions and it would require a dedicated article to name them all. Among all of them, I will mention here two 'power gurus', Robert J. Boschert (Boschert Associates) and Frederick Rod Holt (Apple), both working at the same time on more efficient power solutions. In both cases, as it was in the aerospace industry, they aimed to make the power supplies smaller, lighter and more efficient.

Figure 03

According to legend, in his kitchen in 1970, Robert Boschert started to develop a more cost effective, competitive and lighter power supply as an alternative to the bulky transformer and linear regulation model. He focused on developing a switching power supply for wheel and band printers that he produced in volume in 1974. In 1976 he launched one of the first 'off the shelf' switching power supplies and applied for patents 4,037,271 and 4,061,931 to protect its IPR (Figure 03). The two patents were granted in less than a year, followed by the commercial success of the OL25 switcher that received high profile coverage in the press and media e.g. "Flyback converters: solid-state solution to low-cost switching power supplies" published 21 December, 1978 in Electronics. Robert Boschert was also a pioneer in selling licenses of its IPR and in 1977 Boschert Inc. had more than 600 employees and was certified to design switching power solutions for space and military aircrafts.

At the same time Steve Jobs, known for his curiosity in new technology, considered switching power technology as being of interest, but due to lack of time the Apple I, launched in April 1976, featured a conventional linear power supply. But then, working on the Apple II Rob Holt designed a 38W multi-output off-line flyback switching power supply (Figure 04) for which he filled a patent in February 1978 and got it granted in December (4,130,862). Apple II was a success and with volume levels increasing, Apple outsourced the manufacturing of the power supply to ASTEC, beginning the long history of OEM power supplies for computers.

Figure 04

Perhaps anecdotal but nonetheless illustrating the competitive landscape within the power industry which suffered a number of IPR disputes, in Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs biography it is written that Jobs said: "Instead of a conventional linear power supply, Holt built one like those used in oscilloscopes. It switched the power on and off not sixty times per second, but thousands of times; this allowed it to store the power for far less time, and thus throw off less heat. That switching power supply was as revolutionary as the Apple II logic board was." Jobs later added: "Rod doesn't get a lot of credit for this in the history books, but he should. Every computer now uses switching power supplies, and they all rip off Rod Holt's design."

For sure, as a good marketer Steve Jobs would like APPLE to enjoy the accolade of implementing switching power supplies in PCs, though many others e.g. IBM and HP followed the same path at the same time, all aiming for higher performance and reduced costs. However, despite the huge benefits of that technology, its implementation and market adoption has been relatively slow and market analysts have estimated that only 8% of the power supplies manufactured in 1978 were based on switching topology.

Make my Teletype smaller, lighter and faster!

In the introduction, I mentioned the thyratron power rectifier type REC-30 powering a 1930 Teletype teleprinter [1]. Few know that, in those days, Teletypes used to be state of the art telecommunication machines, motivating power designers to invent and innovate long before the introduction of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5G.

Besides topologies, one major evolution in the switching power supply industry occurred in 1976 when Robert Mammano, cofounder of Silicon General Semiconductors introduced the first control IC dedicated to switching power supply. The launch of the SG1524 was a major step forward within the power supply community, and its first application was a new generation of Teletype machines marketed as being 'smaller, lighter and faster'.

Originally developed to solve a Teletype manufacturing problem, the introduction of the SG1524 became the kick-off of modern switching power supplies, opening the way to inventions and innovations that we all benefit from today.

The race for switching power is open!

With the development of the personal computer and IT equipment, the demand for high efficiency and low weight increased the demand on power designers to improve performance further. Despite Steve Jobs' perception, computer leaders such as IBM had impressive power departments and the launch of the IBM 5150 Personal Computer set the tempo for the design of a dedicated power supply using the NE5560 and later the SG3524 chip. Unique to the PC industry, switching power supplies are specific to a motherboard and are not as such 'off the shelf' for common applications use, although the snowball effect on contracted manufacturers contributed to boost their own products' development, launching complete ranges of commercial products.

On the industrial side it is impossible to name all the products and innovations but since we mentioned the Power-One 'H' series, it is fitting to mention a young engineer who joined Power-One in the early eighties, Steve Goldman, who led the team that designed the new generation of switching power supplies, the MAP series. Anecdotally, MAP stands for the name of Power-One's Chief Engineer/Designer at that time, Michael Archer (Michael Archer Product).

Simultaneously the computing and industrial industries moved towards switching power architectures and although it took years before that technology prevailed over the well-established linear solution, a number of power electronics conventions started all around the world, providing a forum for power engineers to learn and share knowledge about new technologies.

1980, the pivotal point in the power industry!

At the end of the seventies and the beginning of the eighties the power industry forged the foundations of where we are today. While the IEEE Power Electronics Specialist Conference (PESC) started in 1970, power designers and industry leaders sought a different type of forum to share technology knowledge, new ideas and best practices. POWERCON took place in Beverly Hills, CA, March 20 to 22, 1975, followed in 1978 by a conference primarily focused on telecommunications called INTELEC. Unfortunately, after nine years POWERCON ceased in 1984 leaving the power community as an orphan.

Back in days when the grandfather of the internet, ARPANET had just adopted the TCP/IP protocol (January 1983), power engineers were still miles away from chatting and blogging, and with the growing demand for tighter cooperation within the power industry the need for a 'one place to share' became obvious. In 1983 the China Power Supply Society (CPSS) was founded, and in 1985 the Power Sources Manufacturers Association (PSMA) was incorporated. Both organizations aimed to share knowledge and to facilitate communication within their respective power communities, and 35 years later both are still supporting power engineers.

At the same time that PSMA was formed, a group of eight passionate engineers, Bill Hazen (Prime Computer) ; Don Drinkwater (DEC) ; Phil Hower (Unitrode) ; Jonathan Wood (Data General) ; Marty Schlecht (MIT) ; Jack Wright (GE) ; Trey Burns (Data General) and John Kassakian (MIT) had an idea to create a power conference which would embrace research, applied electronics, and serve to connect electronics engineers to a larger community including industry, and the provision of an exhibition. It was to be called the Applied Power Electronics Conference and Exposition (APEC), and the first edition took place on 28 April to 1 May, 1986 in New Orleans.

And the story continues…

The power electronics industry has been through many periods of evolution, disruption and revolution. If the introduction of the Bipolar Junction Transistor was arguably the 'first' technological revolution, there is no doubt that the migration from linear power conversion to switching technology was the second, and the beginning of a long evolutionary path.

Forty-three years after it was the launched, Voyager 2 has travelled 14 billion miles into deep space and the power supplies that pioneers designed in the early seventies are still doing their jobs. This is what makes all of us excited by what we do in the power industry and thanks go to all the genius power designers that I have been unable to name in this article that have contributed to make the transition from linear to switching technology possible.


  1. Teletype Model 19 Thyratron Power Supply - https://youtu.be/WX74GoHuwHk

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




In the Beginning
Posted: 2020-12-19
Reminiscences from an early PSMA Board Member

WOW!. Happy 35th Anniversary PSMA.

In the 1970s and early 80s the power electronics industry encountered a huge leap in power supply design technology driven in part by the introduction by Apple and IBM of personal computers. Up until that time, the technology primarily used was large and heavy linear technology power conversion, "boat anchors" manufactured in two car garages as the expression went. During that time, the industry also began to face the challenge of transitioning to bi-polar and high frequency MOSFET designs that would create more efficient, smaller, and lighter products. This encouraged a group of design engineers and marketing leaders to explore creating a new industry group to focus on educating themselves and their customers as the industry began to implement and accept these evolving power technologies. At that time Electro, PowerCon and Westcon were the trade shows and conventions focusing on power electronics. 

On Nov 15, 1985, the Power Sources Manufacturers Association, PSMA, was founded as a 501 C (6) nonprofit industry association. Three months later, in Feb of 1986, the first Board of Directors were elected at a meeting held in Dallas, TX. Tim Parrott served as President and Ron Koslow was PSMA's first Chairman. The Bylaws identified three levels of membership – Regular (Manufacturers of power sources and conversion equipment), Associate (Users of power sources and conversion equipment, or manufacturers of components designed for incorporation into power sources and conversion equipment) and Affiliate (Organizations involved in the power industry, including Manufacturer's Representatives, Distributors, Advertising, Marketing, Consulting, Publications).

PSMA launches third year

( Click to enlarge )


To establish early credibility, the Board decided to create a "Handbook of Standardized Terminology for the Power Sources Industry". Michael Foldes led the Technical Committee that also included Dan Ketchum, Earl Crandall, Emilie Creagar, Chris DuBiel, Gene Goldberg, Sydele Petch and myself. This was before email and online collaboration tools; Michael sent us each an 8" disc for making our corrections suggestions and additions

PEC 1989

( Click to enlarge )

PEC 1990

( Click to enlarge )


To provide industry exposure PSMA co-sponsored the Power Electronics Conference, PEC, in San Jose in Feb of 1989. PSMA Chairman Art Hamill said, "we believe there is a need for an industry-wide forum which brings together the component suppliers, manufacturers and users of power sources and suppliers. That conference and exposition offered six half day Professional Education Seminars and nine Technical Sessions. One year later, in February 1990, PEC was held at the Long Beach California Convention Center and featured three tracks of "Issue Forums" to discuss industry trends.

To create "deliverables" a Research and Development Committee was formed, led by Donald Staffiere of Digital Equipment and John Woodard of ITT Power Systems, with members representing suppliers, users and university members. In 1990, the committee completed its first report to the Association on the status of R&D in the world and presented the results at the PSMA Annual Convention held in Long Beach, CA in conjunction with PEC. This report evolved over time into the current PSMA Power Technology Roadmap.

