Power Electronics

APEC Fuels Future Trends and Technologies

Some interesting trends and topologies, as well as architectures and manufacturing techniques, will enlighten practicing engineers, power electronics professionals, component suppliers, and power supply manufacturers, as they convene at the 18th Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC) and Exposition, Feb. 9-13 in Miami Beach, Fla. These attendees will see digital signal processing (DSP) and digital control gaining momentum in power control and power-factor correction (PFC). They’ll also be exposed to novel distributed power architectures (DPAs) and scalable multiphase PWM controllers that are emerging to cope with the power conversion challenges of modern and future computing and communication systems. Vendors will showcase isolated brick style dc/dc converters with much higher current at lower voltages. While point-of-load (POL) converters and voltage regulator modules (VRMs) will take a new route to meet the appetite of multi-GHz microprocessors of today and tomorrow.

Few years ago, DSP technology was a research curiosity for power supply designers. Today, interest is expanding, as suppliers and developers work together to extend the role of digital control in power supply designs, evident from the large number of papers presented this year. Interestingly, rap session 1 on Tuesday, Feb.11, moderated by Arnold N. Alderman, president of Anagenesis, will debate the pros and cons of using digital control in price sensitive power supply designs. Likewise, National Semiconductor's Edward Lam, in a plenary talk in session 1, Monday, Feb.10, will shed new light on distributed power systems, as he explores ever-changing DPA, integrated PWM circuitry, and novel topologies to enable new information infrastructure systems. In the same session, International Rectifier's CEO Alex Lidow will probe the key challenges facing power management, as he unwraps technology advances that are anticipated. More specifically, Lidow's paper will show how innovations in power semiconductor processes, device design, architectures, and thermal management will be combined to create integrated solutions to meet the power management challenges of the computing and information systems.

Behind closed doors, select members of Power Sources Manufacturers Association (PSMA), a cosponsor along with IEEE's Power Electronics Society and Industry Application Society, will conduct a workshop to generate a technology roadmap for power supply users, component suppliers and designers. To bring industry flavor to the conference, market analysts and consultants, encouraged by PSMA, will focus on the techniques and methods of forecasting power supply markets. This will be discussed in session 5 on Tuesday, Feb.11, where experts will come together to understand the new market reality and the uncertain future. In addition, several professional education seminars conducted by experts have been organized to help novice and inexperienced engineers come up to speed quickly.

For more information about APEC and Exposition, visit www.apec-conf.org.

See you at APEC.

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