Power Electronics


NEMA Revises MG 7

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has released ICS 16, Industrial Control and Systems: Motion/Position Control Motors, Controls, and Feedback Devices. This is a revised version of MG 7, last published in 1993. ICS 16 focuses on rotary technology, with increased interest in developing a standard covering linear motors, feedback devices, and controls. It covers servo and stepping motors and other components used in a motion/position control system.

The NEMA programmable motion control technical committee drafted ICS 16 with help from major manufacturers. “ICS 16 represents a major improvement over MG 7 in terms of addressing new technology in the motion/position control field,” says committee chairman Howard Hendricks. “This standard contains many more details concerning dimensions and test methods for servo motors, stepping motors, encoders, and resolvers. It was developed with a systems approach during which we recognized that many performance parameters are dependent on the drive system and not solely on the individual component.”

ICS 16 is available on the Web for free downloading at www.nema.org/engineering/icsstandards.html.

Bel Acquires Current Concepts

Bel Fuse Inc. (Jersey City, N.J.) announced it has acquired Current Concepts Inc. (Westborough, Mass.), a privately held research and development firm specializing in advanced dc-dc power converters. Current Concepts will form the core of the newly formed Bel Power Products Division.

Joining Bel at the company's design center in Westborough will be the founders of Current Concepts, Mark Jutras and Mark Macera. Marshall Miles, who joined the company last year, will manage Bell Power Products.

Power-One Licenses N2Power Technology

N2Power, Inc., a designer and manufacturer of high-efficiency, ultra-small power supplies, granted Power-One Inc., of Camarillo, Calif., rights to use N2Power's patented technology. The non-exclusive license agreement with the Westlake Village, Calif.-based N2Power Inc., grants Power-One the technology to market and sell power supplies targeted at high-density, space-constrained applications.

N2Power designs, manufactures and distributes open-frame switching power supplies to original equipment manufacturers and distributors worldwide. N2Power's products are ideal for any application where space is at a premium, efficiency is a design requirement, and heat is a problem.

Worldwide Semiconductor Sales Ride Downward Trend

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) reported worldwide sales of semiconductors registered $14.4 billion in March 2001, down 4.5% from $15.07 billion a year ago, and down 7% from $15.48 billion last month.

“Since last November, we've witnessed worldwide semiconductor sales continually decline due to an inventory overhang and macroeconomic factors,” says SIA president, George Scalise. “We believe the industry will complete the inventory correction in the third quarter, and recovery will commence in the fourth quarter.”

Currently, sales are lower in every product sector and most geographic regions. Compared to March 2000, the March 2001 European market sales were lower by 0.7%, the American market sales were down 10.6%, and Asia Pacific sales were down 10.4%. This month the Japan market sales grew 7% from March 2000.

From its beginning in the 1950s, this industry has been characterized by a four-year cycle, sporadically modified by unexpected economic factors. Despite this, the industry has grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17% over the past 40 years.

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