In March of 1990, John Steel represented PSMA at an IEEE PELS Power Electronics Retreat with leaders from industry and academia. Interestingly, the meeting minutes contained a sidebar that read, "This was the high energy point of the day. Even though we didn't quite know what that meant, we liked the words 'GREEN ENERGY".

Larry Gilbert, John Rowbottom and Dave Kemp at the PSMA booth at the 1990 Canadian High Technology Show

( Click to enlarge )


Expanding PSMA's exposure, later that year we participated at the Canadian High Technology Show in Toronto. We conducted a Customer-Supplier partnership forum, Norm Berkowitz of Computer Products and myself representing the US, and Glen Belland (Electronic Craftsman) and John Rowbottom (NCR) representing Canada.

After the 1990 PEC and APEC conferences, a group representing PSMA negotiated with representatives of PELS and IAS to become the third financial and technical sponsor of APEC (Applied Power Electronics Conference). The Sponsor Agreement on the Continuing Operation of APEC was written by Bob White and the signers were John M. Steel, PSMA Chairman, Ronald M. Jackson, President IEEE Industrial Applications Society (IAS), and Thomas G. Wilson, President IEEE Power Electronics Society (PELS). In Jan of 1991, Dave Kemp and I were appointed Co-chairs of the APEC Technical Program Committee.

There are so many more names that deserve a shout out in the first five years of PSMA. A partial list of the PSMA family at that time includes: Norm Berkowitz, Mike Brown, Lee Campbell, Frank Cathell, Earl Crandall, Emilie Creagar, Chris DuBiel, Mike Foldes, Paul Fulton, Gene Goldberg, Art Hamill, Albert Himy, Dave Kemp, Dan Ketchum, Jim Kimball, Ron Koslow, John Lombardi, Sr., Doug McIlvoy, Mohan Mankikar, Chuck Mullett, Tim Parrott, Sydele Petch, Stu Roberts, Jeff Shepard, Don Staffiere, John Steel, David Thompson, Dean Venable, Ole Vigerstol, Bob White and John Woodard.

We hope to include another article on the early history of PSMA in a future issue of the UPDATE

Provided by Larry Gilbert,
former PSMA Board Member
and APEC Publicity Chair




About Our Members
Posted: 2020-12-19

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) advances the science and engineering of energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, and renewable power technologies and provides knowledge to integrate and optimize energy systems. Research areas include Renewable Power, Sustainable Transportation, Energy Efficiency, and Energy Systems Integration. As part of this mission, NREL has developed facilities to support the integration of energy systems. This includes facilities for high-performance computing, materials, power electronics, electric machines, transportation, power systems integration, and strategic energy analysis. NREL is owned by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and operated by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, with over 2,500 employees and over 40 years of research and innovation in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

NREL facility. Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL 27754

Accelerated drive-cycle platform for the combination of
thermally induced stresses with humidity and vibration

Power electronics and electric machines play a critical role in controlling the flow of energy through sustainable energy systems for both stationary and mobile applications. Located within NREL's Center for Integrated Mobility Sciences, the Advanced Power Electronics and Electric Machines Group performs thermal, electrothermal, thermomechanical, and reliability research activities with an emphasis on power electronics and electric machines. NREL has developed significant analytical, numerical, and experimental thermal management experience and capabilities to provide rigorous performance measurements, technology demonstrations, reliability evaluations of innovative materials, surface enhancements, packages and modules, and heat exchanger design and development for electronics, power electronics, and electric machines. We employ these advancements to an array of energy efficiency, transportation, and renewable energy applications. As a leading laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy for electric drive thermal management, we support the integration of necessary cooling technologies to meet DOE's desire to develop robust and cost-effective traction drive power electronics and electric machines. Research focus areas include:


Thermal and Electrothermal Research Aspects in Power Electronics

  • Research compact, power-dense wide-bandgap (WBG)-device-based power electronics
  • Enable higher-temperature-rated devices, components, and materials
  • Research advanced heat-transfer technologies
  • Perform analysis and experiments for system-level thermal management


Advanced Packaging Designs and Reliability

  • Improve reliability of new (high-temperature/WBG) technologies
  • Develop predictive and remaining lifetime models
  • Perform package parametric modeling


Electric Motor Thermal Management

  • Enable higher voltages and frequencies
  • Increase current density and power density
  • Increase reliability
  • Understand and evaluate material properties (thermal, mechanical, electrical) as a function of temperature
  • Develop and evaluate advanced cooling strategies

For more information about Power Electronics and Electric Machines research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, visit https://www.nrel.gov/transportation/peem.html.

Provided by: Kevin Bennion and Sreekant Narumanchi,
Advanced Power Electronics and Electric Machines Group,
National Renewable Energy Laboratory


Meet Your Directors
Posted: 2020-12-19

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

In this issue we would like to introduce you to Trifon Liakopoulos and Ralph Taylor who are both serving their first term.

Trifon Liakopoulos is a recognized Wafer Level Magnetics industry pioneer and an award-winning product innovator in the Power Supply on Chip industry sector. He is founder and CEO of Enachip an embedded and integrated magnetics technology platform startup company.  Prior of founding EnaChip, he was with Altera, Enpirion and Bell Labs.

Trifon co-founded Enpirion (now part of Intel) as a spinout from Bell Labs, a world leader company in power integration that successfully commercialized the world's first Power System on Chip (PwrSoC) products for consumer and industrial markets.

Trifon serves on the Board of Directors and as the Vice President of PSMA, is member of the PwrSoC international workshop steering committee, serves as board member of other technology startup companies and served on the board of  trustees of University of Ioannina. He received his PhD degree in microfabrication engineering (MEMS) and an MS in Physics from University of Cincinnati. His accomplishments include numerous publications, conference talks and over 20 patents.

Provided by Trifon Liakopoulos, Ph.D., President, CEO & co-Founder Enachip inc.

Ralph Taylor has worked in the automotive industry for the last 41 years. His career began at General Motors Delco Electronics, then Delphi Electronics & Safety, and lastly Delphi Technologies (He did not change companies, the companies changed their name). During his first 10 years of work, he was involved with the designs, both hardware and software, of high volume manufacturing equipment and later controller and software designs for advanced body and chassis applications. For the last 31 years he was involved in the development of advanced power electronics applications.


Working as part of a team in the electrification group, Ralph helped to developed power electronics for electric drive vehicles (EDVs), including battery management systems, system controllers that convert user inputs to torque commands, inverters for various EDVs including electric scooters, autos, heavy-duty trucks and off-road construction equipment. In addition, he helped to develop concepts for novel packaging of power devices. The design of most interest was a doubled sided cooled discrete power package which allowed Delphi to extract more heat per unit area than any of the competition at the time. This allowed for less silicon, smaller inverter packages and lower cost design of discrete power stages for EDV inverters.

Ralph has been the principal investigator, (PI), on several, successful DOE programs dealing with high temperature inverter designs and various dielectrics to be used to replace existing polypropylene capacitors within vehicle power electronics inverters. The goal is always the same for the DOE programs; lower the cost, make it smaller, improve the reliability and get it commercialized.

Ralph currently serves as a director of the Power Sources Manufactures Association (PSMA) as well as the Co-Chair of the Transportation Electronics Committee, involved with organizing session(s) on Transportation Electronics for the Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC). He has 14 patents, with 2 more in process, and one defensive publication. He has been awarded the Boss Kettering Award as well as being admitted into the Delphi Innovation Hall of Fame.

Since retiring from Delphi, Ralph recently started a company, RST PEConsulting, LLC.

Provided by Ralph Taylor, Principal, RST PEConsulting, LLC

Message from the PSMA Executive Committee
Posted: 2020-12-17


Without a doubt we are approaching the end of a quite different and challenging year not only for our organization but also for all our member-companies and individuals who support, participate and volunteer for PSMA.  As the world and businesses continue adjusting to a new pandemic-imposed reality, PSMA not only confronted the challenges, but with creative and agile support of its numerous volunteers, the dedicated people who run the office, the board and the executive committee,  co-sponsors and partners responded with agility and creativity to minimize financial loss and risk, while maintaining the valuable services to its members and the community.

We at the executive committee are excited to implement and work in alignment with the newly adapted four pillars of our organization: (i) build on strengths, (ii) become more applications oriented, (iii) integrate performance metrics to assure value add to our community, and (iv) engage with the stakeholders.  Using these guidelines, we hope to drive success and growth of a more vibrant, more active, and more relevant PSMA.

As the member of the executive team who champions the third pillar, the implementation of key performance indicators throughout the operations and activities undertaken by PSMA, I hope to establish a measurable understanding of the "value-add" to "asset allocation" ratio in order to prioritize and improve the effectiveness of our efforts and resources.  Ahead of us is another financially challenging year and this task is critical for sustaining short- and long-term financial viability.

Some of the areas that we plan to implement performance metrics so that we can better understand impact on growth and revenue include:  membership movement comparable to the number of professionals in the industry, web activity tracking, differentiation and consumption of PSMA exclusive offerings such as special projects, reports, databases and other contributions as well as feedback received on our activities. 

We also plan to apply these metrics to activities related to popular workshops and webinars to maximize the value to our members and the wider power electronics industry, return on investment and exposure for PSMA. Remember, as a not for profit organization of volunteers, we need to spend our income from memberships, studies, and events prudently and maximize the use of in-kind human capital from our volunteers. We hope to expand the key performance indicators across the whole organization for example to support and help optimize the numerous committee efforts so as to attract more participation and increase activity.

