We need a 'Giga-fab' for Gallium Nitride, somewhere
A new technology promises a revolution in the efficient use of electrical power. If widely deployed, this technology could have a significant impact on climate change by reducing our dependence on fossil fuel in favor of renewable energy. It could enable discontinuous advances in communications, electric vehicles and medical diagnostic equipment.
Silicon Carbide power modules break through long standing barriers
There’s a special, satisfying glow of accomplishment which designers feel when signing off on a high performance, high current (>100A) power module such as used in PWM inverters. There are so many competing factors to be balanced and tradeoffs to be made, starting with the choice of switching frequency.
MIT printing technique enables flexible circuit stamping
To create electronic devices like those in today’s mobile phones requires complex chemical and physical processes, not unlike those used to capture and develop images with film-based cameras.
Polymer researchers make supercapacitor breakthrough
Researchers in the UK have reported a breakthrough in supercapacitor development with the potential to revolutionise the recharging cycle for battery operated devices. The development, by Augmented Optics, is based on polymers used to make soft contact lenses.
Supercapacitor battery charges in seconds and lasts a week
Breakthroughs in battery technology are becoming increasingly common these days, a manifestation of years of multi-billion dollar R&D investments focused on advanced materials science in hot pursuit of a compact, renewable energy sources by the world’s automobile and electronics makers.
Why DC only distribution makes sense for energy savings
The drive for energy conservation, the DC basis of modern electronic systems, and the development of renewable energy sources have converged to challenge the 100 year old assumption that AC alone is the single best means of distributing electricity.
Silicon carbide on the road to automotive electrification
The automotive industry has long been focussing on the higher efficiency of the combustion engine and electrification of the drivetrain in hybrid and fully electric vehicles to meet CO2 emission goals. Now we finally see a tipping point with a greater availability of SiC (Silicon Carbide) chips that offer extremely low power losses and higher temperature resistance.
Multi-axis inertial measurement will revolutionise consumer electronics
MEMS combo sensors that combine multiple sensing capabilities - accelerometers, gyroscopes, pressure sensors, compasses, etc. - in a single device, with a small footprint, have seen their applications explode.
China powers up $360bn renewable energy future
We’ve all seen the images from Beijing, millions of residents chocking on dirty yellow smog. It’s the result of China’s dependency on coal as a primary fuel - something the current government plans to attack in a bold energy initiative focussed on solar, wind and other renewable sources.
Smart energy storage will define the future of everything
From smartphones to automobiles and the electric grid, energy storage is becoming more critical. For mobile devices, the need is clear for safe, longer lasting, energy dense chemistries. For automobiles, the move to hybrid, electric, and autonomous vehicles has increased the bounty to be had for denser and lighter storage. As for the electric grid, it stands to benefit from load balancing using a combination of the IoT (smart grid) and local...
Qi-certified medium power transmitter reference design
Apple touts its new Airpods as wireless, effortless, and magical, a description that aptly fits another emerging technology: wireless charging. Wireless charging sends a flow of electrons to a device’s battery using either ultrasound, solar, or electromagnetic energy, in place of a tethered AC charger.
Chipmakers warming up to 48V datacentre movement
With the emergence of 48V datacentre architecture on the server rails, is there a greener cloud on the horizon in 2017? A lot depends on the availability of chips that can efficiently facilitate the 48V single conversion to the PoL (Point of Load) while providing the projected 16x reduction in distribution loss and 30% lower conversion loss.
Revisiting power consumption in home appliances
The notion of smart home has been making headlines for many years, but it’s actually the energy efficiency part where homes are making the most tangible gains through what designers call inverterisation of appliance designs.
How the IoT and the smartphone are enabling the smart home
How the IoT and the smartphone are enabling the smart home by Ajinder Singh, General Manager Building Automation, Lighting & Display at Texas Instruments.
High voltage ICs give designers an advantage they can appreciate
It’s not easy being tasked with designing a 'better' DC/DC buck converter, which must transform a lightly regulated DC voltage into a tightly regulated source for motors, industrial equipment, and communications infrastructure; as always, the objective is higher efficiency, but without any penalty in size, complexity, or performance.
Digital interface increases throughput in data acquisition systems
The SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface), a synchronous serial data protocol used by microcontrollers for communicating with one or more peripheral devices over short distances, has become a de facto standard, widely used in embedded systems.
Reference design for drone motor controller
The ability to quickly change the speed and rotational direction of its motors is the key to a drone’s performance, which makes the ESC (Electronic Speed Control) module a very important subsystem. Faster motor speed changes also make for greater stability, which saves energy thereby enabling longer flight times.
Silicon Carbide power modules break through long standing barriers
There’s a special, satisfying glow of accomplishment which designers feel when signing off on a high performance, high current (>100 A) power module such as used in PWM inverters. There are so many competing factors to be balanced and trade offs to be made, starting with the choice of switching frequency.
Making Li-ion batteries safer
Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are the workhorses of the consumer electronics world. Smartphones and laptops would be impractical without them. Now, banks of these cells are enabling electric transportation.
Calculating the accuracy of a battery fuel gauge
A battery fuel gauge obtains data from the battery to determine how much juice is left. Do not misconstrue gauging accuracy for measurement accuracy. A gauge’s ability to accurately report state of charge (SOC) and predict remaining battery capacity depends on measurements including voltage (‘V’), current (‘I’) and battery temperature (‘T’).