Going for the green challenge

July 1, 2008
With soaring fuel prices and a drooping economy, carmakers and component suppliers are tapping every resource to tackle these problems

With soaring fuel prices, a drooping economy and surging pressure from consumers and governments around the world to improve fuel efficiency and drastically reduce CO2 emission, carmakers and component suppliers are tapping every resource to tackle these problems. Despite collective global efforts, automakers are still struggling to meet the stringent CO2 emission standards imposed by international regulatory agencies. Concurrently, the number of vehicles on the road continues to rise worldwide, with emerging markets like India and China experiencing double-digit vehicle production growth. Obviously, curbing automobiles' contribution to Earth's pollution takes top priority.

Furthermore, as governments and policymakers start taxing CO2 emissions to those falling short of the target, the automakers will pass on the CO2 penalties to car buyers.

Even though fuel efficiency is getting better each year, it is incremental. Much more needs to be accomplished. In fact, there is plenty of room for improvement across all automotive applications — and the bar keeps moving higher. Electronics will play a crucial role in this fuel efficiency race.

While there is a lot of improvement under way in powertrain design and performance, and hybrid electric vehicles are moving higher on the production scale, the underlying question is whether designers are using their electronics knowledge base and semiconductor technology advances to the fullest extent. Substantial improvements in energy losses are needed in all areas of automotive applications to meet the set international efficiency targets. Consequently, we have to start thinking along the lines of combined savings and not isolated application areas.

To serve as a catalyst in this regard, Auto Electronics is partnering with Infineon Technologies. We invite you to design a circuit using Infineon products that enable energy efficiency for automotive applications.

From experience, I know that design contests bring out the best in engineers, raising a challenge and an opportunity. We are asking you as an individual or as a team to take this green challenge and come up with a leading-edge solution that will take automobiles on a new course, one that will be environmentally friendly and raise fuel efficiency performance. Your challenge lies in designing innovative, energy-saving solutions.

From power train to safety to body electronics, we know there is opportunity to find creative and cost-effective ways to collectively enhance fuel consumption and energy performance.

To help you get started in the process, Infineon has posted its product selector guide and a white paper on energy efficiency that may inspire you as you create your design. This will be available to you upon registration. Additionally, for the duration of the contest, Infineon has set up a special information e-mail hotline that will help you find specific data sheets, parts or to answer technical questions regarding your entry. Please send your inquiry to [email protected]. The judges will include editors from Auto Electronics, Power Electronics and Penton's Electronic Design Group, as well as auto specialists from Infineon.

The top design solution will receive a grand prize of $10,000. The second place winner will receive a prize of $5000, and the third place winner will receive $2000. Also, all three winners will get an all-expense paid trip to attend the award ceremony in Detroit.

Winners will have their design displayed in the Infineon booth and will have the opportunity to network with other automotive industry leaders.

No purchase is necessary, so register today and take the green challenge: go to http://autoelectronics.com/contest/rev-up.

Good luck.

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