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APEC 2012 Update: 2/9/12

Video'ed an interview with the last of the GaN FET spokespersons this morning Michael Briere speaking for International Rectifier. Video should be up some time Thursday. Alex Lidow, Carl Blake, and Michael have been the visible face of GaN for several years. In different ways, they all say the same thing: lower voltages are here, higher (600-V) breakdown parts are out there, but they're still just being evaluated by early-adopter companies.

Meanwhile, CREE continues to pursue Silicon Carbide (SiC), with its 1200-V Z-FET SiC MOSFETS and IGBTs. At the show, CREE had a brochure (not up on their site as of tonight) with some interesting performance curves comparing efficiency versus load and leakage current versus temperature for two of their parts versus equivalent Si MOSFETs and IGBTs. The CREE parts are the CMF20120D and the CMF10120, rated at 1200 V Vds. The "20" part has an Rdson of 80 mOhms and a maximum current capacity of 33 A. For the "10" part, those specs are 160 mOhms and 24 A.

Later, Curtis and I stopped at Vicor, where we talked about active EMI filters, Programmable hot-swap controllers, and a small point-of-load in the same packaging that Vicor uses for its V-I chips. That video should be up Thursday.

Moderating a Webinar on future directions for Lithium-Ion batteries, presented by Micro Power, took a bite out of my afternoon. That should be viewable via the Electronic Design site on Thursday, too.

I Wrapped up the day sipping a few beers with Jay Cormier from Maxim. (Jay came with the Teridian acquisition.) We talked a little about metering in the household smart-meter sense, and a lot about metering in the industrial context.

I wrapped up the day with Akros Silicon. I used to talk to Akros about Power over Ethernet, but the company has morphed in the direction of Energy Management, which is not quite the same as Power Management. Look for an article explaining why the difference is important in a future issue of the magazine.

Early night tonight, then a wasted day squeezed into an airplane seat, heading back to Silicon Valley. Overall impressions? As I said yesterday, there was a positive buzz at the conference, lots of people filing the aisles, but overall, no Next Big Thing this year.

TAGS: Power
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