Power Electronics

Tech Conference Hosts Debate on Digital Power

Although there have been numerous debates on the merits of digital power control, the one taking place today at the Gilder/Forbes Telecosm Conference, could impact the acceptance of this technology in the marketplace. In “Powering the Telecosm: Digital vs. Analog Power Management Solutions,” three representatives of established power semiconductor and power supply companies revive the digital versus analog discussion in front of a diverse audience. According to the conference promoters, the Telecosm event brings together “investors, engineers, entrepreneurs, public policy decision makers, money managers, and the top business leaders and executives from the world's leading technology and telecommunications companies.”

The three panelists in the digital debate are Robert Dobkin, chief technology officer and divisional vice president of Linear Technology; Steven Goldman, CEO and chairman of Power-One; and Peter Henry, vice president of portable power systems at National Semiconductor. The moderator for this discussion, Charlie Burger, technology analyst at the Gilder Technology Report, will pose several questions to the panel:

  • Can advances in analog and mixed-signal technology dampen the advantages of an all-digital platform?
  • Does the power-industry coalition that is developing a PMBus standard set Power-One back?
  • How can investors effectively gauge the potential of digital power management chips?


For his part in this discussion, Power-One’s Goldman will be arguing the merits of digital power using the company’s Z-One digital power system to illustrate the benefits that can be achieved with technology that’s already in production. A key point in Goldman’s argument is that cost considerations will drive the adoption of digital power. As he notes in his presentation, “Digital [power management] is less costly than analog for medium to complex systems.” To view his power point presentation, see media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/NSD/PWER/IRPres92805Final.ppt.

For more information on the conference, see www.gildertech.com/public/Telecosm2005/Agenda.htm.

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