The Executive Committee will not be able to establish, build and strengthen the performance metric pillar to become an impactful potency without the support and the collective effort of all the members and the volunteers of our organization.  We are encouraging all of you on an ongoing basis to provide feedback, thoughts, and new ideas as we continue to grow a successful PSMA.

Please feel free to contact me or any of the executive team members or the PSMA office anytime. We would love to hear from you and need your inputs!

Trifon Liakopoulos
PSMA Vice President
Enachip, Inc.





Keeping Up with IEC 62368
Posted: 2020-12-15

The UL/EN/IEC 62368 standard is a merger of two standards—UL/EN/IEC 60065 Audio and Video Equipment and UL/EN/IEC 60950 Information and Communication Equipment. As with other standards, there are different versions or editions of the standard such as IEC 62368-1 2014. As this standard applies to a broad range of popular applications, many designers are affected by its requirements.

Most designers probably have some familiarity with 62368 because the industry has been transitioning to this standard for several years, and, within the U.S., this standard replaced the legacy standards in June 2019 for any new products seeking certification. However, there's another regulatory milestone looming as the legacy standards in the European Union are about to be withdrawn on December 20, 2020, making this essentially the adoption date for 62368 in the EU. (1)

As this deadline approaches, many designers may still need to come up to speed on what the standard requires, and understand what variations of the standard are being applied as well as aspects of the standard that are still in flux. With that in mind, we present a brief overview and update on UL/EN/IEC 62368, noting the status of various versions of the standard in different countries and sources for further information. We also highlight a few elements of IEC 62368 such as standards-related terminology, touch temperature limits and two application areas that will be impacted by anticipated changes in IEC 62368, namely indoor and outdoor equipment and products with USB and PoE interfaces.

Label Reform

Under the emerging regulatory changes, the label on each of the appliance products changes and there are new requirements for each product. For example, the labeling required in the old (EC) no 642/2009 and (EU) 1062/2010, which apply to TVs and monitors, changes in the new regulation. While the existing product ratings assign A, A+, A++, and A+++, the new rating system goes from A through G (more on this in the section on Displays).

Safety and Hazard Based

IEC 62368 is not a rule-based standard but rather a safety and hazard-based standard. Audio and video equipment and information communications equipment have many ports such as USB and the newer USB Type C ports. The computer monitor has ports that the consumer or user can touch. The manufacturers are now requested to present hazards to the safety agencies including voltage, and temperatures of the various surfaces. 

Table 1. IEC 62368 implementation by country or region. [2]

It has taken time for the various agencies to create a harmonized standard. Each region of the world has its own version and implementation date as seen in Table 1.

UL has given a number of presentations and overviews concerning the standard. One of the earlier presentations was an IEC 62368-1 overview given by Thomas Burke a principal product safety engineer, Consumer and Enterprise Tech Equipment at UL, on June 7, 2017 to PSMA. A recording of the presentation along with the slides is available on the Safety and Compliance Forum on the PSMA website.

More recently Dennis Butcher, senior project engineer, Ctech EULA, gave a webinar presentation on July 28, 2020 "The Adoption of IEC 62368-1 3rd Edition and IEC 62368-3."[3] This presentation is available from UL's Toolkit page. This web page offers resources to help engineers and compliance engineers navigate the IEC 62368-1 3rd Edition from UL 60065 and the UL 60950 standards. 
There are a number of editions to IEC 62368-1 including 62368-1 2nd Edition 2014, which is often cited in the literature. There's also UL/CSA 62368-1 3rd Edition. which was published Oct. 4, 2018. This paper cannot address many of the differences found in the variations because these variations apply to different products and each product is different and has different uses. 

Testing and Design Assistance

Many companies have a compliance engineering department. This department gathers the standards for the products for safety and regulations for various parts of the world where the company's products are sold. The compliance department needs to have a good understanding of the language used in the standards because in many cases, this language may not be understood by design engineers. The following was taken from the Thomas Burke presentation defining some differences. 

Table 2. Definitions used by IEC 60950-1 verse IEC 62368-1. [2]


In products where consumers can touch various parts of the product, there are issues with both temperature and electric shock. Table 3 lists temperature limits under the standard for accessible (touchable) parts.

Table 3. Touch temperature limits imposed by IEC 62368-1. [2]

Indoor Outdoor Equipment

Because the 62368 standard did not address all industry concerns, there are cases where it has not supplanted the old standard. This is true for outdoor applications. As the following excerpt [3] explains, the second edition of 62368 still references IEC 60950-22 with regard to outdoor equipment. However, the third edition of the standard will include the 60950-22 requirements in an Annex Y as noted. Some of these requirements are still not fully defined. So, some unsettled issues remain and other agencies will need to help address what is to be applied.  


Another case where the legacy 60950 requirements have remained in effect are the interfaces that transmit both data and power. For example, many pieces of equipment use USB for both data and power. This is true for the newer USB Type C cables that can eliminate product power supplies and the associated ac power cords.

Similarly, many security cameras and monitors use CAT 5 and CAT 6 cables for both power and data information following the power over Ethernet (PoE) standards. Both of these interfaces will be covered in the third edition of IEC 62368-1 as shown in the following excerpt. [2]
There are newer lighting products that are using CAT 5 and CAT 6 cable systems for both hallway lighting in hotels and security cameras. Some of these systems have backup dc power in case of a power outage. These systems use the new LED lights, allowing lower power consumption and long periods of operation such as two or three hours, which was unheard of with emergency exit lighting and security cameras in the past.
These lighting products came onto the market after the 62368 was initially published so they weren't covered. And there are others such as video doorbells, which can use the existing power and can even have a battery backup using Li-ion batteries. But it's expected that these products will be covered in the third or fourth editions.


  1. "Getting to Know IEC 62368-1—How Does A TV/Stereo Standard Affect My Industrial Power Electronics Design?" by Kevin Parmenter and James Spangler, How2Power Today, November 2017
  2. "IEC 62368-1 Overview" by Tom Burke, UL Presentation to PSMA Safety & Compliance Committee, 6/7/2017.
  3. "The Adoption of IEC 62368-1 3rd Edition and IEC 62368-3"webinar by Dennis Butcher, July 2020, available at "UL's ToolKit for Your 62368-1 Transition".


Kevin Parmenter
Director of Applications Engineering
Taiwan Semiconductor America

  Jim Spangler
Spangler Prototype Inc. (SPI)

Editor's Note: This article was first published in the September 2020 issue of How2Power Today (http://www.how2power.com/newsletters/index.php).

Flex Power Modules Boosts Distribution and Sales Support in China with New Partnership
Posted: 2020-11-18

Flex Power Modules announces the formation of a strategic partnership with Shenzhen Eprotek Technology Co., Ltd (trading as Eprotek) to strengthen the supply and sales support of its products in China, particularly with industrial power solutions for test equipment and automation. Eprotek also provides important support for DC/DC products from Flex Power Modules for RFPA (radio frequency power amplifier) market applications associated with the China’s 5G cellular wireless network.

Eprotek has a well-established customer base, and Flex Power Modules products complement the firm's existing DC/DC portfolio. The company's professional technical and sales team provide technical support to Chinese customers on power module selection for application needs, overall scheme design, and customized power supply development to meet specific requirements.

Eprotek primarily focuses on the technical services and sales of power products, especially high-end AC/DC and DC/DC power modules as well as customized power product design services. It serves customers from a diverse range of sectors including telecom and network communications, industrial control, transportation and medical equipment markets.

James Zhang, Head of Sales APAC at Flex Power Modules, said: “Our partnership with Eprotek is an exciting collaboration and useful to Flex Power Modules in our continued expansion into the Chinese market, especially for our solutions in industrial applications. Teaming up with a solid partner will enable our commercial objectives to be reached more rapidly.”

For more information, visit www.flexpowermodules.com.

Cornell Dubilier Announces Expanded Supercapacitor Initiative
Posted: 2020-11-15
New personnel, products, and capabilities

Cornell Dubilier Electronics, Inc. announces the expansion of its supercapacitor operations and personnel to meet the explosive growth in applications for this rapidly evolving technology. The company’s supercapacitor strategy will be under the direction of their recently hired Business Unit Manager, Brendan Andrews, who previously led sales and marketing efforts for several of the major well-known brands in supercapacitors.

“Brendan brings to CDE an incredible amount of supercapacitor market insight and a keen perspective on how we can help engineers utilize this technology to develop solutions in their designs and products,” said Jim Faughnan, President of Cornell Dubilier.  “We’re excited to have Brendan on board to accelerate growth, especially in our customized supercapacitor modules business. By offering application-specific solutions we will help our customers solve their energy-storage problems at a fraction of the space and cost of battery solutions.” continued Faughnan. 

The company plans to introduce new products in the coming year, including cutting-edge LiC hybrid types, which offer higher operating voltages and greater energy densities. With their massive storage capabilities, supercapacitors bridge the gap between conventional capacitors and batteries providing instantaneous bursts of power that are problematic for conventional capacitors or batteries. These components are typically used individually or in series-parallel banks for power holdup during brief interruptions to line power. In some applications, they supplement batteries or are used in place of batteries for applications as diverse as solar and wind energy harvesting, mechanical actuators, AGV (Automated Guided Vehicles), EV transportation power, smart utility meters, IIoT, pulse battery pack alternatives, memory backup, battery/capacitor hybrids, UPS systems, emergency lighting, LED power and solar lighting.

CDE is moving beyond stocked components by expanding capabilities in standard and custom packages to meet higher voltage and current application requirements. Some solutions use series-parallel banks of capacitor cells with active or passive balancing circuits. Included CDE’s expansion plans are additional personnel and equipment for the advanced testing of these devices.

