There was plenty to interest attendees at APEC 2004, which was the 19th annual Applied Power Electronics Conference and Exposition. The show (see photo) featured hand-picked seminars, rap sessions, technical papers, an outstanding plenary session, the annual MicroMouse competition, and exhibitors from over 120 companies. Of particular note, the OEM Initiative addressed the timely issues facing the manufacturing community for dc power supplies, and the University Research Showcase provided an opportunity to examine the directions of leading university programs.
APEC 2004 also kicked off a design competition for energy-efficient power supplies. The basis for the competition was research by the Energy Star program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program of the California Energy Commission (CEC). The research identified ac-dc power supplies as a major opportunity for reducing global energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, with more than 3 billion ac-dc supplies in use within the U.S. and about 10 billion units in use globally. Applications include personal computers, servers, televisions, computer monitors, and electrical appliances. The EPA and the CEC are sponsoring the competition, which will run throughout 2004. Winners will be announced at next year’s APEC show. More information is available at www.efficientpowersupplies.org.
And for a more detailed look at the design competition, see the Editor's View, "Rethinking Power-Supply Efficiency," in the March 10, 2004 Electronic Design UPDATE e-newsletter, go to:
Several major vendors announced a number of exciting new products at the conference. In alpha order, they are:
- The Volant series of converters now includes 10- and 16-A versions. The 16-A model offers flexibility, with a programmable output voltage provided through use of an external resistor. The expanded 10-A model boasts output voltages of 0.9, 1.0, 1.2, 1.5, 1.8, 2.0, 2.5, 3.3, and 5 V. Volant series converters are available in both single-inline and surface-mount packages with industry-standard pinouts.
- The S-class sixteenth-brick, isolated dc-dc converter is approximately half the length of the existing eighth-brick form factor. At 1.11 by 0.90 by 0.354-inches., it can deliver 141 W/in.3 as well as 25 A at 1.5 V. Celestica and Cherokee International are collaborating on the standardization of this sixteenth-brick dc-dc converter footprint.
- Fairchild Semiconductor
- The PowerSaver power switch family exhibits low standby power and low electromagnetic interference for improved performance in video system applications. The FSDM0365RN, FSDM0565R, and FSDM07652R are rated at 30, 60, and 75 W, respectively.
- Intended for switch-mode power supplies, two new 600-V SuperFET MOSFETs significantly reduce system power loss while increasing ruggedness, efficiency, and reliability. The FCP11N60 and FCPF11N60 come in the TO-220 and TO-220F packages, respectively.
- A Web-based FETBench and power-factor-correction toolkit shorten design times. They feature choices of topologies, product selection, and simulation creation.
- International Rectifier
- Three new 20-V devices in the DirectFET MOSFET family are optimized for VRM 10 power systems and high-frequency, high-current dc-dc converters. The low-on-resistance IRF6623, the 35-A IRF6620, and the IRF6609 target synchronous rectifier applications.
- National Semiconductor
- A 100-V single-ended converter contains all the functions required to implement control, drive, and regulation in flyback and forward power supplies. Packaged in a 4-by-4 chip-scale package, the current-mode LM5020 has a 1.5-A power MOSFET driver that makes it an effective solution for Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) powered device (PD) applications.
- Texas Instruments
- Two new dc-dc buck controllers use Predictive Gate Drive technology to achieve up to 96% power efficiency and ease circuit design in non-isolated power systems. The TPS40070 and TPS40071 support 4.5- to 28-V inputs and employ TSSOP PowerPad packages. They also provide user-programmable undervoltage lockout, soft-start, and high-side short-circuit protection.
- The TPS2490 and TPS2491 hot-swap ICs support and protect emerging positive voltage distributed power systems that operate between 9 and 80 V, including 12-, 24-, and 48-V server backplanes, storage-area networks, medical systems, plug-in modules, and wireless basestations.
- April 19 will see the introduction of new dc-dc converter ICs rated at 12 A and operating at 700 kHz. They will include Power Good, enable, soft-start, current limiting, and thermal shutdown.
- A third-generation double-data-rate memory IC will be announced on April 27. It will operate over a 3.0- to 28-V input range, require only a single output capacitor, and include sleep control and thermal shutdown.
- Power-management ICs for organic-light-emitting-diode (OLED) displays will be introduced March 30.
This year’s APEC was held February 22 to 26 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, Calif. Next year, APEC 2005 will be at the new Hilton Hotel in downtown Austin, Texas. The event is co-sponsored by the IEEE Power Electronics Society (PELS), the IEEE Industry Applications Society (IAS), and the Power Sources Manufacturers Association (PSMA).
APEC home page → http://www.apec-conf.org/Index.html