Power Electronics
Industry Showcases Advanced Power Components at APEC

Industry Showcases Advanced Power Components at APEC

Many of the vendors participating in this year's Applied Power Electronics Technology Conference and Exhibition (APEC), Feb. 24-28 in Austin, Texas, will be introducing or demonstrating new products at their booths. A wide variety of new component types will be on display including the latest power semiconductor devices — discretes, modules and ICs, as well as supporting products such as power-supply reference designs.

There also will be announcements and demos of passive components such as current-sense resistors, magnetic devices, connectors and thermal management products. In addition, equipment manufacturers will hope to pique designers' interest with new test equipment for power-supply design and manufacturing. Meanwhile, attendees walking the show floor will be able to catch a glimpse of some recently developed ac-dc power supplies.

Though these products represent an array of technologies and target a range of applications, many share the common purpose of increasing power-supply efficiency. In several cases, components have been developed with specific ENERGY STAR requirements in mind. Beyond efficiency, numerous components have been crafted to provide higher power density and better thermal management in their applications.

Product Introductions

Infineon Technologies AG (www.infineon.com) will add three new families of power semiconductors to its OptiMOS 3 N-channel MOSFET portfolio. The new devices carry breakdown voltage ratings of 40 V, 60 V and 80 V. The OptiMOS 3 40-V family meets the needs of fast-switching switch-mode power supplies (SMPSs) and dc-dc converters in a variety of applications, including printers and nonisolated industrial converters, in which 30-V MOSFETs are inadequate.

The OptiMOS 3 60-V and 80-V families are primarily intended for secondary-side rectification in SMPSs and dc motor controls, and the 80-V devices are also ideally suited for telecom applications. The families include MOSFETs that are said to offer best-in-class on-resistance, achieving an RDSON as low as 0.85 mΩ for OptiMOS 3 40 V, 1 mΩ for OptiMOS 3 60 V and 2.7 mΩ for OptiMOS 3 80 V. The figure of merit (FOM) for the new devices is as much as 25% better than comparable parts, claims the company. Additionally, the 60-V and 80-V families offer a hot-swap capability.

Vishay (www.vishay.com) will feature the first device in its third-generation TrenchFET power MOSFET family. According to the vendor, this 30-V-rated device will offer industry-best specifications for on-resistance as well as for FOM. The Si7192DP, an n-channel device in the PowerPAK SO-8, features a maximum on-resistance of 2.25 mΩ at a 4.5-V gate drive. The on-resistance times gate-charge FOM for this MOSFET is 98, which reflects a VDS of 30 V and a VGS of 20 V. Compared to the closest competing devices optimized for low conduction losses and low switching losses, respectively, these specifications represent an improvement in on-resistance of 2% and in FOM of 1%, says Vishay.

International Rectifier (www.irf.com) plans to launch a dc-dc converter IC and a family of 600-V Trench IGBTs at APEC. The IC is the latest product in the company's Enterprise Power portfolio, using proprietary technology for low-voltage dc-dc converters used in notebooks, desktop computers and energy-efficient servers to help realize energy savings. The new IGBT family will offer lower conduction switching losses and increased power density in the TO-247 package.

Primarion (www.primarion.com) will introduce the PX3664, a digital multiphase power controller with dynamic phasing for synchronous dc-dc buck converters in computing and communications applications. Described as highly configurable and easy to use, this controller improves overall system efficiency across the entire operating load range with its autonomous phase dropping/adding capability. The PX3664's dynamic phasing capability allows the system to shed one or more phases based on the user-defined average current.

According to the vendor, the PX3664 addresses demands for higher light-load efficiency by delivering more than 90% efficiency across the entire operating range. In addition, this digital controller optimizes loop compensation while operating with a lower number of phases to maintain system stability. With up to four phases, each capable of up to 2 MHz of operation, the PX3664 can be used to build dc-dc converters that provide up to 120 A, low ripple, and low component count. Available for general sampling this quarter, the PX3664 comes in a 7-mm × 7-mm 48-lead QFN package.

Fairchild Semiconductor (www.fairchildsemi.com) will offer power-supply designers a synchronous rectification module that increases efficiency in power supplies to meet stringent ENERGY STAR requirements. The FPP06R001 improves efficiency, simplifies design, reduces board space and enhances overall reliability by integrating two MOSFETs and a gate-drive IC into one thermally efficient package.

This high-level integration also eliminates the traditional bipolar components needed for the high current driver. When used in applications with secondary-side rectification, the module helps designers meet the ENERGY STAR requirements mandating 80% efficiency for the power-supply unit (PSU) at 20%, 50% and 100% of rated output.