For more information, visit: www.cde.com/capacitors/ultracapacitors

ON Semiconductor and Theta Power Systems International Establish Collaboration for Motor Control Applications
Posted: 2020-11-10

ON Semiconductor, driving energy efficient innovations, has established a collaboration with Theta Power Systems International. This collaboration will enable customers to capitalize on industry-leading motor control techniques along with high performance semiconductor solutions targeting applications migrating to brushless DC (BLDC) motors.

Theta Power Systems International has several decades of experience deploying motor control software with name-brand appliance companies, along with a customer base that spans the globe. Together, Theta Power Systems International and ON Semiconductor will address the causes behind motors consuming approximately 45% of the world’s electricity, by providing hardware and software solutions that migrate traditional single phase ON/OFF motors to variable speed three-phase BLDC electronically commutated motors.

“I’m excited to be directly connected to a semiconductor company where our collaborations will yield reliable, optimized solutions for specific applications,” said Raimundo Rengel, Jr, chief technology officer at Theta Power Systems International.

“This is a unique engagement model that will position ON Semiconductor and Theta Power Systems for success in the HVAC, appliance and pool pump markets,” stated Wally Klass, chief executive officer at Theta Power Systems International.

“We look closely at the total cost of ownership when engaging markets, applications and customers. Maximum energy efficiency is at the forefront of what we are trying to deliver through collaborations with companies such as Theta Power Systems,” said Ryan Cameron, vice president and general manager of the Industrial and Offline Power Division at ON Semiconductor. “By utilizing the scale of ON Semiconductor, this collaboration will enable us to reach a broad market base where customers can shorten time to market, reduce engineering costs and move to new technology spaces with little effort.”

Government regulations worldwide are driving a reduction in electric motor power consumption by increasing efficiency requirements in HVAC, appliances and pool pumps. Driving the shift from using traditional AC motors to variable speed BLDC motors is practically mandatory in order to meet these new regulatory standards. By utilizing state-of-the-art electronics and control methods, ON Semiconductor and Theta Power Systems International will deliver customers a near-turnkey experience that will accelerate their move to 3-phase BLDC technology.

For more information, visit www.onsemi.com.

Magnetics’ first virtual technology conference, MTEC 2020, will be held December 2, 2020
Posted: 2020-11-4

This one-day event includes sixteen technical presentations plus access to chat with Magnetics' soft magnetic materials experts around the clock. This is a great opportunity to learn more about Magnetics’ current products and see what is in store for 2021. 

Presentations are aptly timed based on geographic location, with Magnetics’ Asia sales team beginning at 10 AM CST (UTC +8), Europe sales team at 9 AM GMT (UTC), and NAFTA sales team at 9 AM EST (UTC-5).  With live Q&A to follow each presentation, Magnetics hopes to answer all your commercial and technical questions regarding their powder, ferrite, and tape wound cores. The full agenda is available on their website at: https://www.mag-inc.com/Company/Trade-Shows/MTEC-2020

Whether you have a specific design question to discuss or simply want to see what’s new, Magnetics’ sales and engineering teams look forward to "meeting" you. Registration is free of charge. If you are unable to attend the conference on the 2nd, most presentations will be available until December 11; however, registration is still required. Sign up today for this exciting new event!



Susan K. Carter Joins the ON Semiconductor Board of Directors
Posted: 2020-10-28

ON Semiconductor Corporation, driving energy-efficient innovations, today announced that Susan K. Carter was appointed to its board of directors and as a member of the board’s audit committee.

“We are excited to welcome Susan to the ON Semiconductor board,” said Alan Campbell, chair of ON Semiconductor’s board of directors. “Sue brings a wealth of business and financial global experiences within Fortune 500 companies and currently serves as a member of the board of directors of Air Products and Chemicals.”

“I am excited to have the opportunity to work with the board and the rest of the extraordinary team at ON Semiconductor that has a strong track record of enhancing customer and shareholder value. I look forward to supporting the company and providing guidance on its financial and operational strategies as the company continues to drive long-term sustainable growth and shareholder returns,” said Carter.

Ms. Carter brings to the board over three decades of financial and management experience in the manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, defense, and engineering and construction industries. As the chief financial officer of global publicly-held corporations, she has extensive experience in international business, finance, transformations, mergers and acquisitions, and environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters.

Ms. Carter received a Bachelor’s degree in accounting from Indiana University and a Master’s degree in business administration from Northern Illinois University. She is also a Certified Public Accountant.

Power Integrations Demonstrates Continued Industry Leadership as InnoSwitch IC Sales Surpass One Billion Units
Posted: 2020-10-26
Newest GaN-based devices provide up to 100 W of power and support applications from USB PD adapters to auxiliary power supplies for appliances

Power Integrations, the leader in high-voltage integrated circuits for energy-efficient power conversion, today announced that shipments of the groundbreaking InnoSwitch™ family of ICs have surpassed one billion units. Launched in 2014, the InnoSwitch family was the first to incorporate Power Integrations’ innovative FluxLink™ communication technology, which provides highly accurate secondary-side control without the need for an optocoupler, resulting in exceptional energy efficiency, reliability and robustness. 

InnoSwitch ICs, including the InnoSwitch3 family which launched in 2017, support a diverse range of power-supply applications including USB PD chargers, consumer electronics, PCs, displays, servers, appliances, industrial devices and automotive. The InnoSwitch product range has expanded to include a wide range of variants:

  • InnoSwitch3-CP for USB PD and other constant-power applications
  • InnoSwitch3-EP for major appliances and industrial power supplies
  • InnoSwitch3-CE for IoT and high-current charger and adapters applications
  • InnoSwitch3-MX for multi-output constant-voltage and constant-current applications such as displays
  • InnoSwitch3-Pro, featuring I2C digital programmability of voltage and current
  • InnoSwitch3-AQ, which is AEC-Q100 qualified for automotive applications

InnoSwitch devices incorporate a range of silicon transistor options from 650 V to 900 V, or Power Integrations’ PowiGaN™ 750 V gallium-nitride (GaN) switch technology, which enables power delivery up to 100 W at 95% efficiency without a heatsink.

Commenting on the billion-unit milestone, Power Integrations’ president and CEO Balu Balakrishnan said: “The InnoSwitch family set a new standard in power-conversion technology and hailed a paradigm shift in power-supply design. The expensive, complicated method of combining a primary-side controller and associated MOSFETs with a synchronous rectification controller has given way to a more highly integrated architecture that is simple, elegant, more reliable and more efficient. We are delighted by the market’s response to InnoSwitch ICs and proud to have shipped more than one billion units.”

InnoSwitch devices reflect Power Integrations’ commitment to delivering technology that achieves industry-leading performance while reducing energy consumption and curbing the use of hazardous materials in electronics manufacturing. Power Integrations makes it easy for customers to meet efficiency specifications such as the Chinese CSCC, ENERGY STAR® and European Ecodesign Directive as well as compliance with materials standards such as RoHS and REACH.

Learn more about InnoSwitch devices and download reference designs at the Power Integrations website: https://ac-dc.power.com/products/innoswitch-family/.

RECOM Partners with SAMACSYS to Provide EDA Models for Power Converter Products
Posted: 2020-10-26
RECOM, a global manufacturer of power conversion products, has announced a partnership with industry leader SAMACSYS, a Supplyframe company, to provide digital models of RECOM products.

Symbols, footprints and 3D CAD models are freely available in a variety of formats including STEP and VRML for the user’s chosen CAD tool, either directly from the SAMACSYS website or in RECOM distributor product listings.

Engineers require accurate models of the components they use to achieve the fastest time to market for the products they design. SAMACSYS models offer direct download into the target EDA schematic and layout tools, leaving engineers free to concentrate on what they do best – designing and innovating. More than 20 EDA tool formats are supported including Allegro PCB, Altium Designer, Cadence, Eagle, Mentor Graphics etc. SAMACSYS symbols, footprints and 3D models comply with latest industry standards and go through a multi-stage checking process before release, as a guarantee of quality and accuracy.

About the RECOM and SAMACSYS collaboration

“As electronic design continues to evolve even more significantly within a digital landscape, we have extended the availability of our digital 2D and 3D component models to include SAMACSYS, a global leader in providing engineers with access to electronic PCB and component libraries. We are looking forward to a successful collaboration”, said Christoph Wolf, President of RECOM Power Inc.

Alex MacDougal, founder of SAMACSYS, A Supplyframe company, comments: “Providing digital design assets through the SAMACSYS DesignSense model creation and delivery platform, Supplyframe welcomes RECOM to its rapidly growing list of premier electronic component manufacturers. We are proud that RECOM has chosen our service and network of engineering websites reaching more than 10 million engineers and buyers worldwide”.

For more information, visit www.recom-power.com.

Texas Instruments: Immediate Shipping on Production Orders
Posted: 2020-10-15
No forecast necessary

We’re excited to announce that TI.com now has the largest inventory of authentic TI parts in the authorized channel. With more than 50,000 orderable parts and even more units of inventory immediately available for purchase and shipment, you can be confident that TI.com can support your production needs.

You can get what you need from TI – production quantities, preproduction parts, multiple payment options and flat-rate shipping anywhere, every day. Making it more convenient to get more TI parts when you need them

  • Largest inventory of authentic TI products
  • Immediately available inventory
  • Lowest online price*
  • Full or custom quantity reels

120 Years of Technology Evolution Towards the Mythic 99% Efficiency!
Posted: 2020-9-29


From the very early days when power electronics equipment utilized vacuum tubes, power engineers have been concerned with energy efficiency, power optimization and how to make power supplies more reliable, smaller and smarter. Probably few of us remember the introduction of the Thyratron or the 1925 patent by Julius Edgar Lilienfeld for the Field Effect Transistor, but the electronics industry is full of amazing inventions and innovations all contributing to achieving the mythical 99% efficiency level.

