Power Electronics

Data Points

8.8% Growth Predicted for Power Management ICs

A new study from Natick, Mass.-based Venture Development Corp. (VDC), titled “The Global Market for Power Supply and Power Management Integrated Circuits, Fourth Edition - Volume 1: Market Analysis,” finds that combined worldwide shipments for power supply and power management integrated circuits (ICs) totaled about 5.45 billion in 2003 and is forecast to grow 8.8% until 2006.

At this rate, the VDC forecast shows worldwide shipments for power supply and power management ICs will increase from $5 billion in 2002 to nearly $6.98 billion in 2006.

Factors influencing forecasted growth include:

  • Increased demand for wireless and broadband technologies, thus increasing the demand for highly efficient, compact power management ICs.

  • An overall recovery in information technology hardware spending.

According to industry analyst Marianne D'Aquila, “The PSIC industry, although poised for recovery, is facing a paradigm shift as outsourcing and manufacturing are forecasted to continue migration to Asia. This will challenge the way vendors do business. Partnership agreements become increasingly important as seen by International Rectifier and Sanyo joint venture to design, develop and market their products, and vendors need to look at increasing direct sales to build personal relations in Asia.”

For more information, visit www.vdc-corp.com.

European Automakers Trailing the Hybrid Pack

Despite recent development announcements from some major European automakers regarding hybrid electric vehicles, their programs trail those from the rest of the world by several years, according to technology research firm ABI, Oyster Bay, N.Y. Current hybrids, such as Toyota's Prius and Honda's Insight and Civic Hybrid, are the most fuel-efficient vehicles in North America, and are available for sale in Europe, yet face no direct competition from within Europe. European automakers catering to buyers who desire premium fuel economy offer high-tech diesel engines.

In Europe and Japan, where fuel is far more expensive than in North America, highly economic engines that go so far as to sacrifice performance for economy are quite popular. Sales of economical diesels in some European nations have actually exceeded 50% of new cars, and diesels sell at a premium over gasoline variations. Hybrids have the potential to boost performance and economy simultaneously. If Europeans have already accepted paying more up front for an efficient car, why haven't their automakers responded with hybrids, which could potentially offer the best of both worlds?

“While modern diesel engines sold in Europe are better than ever, this development effort may not have left enough resources to seriously investigate hybrids,” said Dan Benjamin, ABI analyst. “By comparison, GM, Ford and Chrysler are still selling pushrod-based gasoline engines in the United States. The Big 3 have not had similar breakthroughs in engine R&D as the Europeans, yet hold only a moderate lead over the Europeans in hybrid development. Unfortunately, all trail Toyota and Honda by a great margin.”

According to ABI, the global hybrid vehicle market will remain small through the end of the decade. Market growth will hinge on cost reductions for key components and hybridization becoming available on a greater number of mainstream models. Annual global hybrid production could reach 1 million units by 2010. ABI's findings suggest the current generation of hybrids may not sell in large quantities, but that hybrid technology has arrived and some automakers are taking development more seriously than others.

The ABI report, “Hybrid Electric Vehicles: Global Market Assessment, Key Technologies, and Forecasts,” examines key components and design choices in hybrid technology. The study profiles major players and provides regional growth prospects and forecasts through 2010.

For more information on this study, visit www.abiresearch.com.

High-Current Quad-Output Regulator

The new LT1943 from Linear Technology, Milpitas, Calif., is a high-current quad-output adjustable switching regulator developed specifically for 22-in. and larger TFT LCD applications. It operates from an input range of 4.5 V to 22 V, delivering independent outputs for VLOGIC, AVDD, VON, and VOFF, as required by TFT LCD applications. The LT1943 contains a 2.4-A buck regulator to power VLOGIC, a 2.6-A boost regulator to drive TFTs, a high-voltage TFT biasing output and an inverter for negative TFT biasing. All switchers are synchronized to an internal 1.2-MHz clock, keeping switching noise out of critical audio bands and enabling the use of low-profile inductors and tiny ceramic input and output capacitors. Its TSSOP-28E exposed pad package and tiny externals provide a very compact, low-profile, thermally efficient footprint.

Several features of the LT1943 set it apart from modules and other less-integrated solutions previously found in TFT LCD applications. First is the Panel Protect feature, which disables VON if any of the four outputs are more than 10% below the normal reset output voltage. This prevents the TFT panel from being exposed to an inrush of VON current and effectively “flash lighting” the entire TFT panel, creating damage to the panel. A high-side PNP transistor provides a delayed turn-on of the VON signal to insure it comes on only after all the other outputs are powered up. The VON signal can provide up to 30 mA of bias current, enabling it to drive large panels. A PGOOD output is included to drive an optional PMOS pass device to provide output disconnect for the AVDD output. In addition, soft start is available for all channels to create carefully controlled power sequencing of the panel at turn-on and is programmable via an external capacitors.

For more information, visit www.linear.com.

3-A DC-DC Converter with Integrated MOSFET

Dallas-based Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) recently announced a new highly efficient dc-dc converter with an internal MOSFET that supports an input voltage from 4.5 V to 20 V at a continuous output current of 3 A in a small 16-pin HTSSOP package. The device simplifies point-of-load power management design by allowing designers to power digital signal processors (DSPs), field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and microprocessors directly from a mid-voltage bus, instead of relying on an additional low-voltage bus.

The TPS54350 SWIFT (Switcher With Integrated FET Technology) dc-dc converter provides greater than 90% efficiency and high performance. It's ideal for low-power industrial and commercial systems, liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors and TV sets, hard disk drives, video graphics cards and point-of-load regulation off a 9-V or 12-V wall adapter. Supporting the medium-output current range, it's capable of adjusting output voltages down to 0.891 V with 1% accuracy.

The TPS54350 integrates a high-side MOSFET and a gate driver for an optional low-side external MOSFET. It also features a high-performance voltage-error amplifier that enables maximum performance under transient conditions and flexibility when choosing the output filter inductors and capacitors. The switching frequency can be fixed at 250 kHz or 500 kHz or adjusted up to 700 kHz to reduce the size of passive components.

Packaged in 16-pin HTSSOP with PowerPAD for thermal enhancement and space savings, suggested resale pricing is $2.45 each in quantities of 1000.

For more information, visit www.ti.com.

Gowanda Electronics Achieves ISO9001:2000 Certification

Gowanda Electronics, Gowanda, N.Y., has completed the transition to the requirements of ISO9001:2000 Quality Management System Standard. Preparation for the transition at Gowanda began in early 2003. NSF International Strategic Registrations Ltd. (NSF-ISR) performed the audit.

David Schaack, president of Gowanda Electronics, said, “This higher level of certification is yet another example of Gowanda's commitment to the global electronics marketplace. With a comprehensive quality-management program in place, Gowanda Electronics is well positioned to meet the needs of the market, both now and in the future.”

Director of Quality Ken Hicks added, “The success of the upgrade is the result of a total team effort and further demonstrates our commitment to quality and our customers. The new standard puts more emphasis on customer satisfaction and process improvement techniques that will help us to continually improve our overall quality-management process within the day-to-day operations.”

The certification is considered an upgrade from the previous 1994 standard and is a mandatory requirement (for all currently registered organizations) that had to be completed by December 2003.

For more information, visit www.gowanda.com.

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