The twentieth annual Applied Power Electronics Conference and Exhibition took place in Austin, Texas, last month. It was the most bustling conference I’ve seen since the days of the dotcom bubble. Conference Chair Jason Lai says total attendance was roughly 2500. Not counting exhibitors, reporters, and other related people, about 1000 power engineers came to Austin for the show.
Efficiency Challenge 2004, sponsored by the California Energy Commission’s PIER program and the EPA’s Energy Star program, was the most interesting event at the show. Power Integrations took the grand prize in the “market-ready” category for its prototype supply for cordless phones with an average efficiency of 69%. Grand prize in the “open” category, designs without cost or packaging constraints, went to Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Its standalone AA-battery charger exhibited 74% average efficiency and a no-load power drain of 0.16 W.
The university also took a “best-in-class” award for its open-category cordless phone supply. Other best-in-class winners included AcBel Polytec Inc. of Taiwan, the University of Illinois, Dartmouth College, the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, and a team from Texas A&M that was mentored by Lite-On Technology. Details on the winners can be found at www.efficientpowersupplies.org/winner_fact_sheet.pdf.
APEC 2006 is set for next Feb. 19-23 in New Orleans. The call for papers was published in the 2005 proceedings. For details, go to www.apec-conf.org.