Series 10 – Episode 2 – Innovations in passive components for power densification
Paige West speaks with Peter A. Blais, Senior Director, Application Engineering, KEMET about the drive to increase energy efficiency and how this is being met by innovations in passive components for power densification.
Increasing energy efficiency and size reduction is nothing new. One of the critical things is that if you shrink power, or put more power into a smaller space, and if you have the same level of efficiency then you have the same amount of heat being generated – but, in a smaller space.
“That poses a problem,” said Blais. “If you start stacking all of these small spaces on top of each other, you develop a thermal issue. If you can’t get the heat out, things get hot, and they break and stop working.”
Power densification is an important target for converted designers. As semiconductors advance, their demands for the power going into them increases. This, in turn, places more demand on the architecture of the power conversion modules.
“The industry in general, whether we’re talking about big power or digital power, for servers and data centres, has placed a lot of emphasis on power conversion and the power conversion modules or function blocks in the circuit board. And in order to try to make them more responsive to semiconductors and deliver cleaner power in a more efficient package, the objective is to take the functionality that’s in a complete server board (which is fairly large) and shrink it down to about 25% of its size,” said Blais.
Blais goes on to talk about the effect of Wide-Bandgap on power systems design, the impact of the pandemic and whether or not we will ever reach a limit beyond which no further improvement is possible.