With the growing concerns for the environment and for reducing energy consumption, the need to meet governmental regulations, and of course individual initiatives, the demand on power designers to develop very efficient power solutions has been great. But simultaneously, and creating even more difficulties, emerging applications have required smaller power supplies with unprecedented power density expectations.

The laws of physics are the laws of physics, and despite many evolutions in switching topologies, power designers have run into road blocks requiring a solution that is able to switch faster, with less power losses and if possible maintaining good performances at higher temperatures.

Despite technological advancements in conventional semiconductors, it became difficult to increase the switching frequency by a magnitude of 10 while reducing the physical size of the power supplies while also reducing power losses. Among the different routes taken to achieving this, the exploration of materials offering higher performance such as higher-energy electronic band gaps has revealed the potential of Gallium Nitride and Silicon Carbide. Both materials have been used before e.g. SiC diodes and GaN LEDs, but the use of Wide Bandgap FET appeared relatively recently in the power electronics history.

As for all new technologies, GaN FET and SiC FET went through the classic process starting with the Innovators, to the early adopters and now reaching the early majority. What is very interesting is that probably due to a large number of innovators, GaN and SiC manufacturing was very quick off the mark in addressing niches markets with a very high growth potential.

Wide Bandgap (WBG) technologies have been presented at many conferences but I consider the real kick-off to have taken place in 2018 when "challengers" demonstrated the commercial potential of WBG technology. It is impossible to name all of them but among the leaders promoting GaN, I would say that the Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) Idea to implement GaN in LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) was really interesting, especially with that technology becoming preponderant in the new generation of vehicles. 2018 was also the year in which USB adapter manufacturers started to consider implementing WBG. Navitas is another example of an innovative company, which in the early days pushed GaN integration to a higher level by packaging drivers and switches on same substrate. If intelligent GaNFET is becoming standard today, it was not the case when Navitas introduced that concept.

If WBG is a very promising technology, we should keep in mind another symbolic milestone for a technology called 'Digital Power' that emerged in 2003 as a promising technology. As it was for digital power 17 years ago, GaN, having started its journey only a few years ago has followed a similar path, gradually migrating from a 'technical curiosity' to a 'commercial product'. Digital power and GaN are both technologies that were challenged and highly debated when introduced to the market, and it is interesting to link both of them in this way, especially when the outcome of combining the best of the two technologies results in truly outstanding commercial products.

Step by step to maturity

As it is for any new technology - especially when disruptive – the transition from research level to high volume production is a long process, one that includes new learning for electronics engineers and in the case of GaN, the implementation of zero-voltage switching topologies requiring very specific drivers and new ways of controlling them. Despite the huge benefits of GaN transistors, for many years the lack of drivers limited the interest level from industrial designers. Thankfully, the increased number of semiconductors players investing in GaN in the last two years has made this technology simpler to implement.

Many technical barriers have been removed. Manufacturing processes have gradually been optimized to increase yield and reduce cost, quality processes specific to this technology have been implemented, and in November 2017 the JEDEC organization announced the formation of a new committee to set standards for Wide Bandgap Power Semiconductors (JC-70). Then, February 2019 saw the release of the publication JEP173: Dynamic On-Resistance Test Method Guidelines for GaN HEMT Based Power Conversion Devices. Step by step, the puzzle is being solved and if GaN has been widely used in LED and RF applications for many years, power supply manufacturers for commercial products deployment are now adopting it.

Digital power combined with GaN heads towards 99% efficiency

What makes power designers' lives so exciting is the ever-present levels of innovation making it possible to improve performance levels, thus contributing to reducing our environmental impact and the creation of a sustainable society. Combining the benefits of digital power with GaN performance and the ability to switch at high frequencies with low power losses makes it possible for designers to develop very high power density units. That combination results in smaller products with lower power dissipation that are ready for stringent, future regulations foreseen in the coming years (e.g. micro-amps for standby power). One practical example is USB chargers where by combining digital and GaN, several companies are in some cases almost tripling the power density for a standard USB charger. That is without talking about multi kilowatts power factor correction equipment fitting into an existing 500W footprint. We are all aiming to break limits and there is no doubt we are moving fast towards the 99% efficiency, but as power designers we have to consider a new dimension that includes a larger eco-system.

Smart power becoming a reality

WBG and digital power have brought strategic, exiting technologies to the power designers' toolbox, and every day we are achieving new limits, but in today's world and as an effect of the industry's transformation, power supplies have to be both energy efficient and perform equally well within the eco-system in which they are integrated. From a USB-PD +PPS for charging and communicating with a battery, to a huge factory automation system where all power supplies are dynamically controlled and optimized to reduce factory energy consumption, power supplies designers will have to include a new dimension when designing the next generation of power solutions.

If previously, the well-known PMBus communication between a power supply and a power/site manager was well understood, then including Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication with direct control of the power supply is relatively new and only at the beginning of its journey.

Industry 4.0 will introduce a higher level of software integration and if many power supplies remain as standalone units, we foresee a significant number of applications requiring power supplies to interoperate within their eco-system in a very advanced way. Smart Power for a Smart Industry is becoming a reality, and a very exciting one at that.

In conclusion, Smart Factories will use Smart Power solutions designed by Smart Power Designers all aiming for 99% efficiency, but with another eye on the ambitious target of 99.99%!

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





Editor's Note: Article reproduced with courtesy of Power Electronics News and Powerbox (PRBX)


PSMA Core Loss Studies
Posted: 2020-9-29

Over the past five years, the PSMA Magnetics Committee has sponsored five Special Projects to better understand the flux propagation in ferrites and the reasons why the performance of large inductor cores performed so poorly compared to the expectations based on published specifications from the suppliers.

The first three projects - PSMA -Dartmouth Core Loss studies- were undertaken by Dartmouth under the leadership of Professor Charles Sullivan and the results are available on the Magnetics Forum on the PSMA web site. Based on some of the insights from these projects formed the basis for the 2 most recent projects – PSMA- SMA Core Loss Studies Phase 1 and Phase 2.

The last two Core Loss Studies are now complete, and this article highlights some of the most interesting findings.  This article is not as comprehensive as the reports, and the reader is encouraged to read the full reports on the PSMA web site for more information.

PSMA–SMA Core Loss Study Collaboration

SMA Magnetics was interested in why large inductor cores performed so poorly compared to expectations based upon published specifications. At the the same time, PSMA was interested in flux propagation in ferrites and why the performance factor B*f was lower and peaked at a lower frequency for larger cores.

Charlie Sullivan (Dartmouth) recognized that there was significant overlap in these interests and arranged an introduction which resulted in the Phase I PSMA-SMA core Loss study. The findings of the Phase I study were so intriguing that a Phase II study followed, which built upon the data from Phase I.

The Phase I and Phase II test reports can be found on the PSMA website Core Loss Studies tab of the Magnetics Forum. The Phase I report is publicly available; Phase II is currently only available to PSMA members, and will be publicly available in late 2021.

PSMA - SMA special project – Phase I

The purpose of the Phase I PSMA-SMA Core Loss projects was to study the flux distribution within ferrite cores while operating.  The concept is that a small area internal to the core can be enclosed by a test winding inserted into drilled holes.  The voltage on the test windings shows the dφ/dt of the flux.

Initially, eight specially machined cores, two each of four materials, were made by Fair-Rite.  Three holes were drilled into each core so that flux in the innermost 1/9th of the core area could be compared to the excitation.  These cores were shipped to SMA for study.


Although the original scope was to test these eight cores, SMA drilled seven more 50 mm cores of various materials to provide a larger sample.

A surprising result for some of the cores was that the flux density in the center of the core was much higher than the average flux density, peaking at just over 2.5 times.  Further, it had a large leading phase.


PSMA - SMA special project – Phase II
Phase II was a larger study comprising five parts:

1. Large core testing–flux propagation in ferrites

Several large cores were drilled with nine holes so that three sets of wires enclosed progressively smaller internal areas.  In this way, the flux and flux density can be measured in three shells and the center for comparison with the excitation voltage.



Two other large cores were drilled so that the voltage can be measured around any of 49 segments.  Each segment is the same size, 1/49 of the total, so one-to-one comparisons could be made.

2. Core power loss comparison with different sized cores of the same material.



Large cores of the same material were found to have significantly higher losses when compared on the basis of mw/cm3.  This suggests that core loss for different core sizes cannot be calculated based on material specifications, which are usually taken using a "standard" core of about 2.5 cm outside diameter.

3. Core shape effect on power loss


Core losses were significantly lower for a core that was laminated.  The second core above has the same area, volume and weight as the first core, but it comprises 5 thinner laminations.


Core losses were significantly lower for a core that was hollowed out.  The second core has the same ID, OD and height as the first core.  Its area, volume and weight are lower, so higher losses may be expected at very low frequencies.


The four cores above all are the same weight and volume.  Cores 1, 2 and 3 have the same ID but cores 2 and 3 are stacked and have the same area, volume and weight as core 1. Core 4 has five times the area because it is wound with only one turn, but it has the same volume and weight as the others. 

The inductances of the four cores are very close to the same value, as are their other electrical properties except the core loss.  The multi-core stacks have significantly lower core loss.

4. Ferrites electrical properties

The electrical parameters (permittivity, permeability, and conductivity) of various ferrites were measured.  These must be known accurately to model the core performance successfully.

As an example, Finite Element Analysis (FAE) did not model the observed flux distribution very well using traditional parameters from data sheets.  Once the analysis was modified to use accurate parameters, the analysis was greatly improved.

