Power Electronics

Data Points

Amplifier Eliminates Bypass Capacitor

Santa Clara, Calif.-based National Semiconductor Corp. recently announced a Boomer audio amplifier that eliminates the bypass capacitor typically connected to the reference voltage pin. The new architecture improves power supply rejection ratio and provides very fast turn-on times.

Designed to improve overall system performance, it was created for demanding applications in mobile phones and other portable communication devices. It's capable of delivering 1W of continuous average power to an 8Ω bridge-tied load (BTL) with less than 1% total harmonic distortion plus noise (THD+N) from a 5Vdc power supply. With an internal selectable gain of either 6dB or 12dB, it doesn't require output coupling capacitors or bootstrap capacitors.

For more information, visit www.national.com.

Fuel Cells to Power Portable Electronics

According to a recent market forecast report prepared by Darnell Group for Breakthrough Technologies and the U.S. Fuel Cell Council, fuel cells offer the greatest potential of powering devices that are currently using premium rechargeable batteries such as Li-ion and Li-polymer types. The study predicts the largest potential market for fuel cells is mobile phones, followed by notebook computers. Other important segments are camcorders, digital cameras and PDAs. Of these applications, PDAs present the best opportunity, while camcorders and digital cameras will remain smaller, niche markets. In fact, only high-end digital cameras and professional-level camcorders are expected to be good candidates for fuel cells, the report indicates.

For more information, visit www.fuelcell.com.

U.S. Battery Demand to Reach $14 Billion in 2007

According to a study from the Freedonia Group Inc., Cleveland, Ohio, the U.S. demand for primary and secondary batteries will grow 5.5% annually through 2007 to $14 billion. Growth will be driven by demand for battery-powered electronic devices and increasing production of electrical and electronic equipment. An ongoing shift in the product mix toward more expensive batteries that offer improved performance will also support dollar gains.

Secondary battery demand is expected to outpace primary battery market gains through 2007, benefiting from strong growth in the use of high-drain portable electronic devices. Reductions in the amount of time required to recharge batteries will also make secondary types more attractive to consumers who prefer the convenience offered by primaries. Also, market gains will be supported by increased production of hybrid/electric vehicles and stepped-up spending for telecommunications power supplies and other backup systems. Lead-acid batteries will account for over half of all rechargeables demand in 2007, although Li-ion, lithium polymer, and nickel-metal hydride batteries will record the strongest growth.

Visit www.freedoniagroup.com for more details.

Anachip Introduces PWM Buck Regulator-Controller

The AP1623 switching regulator from Anachip, Hsinchu, Taiwan, provides a fixed output voltage of 1.8V. It also supports adjustable outputs up to 6V by adding an external voltage divider resistor network. By supporting a variety of input voltages from 2.5V to 14V, it's ideal for portable or mobile applications.

The AP1623 incorporates an internal P-channel Power MOS, which delivers 3A load current without an external MOSFET. Along with its 180 kHz switching frequency, it greatly reduces the cost and size of components for the PCB board by lowering the size of external inductor and capacitor.

The overall regulation of the AP1623 is guaranteed 30 mV tolerance over line, load, and temperature. The typical conversion efficiency of AP1623 is as high as 93% under specific load conditions.

For more information, visit www.anachip.com.

Software Eliminates Telecom Power Back-Up Failures

Valere Power, Richardson, Texas, has released new battery testing software for its ac-dc telecommunications power distribution systems that gives carriers visibility into the health and reliability of their battery back-up systems, thus lowering operating costs and improving network reliability.

The new software runs a series of tests that can be configured to automatically generate alarms if a battery string fails the test, indicating that the string needs to be replaced. In addition, key voltage, current, and battery amperage hours are tracked during the tests to help carriers better manage these systems.

The new software runs on Valere's Compact DC Power System and Integrated Power System. The testing system works with valve-regulated lead acid (VRLA) batteries and newer battery technology. It's integrated with Valere's Energy Trak graphical power system management software, allowing service providers to conduct testing remotely through the Internet or wide-area networks. Local testing may be performed using the multi-character display. Test data is maintained from the previous five tests for comparison purposes.

A key feature is the ability to force a battery into a discharge mode, allowing the software to monitor voltage, current, and temperature changes to determine the battery's capacity. With this information, service providers know exactly how many hours of back-up power are available in a remote equipment center so they can respond appropriately in the event of a power outage.

For battery reliability, Valere offers adjustable battery recharge limits to adjust the charging characteristics of the battery for various environmental conditions.

For more information, visit Valere Power at www.valerepower.com.

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