Power Electronics

Data Points

Ed Bloom and Robert Dobkin Accept Power Electronics Technology Awards

At the recent Power Electronics Technology Conference in Dallas, the recipients of this year's Lifetime Achievement and Product of the Year awards were on hand to accept their trophies at a ceremony following the keynote address on Oct. 30.

Ed Bloom, president and CEO of e/j Bloom associates, accepted Power Electronics Technology magazine's Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the field of magnetics design and power electronics education.

Robert Dobkin, the chief technical officer and vice president of engineering at Linear Technology, accepted the magazine's Product of the Year award for his company's LT3080 adjustable low-dropout regulator.

In accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award, Bloom acknowledged that there were many individuals who contributed to the success of the power electronics courses his company offered over the years. First, Bloom cited Colonel McLyman from JPL. “He and I and my wife Joy met here in this hotel [the Hilton Anatole] 26 years ago to decide whether we would do courses for power electronics engineers, and as a result of that meeting we actually formed our company.”

The initial courses taught by McLyman were on magnetics design. But, as Bloom noted, well-known individuals such as Dr. Fred Lee, Rudy Severns and Dan Mitchell later taught classes for e/j Bloom associates. These individuals enabled Bloom's company to expand its course offerings into other areas of power electronics design. Bloom also acknowledged his wife's contributions to the courses, recalling how “she was the one who took care of all our attendees.”

The Lifetime Achievement trophy was presented to Bloom by David Morrison, editor in chief of Power Electronics Technology. Following that presentation, Ashok Bindra, editor, Penton Electronics Group, presented Power Electronics Technology's Product of the Year trophy to Dobkin.

In his acceptance speech, Dobkin noted how this award for his new three-terminal adjustable regulator comes about 30 years after he developed the very first three-terminal adjustable regulator. Dobkin recalled how this latest development became a source of amusement for a family member.

“When I told my brother I'm getting an award for this three-terminal adjustable regulator, he said, ‘If you had listened to our dad and done it right in the first place, you wouldn't have had to do it again!’” quipped Dobkin.

On a more serious note, Dobkin commented that the LT3080 “took a long time to develop and a lot of thinking to be able to make a really versatile low-dropout regulator that fit with today's circuitry, worked well and fixed a lot of the problems of older regulators. And I very much appreciate this recognition.”

Following the awards ceremonies, both Bloom and Dobkin were interviewed for Electronic Design's Engineering TV (Electronic Design is a sister publication of Power Electronics Technology). Those interviews may be downloaded at http://electronicdesign.com/shows/power2007/index.cfm.

Power Electronics Technology has been presenting its Lifetime Achievement and Product of the Year awards annually since 2004. Past recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award include Eric Lidow (2004), Robert Mammano (2005) and Bruce Carsten (2006). To read their stories as well as Bloom's, see the September issues from 2004 through 2007.

Similarly, the stories behind the past winners of the Product of the Year, which include Enpirion (2004), Tribotek (2005), Texas Instruments (2006) and this year's winner, can be found in the October issues from 2004 through 2007, and are also available online at www.powerelectronics.com.

Wind-Power Deployment Picks Up Speed

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) reports that the U.S. wind-energy industry is currently on track to complete a total of 4000 MW of new wind-power capacity by year's end. This exceeds the AWEA's previous projection that 2007 would see 3000 MW of new capacity, and shatters the previous record of 2454 MW of new wind-power capacity that was set last year.

In its third-quarter market report, AWEA also reports that the industry has already added more than 2300 MW of generating capacity to the nation's electrical grid so far this year, with a total of more than 5000 MW in various stages of construction, establishing wind as one of the largest sources of new power in the country. The total cumulative wind-power generating capacity in the country is 13,885 MW, according to AWEA.

“The U.S wind-energy industry is going to exceed what was already a record projection for installations this year,” says AWEA Executive Director Randall Swisher. “This is great news because it means that new, readily available clean generation is reaching consumers at a time when electricity demand and global-warming concerns are both on the rise. But the not-so-good news is that … our country does not have a long-term, national policy in place to promote renewable energy development.”

The federal production tax credit (PTC) for renewable energy will expire in December 2008, and there is no national renewable electricity standard or other long-term policy in place.

Visit www.awea.org/projects for a full list of wind-energy projects completed in the third quarter of 2007, a listing of states by capacity installed and additional market information.

PSMA to Assess Impact of Power Supply in Package

The Power Sources Manufacturers Association (PSMA) has undertaken a project to survey the power-supply-in-package (PSiP) and power-supply-on-chip (PSoC) landscapes. PSMA will use the results of this survey to provide PSMA members and industry at large with insights into the potential impact of these technologies on the power industry.

According to the PSMA, the proliferation of functionally integrated hardware solutions in PSiP and PSoC formats is a move away from the power-supply manufacturing use of discrete components to an increasing emphasis on power-supply products employing integrated devices supplied by the semiconductor and microelectronics industries. Advances in semiconductor, magnetic, capacitor and packaging materials and technologies that will deliver products operating at multi-megahertz frequencies are augmenting this trend.

At this early stage of the PSiP/PSoC evolution, this project presents an opportunity for the industry to obtain an overview of the technology and evolving product trends. The study will provide insights into potential technology road maps and address the research and development challenges. Results from this study will be documented early in 2008 in a PSMA report that will be made available to PSMA members and to others in the industry.

For additional information, contact Joe Horzepa, executive director of the PSMA, at (973) 543-9660 or via e-mail at [email protected].

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