5. Rectangular wave core loss tester

Part of the Phase II core loss program was developing an improved full-bridge rectangular wave driver for core loss testing.  The wave shape is determined by an arbitrary waveform generator under software control.  The voltage is controlled by a programmable power supply.  The time, voltage and current are measured using a high accuracy digital sampling oscilloscope and the parameters are exported to a spreadsheet for post processing and storage.  All of the software operations are written in Python.

PSMA Magnetics Committee

In addition to sponsoring these five core loss studies, the PSMA Magnetics Committee continues to be very active. They have organized 5 "Power Magnetics @ High Frequency" workshops in addition to conducting very successful APEC Industry Sessions each year.  They also presented two educational webinars as part of the "PSMA Basics of Magnetics for Switching Power Webinar Series" in early 2020. The committee meets about once a month by webconference and anyone interested is invited to participate. Contact the PSMA office at power@psma.com for more information.

Provided by Ed Herbert, PSMA Magnetics Committee Co-Chair

New EU Appliance Regulations Add Complexity, Reform Product Labeling
Posted: 2020-9-28


Globally there are a plethora of energy efficiency regulations for almost anything that consumes energy. These regulations cover both operating mode efficiency as well as standby power consumption. Some of these energy efficiency regulations are mandatory and some such as Energy Star in the U.S. are voluntary and more marketing than regulatory in nature. And while there are challenges in meeting regulatory requirements in many regions, the European regulations are possibly the strictest in the world.

In Europe there are newer, updated regulations for energy efficiency targeting consumer white goods which we could see adopted as best practices globally. The new regulations also include changes in the labeling for appliances. In many cases, the product ratings used on labels have been simplified. The main purpose of these labeling changes is to allow consumers to make better purchasing decisions. Ultimately, the goal of these changes in energy efficiency and labeling requirements is to achieve energy efficiency objectives for the region.

Specifically, there is a mandate from the European Commission (EC) for the EU to achieve an improvement of 32.5% over 2018 energy consumption by the year 2030. The regulations are to reduce energy used in refrigerator products, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers, TVs and monitors, and lighting products.

These new European standards impose energy efficiency regulations on a product's standby, idle, and off modes of operation. Also there are new levels of energy consumption in the use mode. This is a complex calculation given in the details of each regulation.  

Many of the appliances have motors, which have raised concerns not only about their energy consumption but also regarding the noise they produce. As a result, the new EU regulations also contain emissions levels for audible noise. These noise limits may require the use of brushless dc motors (also known as electronically commutated motors or ECMs) to reduce the noise and increase energy efficiency in the operating mode.

This article presents highlights of Power Integrations' upcoming
webinar "EU Ecodesign and Energy Labeling Directives".

These changes in EU appliance regulations are the subject of an upcoming webinar by Power Integrations (PI) on "EU Ecodesign and Energy Labeling Directives," which will be presented by PI's David Chen on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 9:00 AM U.S. Pacific time (1600 UTC). This article highlights some of the key regulatory changes to be discussed in this webinar. To learn more, you can register for the webinar at PI's events page.

We would like to thank Power Integrations for sharing information from their webinar with How2Power Today in advance of the broadcast and for David Chen's input for this article. In addition, we'd also like to thank PI for the resources they have provided in the form of a free database and for their support of the PSMA Energy Efficiency database. 

Label Reform

Under the emerging regulatory changes, the label on each of the appliance products changes and there are new requirements for each product. For example, the labeling required in the old (EC) no 642/2009 and (EU) 1062/2010, which apply to TVs and monitors, changes in the new regulation. While the existing product ratings assign A, A+, A++, and A+++, the new rating system goes from A through G (more on this in the section on Displays).

Refrigeration Appliances

In this product category, the current regulation is (EU) 1060/2010, which offers product ratings from A+++ (most efficient) to G (least efficient). These ratings take into account energy consumption, storage volume, and a freezer compartment. In contrast, the newer standard (EU) 2019/2016 has a label with ratings ranging from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). There is also a new sound emissions requirement which governs noise produced by the compressor for cooling.

The most effective means of energy savings is to keep ice from forming around the cooling coils. The removal of this ice is called a defrost cycle. This is described in the new standard.


The older regulation (EU) 1059/2010 has been replaced by (EU) 2019/2017. This new regulation takes into account standby energy, idle energy, and operating energy. The label for the product has changed with added icons to help the consumer to make an informed decision about energy use and acoustic noise emissions.

This regulation has a similar rating scale as the refrigerators, ranging from A to G. In addition, there's a figure of merit for the product's efficiency. The Energy Efficiency Index (EEI) is a ratio of two numbers, the ECO Program Energy Consumption (EPEC, measured in kWh/cycle) divided by the Standard Program Energy Consumption (SPEC, also measured in kWh/cycle):

The new regulation goes into greater detail on the measurement and the ratings.


Acoustic noise emission is one of the important consumer ratings. This requires the use of sound insulation and the use of an ECM.

Washing Machines

The current regulation (EU) 1061/2010 has been replaced with (EU) 2019/2014. Like the above appliances, the rating system goes from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). The new rating is defined by the following equation:

where EW is the weighted energy consumption (kWh/cycle) and SCEW is the standard cycle energy consumption (kWh/cycle), and these terms are defined as:

where c is the rated capacity.

The new standard defines water consumption along with how well the water is removed from the clothes in the last spin cycle. This is important, as it affects the energy used for drying clothes. 


The European Union will lump TV sets and monitors together in the new regulation. 

The current regulation (EU) 1062/2010 for televisions sets forth the following conditions:

  • Labels scale from A+++ (most efficient) to D (least efficient).
  • Screen size is shown, but not resolution or high dynamic range (HDR).
  • Annual energy use shown on the label assumes the television is turned on for four hours/day, every day of the year.
  • It does not apply to computer monitors or to signage displays.

The new regulation (EU) 2019/2013 for electronic displays (TVs and monitors) imposes the following changes:

  • This regulation becomes effective on March 1, 2021, repealing the current regulation.
  • Labels are re-scaled from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient), with a lowering of the maximum power consumption limits (i.e. the new limits are more stringent).
  • New and old classes are not comparable, as the new scaling system is improved and better takes into account the screen area.
  • New labels will also show the efficiency of the product in HDR as well as information on the diagonal size of the display and the resolution.

Under the new regulation for electronic displays, there is a new energy efficiency calculation:

where A represents the viewing surface area in dm2, Pmeasured is the measured power in the on-mode in watts in the normal configuration and corr1 is a correction factor set as indicated in Table 3 (in the regulation).

The new label has the following format:

Figure. New label format for (EU) 2019/2013 for electronic displays.

Lighting Products

Lighting is a major user of energy. In many cases, LEDs have replaced incandescent, fluorescent and halogen lamps. The LED luminaire is a complete electric light fixture that distributes, filters and transforms light from one or more light sources to an open room or wall.
Many of these newer fixtures do not have replacement parts like the lamp or standard Edison A lamp. The fixture is complete with no replacement parts internal.

The current regulation (EU) 874/2012 for lighting products imposes the following conditions:

  • Ratings range from A++ (most efficient) to E (least efficient).
  • Luminaires have labels showing what lamps are suitable for use.

Under the new regulation (EU) 2019/2015 for light sources, the following changes take effect:

  • As of 25 December 2019, labeling of luminaires is no longer required.
  • This regulation goes into effect 1 September 2021, repealing the current regulation.
  • Labels are re-scaled from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient).
  • Labels will show energy consumption in kilowatt-hours (kWh) per 1000 hrs and include a QR-code link to more information in an online database.


The following is a list of the EU regulations for appliances.

  • (EU) 2019/2013    Electronic displays including TV and monitors
  • (EU) 2019/2014    Washing Machines
  • (EU) 2019/2015    Lighting
  • (EU) 2019/2016    Refrigerators
  • (EU) 2019/2017    Dishwashers

There are many details in each of the regulations and a Google search on each one will lead you to more-detailed information. It is beyond the scope of this article to provide the complete information on these requirements. However the two best practical resources on this subject are PI's Energy Efficiency Resources page (https://ac-dc.power.com/green-room/energy-efficiency-resources/) and the PSMA's Energy Efficiency database (https://www.psma.com/technical-forums/energy-management/database).

Many of the appliance types discussed above have standby power supplies. The new appliance regulations impose limits on the energy consumption in the standby, idle, and off modes. Therefore, it is in the best interest of engineers developing products in these markets to become aware of these regulations before the design phase to make sure the product development will meet or exceed the target requirements so that the product can be viable for sale in Europe and elsewhere. This along with EMC, safety and materials declarations requirements constitute most of what products will have to meet to be marketable.


Kevin Parmenter
Director of Applications Engineering
Taiwan Semiconductor America

  Jim Spangler
Spangler Prototype Inc. (SPI)

Editor's Note: This article was first published in the May 2020 issue of  How2Power Today
http://www.how2power.com/newsletters/index.php ).



Keith D. Jackson Announces Plans to Retire as President and CEO of ON Semiconductor Effective May 2021
Posted: 2020-9-4

ON Semiconductor Corporation announced today that Keith D. Jackson, the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer, intends to retire from ON Semiconductor in May 2021. To ensure an orderly transition, Mr. Jackson will continue to remain in his current roles until his retirement and will assist the Board of Directors in its search for his successor. In addition, Mr. Jackson will also retire as a member of the Board of Directors in connection with his retirement as President and Chief Executive Officer and does not currently anticipate standing for re-election at the Company’s 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.

ON Semiconductor’s Board of Directors is initiating a comprehensive search to identify the next CEO and will engage an executive search firm to support the search. The Board of Directors will consider both internal and external candidates.

