Power Electronics

Power Electronics Meeting Displays Novel Power ICs and Passives

Several important power ICs and passive components were exhibited at this week’s Power Electronics Technology Conference & Exhibition in Long Beach, Calif. A day’s tour of the exhibition floor exposed some interesting developments in the power arena. While Supertex and Power Integrations were targeting power-over-Ethernet (PoE) applications, International Rectifier unwrapped two new members of its iMOTION integrated design platform. In addition, Canada’s foundry service provider, DALSA Semiconductor, disclosed plans to integrate its MEMS capability with 0.8 micron high-voltage CMOS/DMOS process. Similarly, magnetic component supplier J.W. Miller revealed a new series of high-temperature, high-current toroid power inductors, and Germany’s Kaschke KG demonstrated a new line of miniature transformers, which the company prefers to call smart power transformers. Major players such as Coilcraft Inc.and Datatronics boasted new developments in planar magnetics and surface-mount power inductors and transformers. On the capacitor front, Dearborn Electronics displayed aluminum electrolytic capacitor assemblies with a range of 48 µF to 20,000 µF and 10 Vdc to 500 Vdc capabilities.

Speaking of PoE, Supertex unveiled its first entry in to the arena. The power semiconductor supplier showed a PoE interface controller for the PD (Powered Device) section of the IEEE802.3af protocol. Offering complete power management and protection for PDs, the HV110 features a 400-mA inrush limit and fault current limit, as well as minimum current shutdown. Because the internal power switch uses scaled current-mirror technology, it eliminates the need for an external sense resistor. Thus, it provides highly accurate current sensing at the high and low operating conditions. To eliminate the need for any external high-voltage protection devices at the input of the controller, the HV110 implements a rugged high-voltage junction isolated process. Furthermore, it’s encased in a thermally improved DPAK-5 package.

Another newcomer to the PoE fray is Power Integrations. The company announced dc-dc converters targeting the PD side of the PoE market. As new members of its popular DPA-Switch family, the DPA423G /4G/5G converters have been tailored to meet the dc-dc requirements of the PD side of the new standard. Integrating a 220-V MOSFET, PWM control and line undervoltage lockout (UVLO), along with current sensing, the new parts cut some 20 to 50 external components. Other salient features include 300- kHz to 400-kHz pin-selectable fixed frequency, 16-Vdc to 75-Vdc input voltage range, and up to 23-W output capability. When used with synchronous rectification, it can offer greater than 90% efficiency.

On another front, International Rectifier demonstrated two versions of a single chip motion control IC. Expanding its portfolio of iMOTION solutions, the two new additions have been architected to eliminate the task of programming, and thereby slash the time to market high-performance ac drives. According to IR’s director of engineering, digital control IC design center Toshio Takahashi, the IRMCK201/203 incorporates a dedicated motion control engine (MCE) that eliminates software programming, which is a complex task under traditional motor drive controls that rely on DSPs or MCUs. Designed to be compatible with other chipsets in the platform, the IRMCK201 features an encoder feedback based closed loop current and velocity control for servo applications, while IRMCK203 is a digital control for sinusoidal current-based sensorless drives. Consequently, the IRMCK203 enables the design of ultrahigh-speed (100,000 rpm) and wide range (›20:1) ac permanent magnet motor drives with sensorless control. While the IRMCK201 is housed in a 100-pin QFP, the IRMCK203 is offered in an 80-pin QFP package.

Prompted by the demand for better and better magnetics in power supplies designed for harsh environments, a few suppliers boasted components that raised the performance bar. For instance, J.W. Miller introduced a high-temperature toroid power inductor with 200°C capability. The manufacturer’s new 2100HT/2200HT/2300HT series of high-temperature, high-current toroid power inductors offers an operating temperature range of –55°C to 200°C. In addition, the new power inductors feature a self-shielding design that drastically cuts magnetic flux interference to the adjoining area. J.W. Miller’s chief design engineer attributes this performance to the use of a proprietary high-temperature iron powder core material.

Likewise, Metglas, a subsidiary of Hitachi Metals America Ltd., displayed a novel nanocrystalline soft magnetic core material called FINEMET. Key applications for the new core material include EMI filters, high-frequency power transformers, saturable core for magnetic amplifier SMPS, and pulsed power cores.

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