“I have had the privilege of working in the semiconductor industry for more than 40 years and leading ON Semiconductor has been the highlight of my career,” said Jackson. “It has been a pleasure working with our remarkable employees to witness the expansive growth of the company since 2002. I believe now is the right time, though, to start transitioning the leadership of the company as it will allow me to spend more time with my family and wonderful grandchildren.”

Mr. Jackson joined ON Semiconductor as its President and Chief Executive Officer in 2002 and has overseen significant growth of the company during his tenure, including growth in the company’s market capitalization from approximately $300 million in 2002 to approximately $8.9 billion in 2020, and in the company’s revenue from approximately $1.1 billion in 2002 to Fortune 500 company status with approximately $5.5 billion in revenue in 2019 and approximately 35,000 global employees in 2020. Mr. Jackson was also instrumental in leading extraordinary growth of the company’s innovative product offerings through both organic development, particularly with respect to products in the automotive, industrial and internet of things markets, as well as through significant strategic expansions of the company, including the company’s acquisitions of AMI Semiconductor, Aptina Imaging, Fairchild Semiconductor International, Inc. and Quantenna Communications, Inc.

“On behalf of the Board, I want to thank Keith for his significant contributions and impact in advancing ON Semiconductor’s position within the semiconductor industry,” said Alan Campbell, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “The company has benefited from his leadership, industry expertise and keen vision and we intend to work closely with Keith to ensure a smooth transition and engage in the next phase of leadership. The board is confident that Keith and his team will continue to focus on growing the company’s business as the board searches to identify the right person to takeover the reins from Keith.”

iNEMI Publishes Best Practices for Protecting the Reliability and Integrity of Electronic Equipment when Disinfecting for COVID-19
Posted: 2020-8-20

The International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI) today announced publication of “Recommended Best Practices for Protecting the Reliability and Integrity of Electronic Products and Assemblies when Disinfecting for SARSCoV- 2 (COVID-19).”

Developed by a team of experts from across the member organizations of the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI), this document provides guidance on how to mitigate the possible detrimental impact of disinfecting procedures on electronic equipment and assemblies. Groups such as the U.S. EPA, CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) have published general guidelines regarding cleaning and disinfecting for COVID-19, but none of these specifically address the impact of disinfectants and their application methods on electronic equipment and assemblies. Many commonly recommended disinfection substances and/or application methods could potentially cause failures in electronic equipment.

To develop these best practices, the iNEMI team reviewed key industry, government and technical sources. They also assessed the chemicals included in the U.S. EPA List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and common application methods, identifying those substances that minimize the risk of negative impact on electronic equipment when applied in an appropriate manner. 

“With the COVID-19 crisis, several of our members have contacted iNEMI for guidance on how to mitigate the possible detrimental impact of disinfecting procedures on electronic equipment and assemblies,” said Marc Benowitz, iNEMI CEO. “There are guidelines from groups such as the U.S. EPA, CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding cleaning and disinfecting for COVID-19, but none of these address the impact of disinfectants and their application methods on electronic equipment and assemblies.” 

“Many commonly recommended disinfection substances and/or application methods could potentially cause failures in electronic equipment if the internal electronics were inadvertently exposed to them,” continued Benowitz. “This is an obvious concern for electronics manufacturers who are wanting to ensure the safety of their employees, supply chain partners and customers, while protecting the reliability and integrity of their products.”

Benowitz explains that, in response to this industry need, a team of experts from across iNEMI member organizations reviewed key industry, government and technical sources and assembled a best practices document. The team assessed the chemicals included in the U.S. EPA List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and common application methods, identifying those substances that minimize the risk of negative impact on electronic equipment when applied in an appropriate manner. 

iNEMI’s best practices are now available to download here.

PSMA Energy Efficiency and Safety & Compliance Databases Access Now Open
Posted: 2020-6-30
No Registration Required

The Power Sources Manufacturers Association (PSMA) announced the opening of the popular Safety & Compliance Standards Database (SCDB) and Energy Efficiency Regulations Database (EEDB) to the industry with no registration required. You can find information about a Regulation or Standard, its most recent version, revision history, or the latest agency updating work. PSMA has successfully offered the EEDB and SCDB databases to the industry at no charge to the user for several years. Now access is even easier with neither a registration nor log-in required to access all of this industry regulations and standards information.

Every product sold today must meet the requirements of agency regulations, and ultimately standards. Each country or group of countries may have different requirements. It is critical to know the specific ones which your product must comply and the ones requiring compliance within the next two to four years, products you are probably just commencing to design. Since there are numerous regulations and standards, the SCDB and EEDB databases simplify access to the one you need to find. The specifics for each of these databases and how you can easily find them is as follows.

To find the databases, go the PSMA Home Page www.psma.com and follow the links to the database or use the direct links:

The Energy Efficiency Database (EEDB)

PSMA Energy Management Committee sponsors the Energy Efficiency Database, which covers energy efficiency regulations globally for power supplies and motor drives. This database presently tracks on a daily basis 56 agencies and 521 regulations. A significant number of regulations are presently under revision, or revision is complete to become active in 2021/2022.

Figure 1 shows the regulation selection page. You can select a specific agency by application, country or state, or global region. You can also select a regulation by the application. The "Recent or Upcoming Events" section lists all the latest work on all regulations tracked by the database with the most recent date first.

Figure 1 – Energy Efficiency Database Regulations Page

The Safety & Compliance Database (SCDB)

The PSMA Safety & Compliance Committee sponsors the SCDB, which monitors the Power Electronics Standards globally. Presently, this database tracks 778 standards from 50 agencies. The Standards categories include: Product Safety, EMC, Material Toxicity, Environmental, Quality Standard, Performance, Energy Efficiency, and Fundamental Standard.

Figure 2 shows the standard selection page. As with EEDB, you may select a specific agency by application, country or state, or global region. If you have the standard number, you can find it quickly in the bottom selection menu box. The "Recent or Upcoming Events" section lists all the latest work on all standards tracked by the database by the latest date first.

Figure 2 - Safety & Compliance Database Standards Selection Page with Agency Drop List Shown Expanded

And… PSMA Helps You to Stay Up-to-Date Weekly

PSMA further simplifies your access to Regulation updates and Standard updates by offering weekly email announcements containing the latest "Recent or Upcoming Events". This permits you to stay current automatically with present change considerations and work in process on standards and regulations upgrades. There are an average of 30 updates each month from agencies around the globe which the PSMA database team gathers and includes in the weekly email updates. To receive this service, which is provided at no cost to the recipient, you just need to sign up, provide your email address and select the update announcements you want to receive -  SCDB,  EEDB or both.

The direct links to sign up for email updates to the EEDB data base  is https://www.psma.com/webforms/psma-energy-efficiency-database-email-sign.

The direct link to sign up for email updates to the SCDB is https://www.psma.com/webforms/psma-safety-compliance-database-email-sign.

35th Anniversary of PSMA & APEC
Posted: 2020-6-30


Can you believe that the PSMA & APEC are both 35 years young this year? We can look back on our accomplishments and look forward to what we will achieve in the next decade. That means that there is still time to add to the list of accomplishments. For inspiration, here are some PSMA accomplishments over the years:

  • Sponsored APEC (Applied Power Electronics Conference)
    • Created and organized various APEC Industry Sessions
    • Pioneered APEC Presentation Awards
    • Pioneered APEC Student Travel Support
    • Pioneered pre- APEC Magnetics & Capacitor Workshops
  • Supported and contributed to the International Future Energy Challenge (IFEC)
  • Supported Industry input on proposed regulations and standards
  • Created the Energy Efficiency and Safety & Compliance Databases, a collection of international standards and regulations.
  • Pioneered the Power Technology Roadmaps.
  • Pioneered the PwrSoC Workshop, 3D-PEIM Symposium and EnerHarv Workshop
  • Published series of reports on trends and advances in power packaging and 3D Power Packaging working with leading universities and technical organizations.
  • Republished and made available several out of print industry reference books on magnetics

If your company is not yet a member of PSMA, visit www.psma.com/membership/benefits to learn more about joining PSMA and adding your voice to the almost 200 companies, organizations and educators who for 35 years have worked together to support the mission and initiatives of PSMA and to influence the directions of the Power Sources Industry.

Consider how you can contribute to the many opportunities this year, here are few to get started:

  • Contact the Power Technology Roadmap Committee on how you can help the upcoming Power Technology Roadmap 2021.
  • Attend an Energy Management Committee meeting to learn how you can stay informed and help shape upcoming regulations from the US Department of Energy in external power supplies.
  • Attend a Semiconductor Committee meeting to contribute to the adoption of wide bandgap semiconductors.
  • Attend a Transportation Power Electronics Committee meeting to understand the electrification of automobiles and other vehicles.
  • Attend a Reliability Committee meeting to address power supply communication bus issues.
  • Help lead the Safety and Compliance Committee to discuss emerging electromagnetic compliance and certification testing issues facing designers and meeting customer demands.

If you are interested in any of these opportunities, email power@psma.com.

In addition, all of the PSMA Technical Committees welcome your participation in planning and organizing industry sessions for APEC 2021. Help to raise the bar for APEC 2021 Industry Sessions with new presenters with different views discussing their perspectives. Regardless of whether APEC 2021 is the traditional in person conference or virtual event, people still need to hear new points of view and interact with others to discuss the emerging opportunities in the power electronics industry.

APEC has grown and evolved from the first conference in 1986 with 250 Attendees and 20 Exhibitors while staying true to the original ideals, solidifying its status as the leading conference for practicing power electronics professionals. View the APEC 35th Anniversary presentation to see the conference roots and learn more about the volunteers starting with the original "Gang of 8" who have made APEC so successful!

First APEC Social (All 250 Attendees)

Provided by Ada Cheng and Frank Cirolia
PSMA Marketing Committee members


PSMA Launches Webinar Series to Prepare for the Next Power Technology Roadmap (PTR)
Posted: 2020-6-30
This Online webinar series will feature industry experts who will discuss ongoing trends in power technology. The biweekly seminars will be held throughout 2020 and extend into 2021 and will set the stage for the next PSMA Power Technology Roadmap

The Power Sources Manufacturers Association announces a series of webinars as a lead-up to the next edition of the PSMA Power Technology Roadmap (PTR). The webinar series, organized by the PSMA Power Technology Roadmap Committee, will feature invited experts from different fields to offer a range of technological perspectives. In addition to setting the groundwork and providing input for the next PTR, the webinars will give participants access to expert opinions on technology trends and include a question and answer session at the end of each session.

The webinar series will include a number of highly regarded industry and academic experts covering a variety of topics covering components, systems, packaging and applications. The series began on February 20 with a presentation by Ajay Hari of ON Semiconductor "Utilizing WBG Devices in Next Generation Power Converters." Two webinars were held in May, "JEDEC JC-70 Issues Industry First Guidelines for Testing and Evaluating Wide Bandgap Power Devices" presented by Stephanie Watts Butler, Texas Instruments and Peter Friedrichs, Infineon; and "Powering & Retrofitting IoT Devices for Industry 4.0" by Mike Hayes and Peter Haigh, Tyndall National Institute. Future topics include "Ultra-High Density Double-Sided Half-Bridge Packaging with Organic Laminates", "Advanced Packaging Concepts for Wide Band Gap Power Electronics", "Switching Performance of Wide Band Gap Devices", and many others.

Webinars are tentatively scheduled to be held every other Thursday from 10:00-11:00 a.m. Central Time. For updates to the schedule and news of webinars that will be added, please visit: www.psma.com/technical-forums/roadmap/news-events and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter. To join the PSMA mailing list to receive invitations to all upcoming webinars, sign up at  www.psma.com/webforms/psma-email

The Power Technology Roadmap provides a consolidated outlook of trends in power conversion technology for the next two to five years. The trends provided in the report are intended to give a broad outlook of the power conversion technologies, components and applications. The complete Roadmap document has been published every two or three years, incorporating the content of the Roadmap Webinars Series conducted over the months prior to publication. The other content for the PTR is sourced from recognized industry experts and comprises write-ups about trends in components, applications, emerging technologies and university research. It also includes a comprehensive projection of key metrics evolution in four selected power conversion technologies (ac-dc front-end power supplies, ac-dc external power supplies, isolated dc-dc converters and non-isolated dc-dc converters).

Conor Quinn of Artesyn Embedded Technologies and Dhaval Dalal of ACP Technologies, Power Technology Roadmap Committee Co-chairs, stated; "The PTR webinars provide a window into technology trends and the presentations are unique in terms of their diversity of perspectives, commercial-free tone and the opportunity they offer for the audience to interact with industry experts. We are always looking to enrich and expand our panel of webinar presenters and we welcome suggestions and proposals from prospective speakers." Joe Horzepa, PSMA Executive Director, added that the Committee "welcomes and invites subject matter experts who are willing to actively participate and contribute to the development of the next PSMA Power Technology Roadmap to contact the PSMA Association Office at power@psma.com."

PSMA Safety & Compliance Technical Committee Leadership Opportunity
Posted: 2019-6-2

The PSMA Board of Directors is seeking one or more volunteers interested in providing leadership for the Safety & Compliance Technical Committee. The membership in all the PSMA Technical Committees is comprised of individual volunteers from both Member and non-Member Companies who have a technical, business or personal interest and are involved in the focus of the specific Technical Committee.

An important role of the Technical Committee leadership is to coordinate the mission and focus of the committee to address the current issues and changing trends in the technologies. Each of the Technical Committees normally meet monthly via teleconference for one hour to discuss special Projects that PSMA might fund that would benefit the membership and industry, to consider and plan Industry Sessions for upcoming APEC meetings, and to support the PSMA Power Technology Roadmap with relevant Webinars and technical content. The leadership position is the chair (or co-chair) for each meeting and is responsible for generating the monthly meeting agenda and to facilitate the meeting to meet the interests of the participants.

The benefits of Technical Committee leadership are many, including:

  • Being acknowledged as an important participant and factor in the technical community
  • Opportunity to interact with National, State and Independent Agencies involved with the specific technologies
  • Anticipate and influence changes especially in regulations and technologies
  • Identify your company as an important participant and contributor in the industry segment
  • An expanded ability to network with others in the industry

Additional information on this opportunity is available here.

Please contact the Association Office (power@psma.com, 973-543-9660) for more information on the specific responsibilities for the Chair and/or Co-chair of the Safety and Compliance Technical Committee.

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

The PSMA is a not-for-profit organization incorporated in the state of California whose purpose is to enhance the stature and reputation of its members and their products, to improve their knowledge of technological and other developments related to power sources, and to educate the entire electronics industry, plus academia, as well as government and industry agencies as to the importance of, and relevant applications for, all types of power sources and conversion devices.

By joining with other leaders in the Industry, you and your company will have a greater voice and influence on the directions of the Power Sources Industry. Some specific benefits of membership include:

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

PSMA membership dues are modest in comparison to the benefits offered. Is your company a member of PSMA? If not, why not? You can find the membership application on the PSMA web site at http://www.psma.com/webforms/psma-membership-application.

We look forward to receiving your application in the near future so you can take advantage of the registration discount at APEC. The 2015 Power Technology Roadmap will be available in mid March and all Regular and Associate members of PSMA will receive a free copy of the report as a benefit of membership. Affiliate members will receive a discount on the Roadmap and other PSMA reports.


Power Electronics Timeline DRAFT
Posted: 2011-6-29

The Power Sources Manufacturers Association has drafted a power electronics timeline and a "corporate" genealogy chart for the industry to review. As we get inputs, we will be updating these files on a periodic basis. Consequently these files are subject to change until we hear from all affected parties or until enough time has transpired at which time the files will be finalized.

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

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

The Handbook of Standardized Terminology For The Power Sources Industry-Third Edition - has been made available as a download on the Members Only area of the PSMA website. Revised and expanded, this unique publication includes definitions for more than 1200 terms related to power electronics which were especially selected for the power electronics professional. The Third Edition also contains illustrations and four new appendices, including a listing of EMI specifications, excerpts from international standards of units and symbols, along with guides for authors of technical papers. Many new magnetic terms are described in this new 126-page third edition that are of particular interest to the practicing designer and marketer of power supplies and related products. Valuable information regarding worldwide power sources, standards agencies, and military specifications has been retained, updated and expanded from the previous edition. Titles of the appendices are: Testing and Standards Agencies; Designer's Reference; World Voltages and Frequencies; Military Specifications; EMI Specifications; Writing Technical Papers for Archival Publications; Units, Symbols and Style Guide; A Brief Writing Guide. These added resources provide concise, easy-to-use references for engineeers involved in technical writing and presentations. If your company is a member of PSMA, you may register for the "Members Only" area using your email address. The registration form requires you to enter your company PSMA member number. You may contact the Association Office if you do not know the member number.

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

Years ago we had to surround ourselves with printed reference material to provide the data on components used in our designs and applications papers to help in their use. Many of these were free, but some others cost over $100 each and became obsolete almost as fast as we obtained them. Today, the picture has changed dramatically. Most of this information is available at no cost through the Internet; the amount of information is so huge that the new challenge is sorting it out. When the semiconductor committee of PSMA began to study the problem of helping engineers find the information needed, the change in the way we do our jobs became blatantly obvious. Even this task has been made easier, because of help from the Internet.

Here is our conclusion: Google is perhaps the most advanced search engine in the world at this time. Surprisingly, it’s not just for lay people who are looking for new recipes or ways to remodel their bedrooms. Its capability to provide us with the sophisticated technical help we need is astounding. It has the capacity to improve its performance, on its own, as it is used. Our job in helping our members and others in the industry has been reduced from one of searching, rating and cataloging materials to one of simply providing a few hints about using Google. We suggest you try it for yourself, get familiar with its capability, and use it the next time you need information. Here are some examples for you to try:

1. Go to Google.com and type in power factor correction. Our result was that 2,190,000 references were retrieved in 0.23 seconds. Now, type in “power factor correction” and see the difference. We got 155,000 references in about the same amount of time. What is even more amazing is that the references were valid! Even in the first case---we looked through the first 120 on the list, and didn’t find even one irrelevant citing.

2. Try “mag amp” and retrieve 8,870 references. All were valid until we got down to the 29th one on the list, which referred to a slow-release garden fertilizer. 28 out of 29 is a validity score of 96.6%---not bad for software!!!

In Example 1 we saw the difference of enclosing the phrase in quotation marks. Doing so causes the search engine to look for precisely that phrase. Without this, the search engine will find hits on each of the words individually, inviting irrelevant references.

To the right of the search window on the home page you will find “Advanced Search.” Clicking on it will produce a page full of easy-to-use tricks to improve the search, including “Advanced Search Tips” on the top line of the page. This gives even more useful information to produce more effective results. Google is so easy that if you’ll spend only 5 minutes with it, you’ll be producing better results than you can find in a world-class library, without leaving your desk. Try it first, then try other search engines. We did this, and found a plethora of irrelevant “hits.” We invite your comments.

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

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

Power Supplies - Make vs Buy



Technical Writing Guides
Posted: 2003-1-24

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

Units, Symbols and Style Guide

A Brief Writing Guide

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