ON Semiconductor will be unveiling a GreenPoint open reference design for a 16-W ac-dc adapter for xDSL modems. This design exceeds ENERGY STAR requirements for single-voltage ac-dc and ac-ac external power supplies revision 1.1, for high active-mode power efficiency and low standby-mode power consumption. The reference design can be easily modified for use with 10-W to 20-W single-output voltage adapters for printers, routers and hubs.

This fully designed and tested solution achieves an active-mode efficiency of 78% at 120 Vac and 79% at 230 Vac, exceeding ENERGY STAR guidelines of 74% for both input voltages. In standby mode, the solution consumes only 240 mW at 120 Vac and 200 mW at 240 Vac, exceeding ENERGY STAR guidelines of 0.5 W for both input voltages. In addition, the design complies with FCC Part 15 Level B EMI requirements. The documentation package is available at www.onsemi.com/greenpoint, as are links to relevant industry information.

Linear Technology (www.linear.com) will introduce the LTC3566, a switch-mode USB power manager with an integrated buck-boost converter. Designed for Li-ion/polymer battery applications, the LTC3566 integrates a switching PowerPath manager, a standalone battery charger, a 1-A high-efficiency synchronous buck-boost regulator, an ideal diode and controller, plus an always-on LDO. The part is housed in a 4-mm × 4-mm QFN package.

The LTC3566's PowerPath control feature seamlessly manages power flow between multiple input sources such as a wall adapter or USB port and the lithium battery while preferentially providing power to the system load. In addition, its “instant-ON” operation ensures power to the system load even with a dead battery.

Jazz Semiconductor (www.jazzsemi.com), a provider of analog-intensive mixed-signal foundry solutions will announce the availability of high-power enhancements for its advanced bipolar CMOS DMOS (BCD) high-voltage process platform. Process enhancements include an RDSON of 7.2 mΩ, 12-V NLDMOS, and superior power modeling capabilities. Jazz has applied its parasitic modeling experience in RF applications to power modeling. This modeling capability will allow IC designers to confidently design large drivers required in high-speed switching applications.

TT electronics IRC (www.ttelectronics.com) will introduce the ULR series of RoHS-compliant, surface-mount metal-element chip resistors featuring tight TCRs and low inductance values. These charcterisrics, along with a high power rating (3 W at 80°C), make these resistors well suited for current detection and monitoring. In these applications, the ULR series resistors enable minimizations of power consumption. In addition, these devices occupy smaller footprints than comparably rated wirewound resistors.

The ULR series resistors are available in 1206, 2010 and 2512 package sizes and feature power ratings of 1 W, 1.5 W, 2 W, 2.5 W and 3 W at 80°C. Resistance range is from 0.5 mΩ to 10 mΩ, with standard tolerances of ±1% and ±5% and TCRs as low as ±50 ppm/°C, depending on power rating and resistance value. The operating temperature ranges from -55°C to 170°C.

Molex (www.molex.com/product/power.html) will introduce its EXTreme PowerMass high-current power interconnect for power supply-to-system board power delivery. Designed as a modular stiffener-based system, EXTreme PowerMass is ideal for systems operating in challenging thermal-constrained spaces. It can be deployed in telecommunications, high-end and mid-range computers, power supplies and cellular communications applications.

Delivering up to 350 A per inch, EXTreme PowerMass is said to be one of the highest capacity board-to-board connectors on the market. Its multiple-capacity power modules (150 A, 80 A, 40 A) and wide signal count (24 to 64 circuits) capability allows more power to be placed where needed without wasting board space. This product specifies less than 1 mΩ of plane-to-plane resistance at end of life.

APtronic AG (www.APtronic.de) will be introducing a fast charger for high-power Li-ion batteries. An example application for the charger is the SEABOB, an over- and underwater vehicle for sport driving and diving. The charger delivers up to 1500 W of total output power at 45 Vdc to 50 Vdc and 0 A to 31 A. Both output voltage and current are adjustable via a microprocessor. The unit also features a universal input-voltage range with an input-current limit of 10 A.

The charger exhibits a power factor of greater than 95% in accordance with EN61000-3-2. It also offers Class 1 protection and less than 0.5 mA of leakage current. The charger is protected against short circuit, overload and overtemperature conditions, and features water protection per IP 65, salt-water detection and convection cooling.

Another power-supply product to be unveiled at APEC is Lambda's (www.lambdapower.com) ZWX-series of industrial low-profile ATX computer power supplies. These open-frame ac-dc power supplies provide the five voltages needed for high-end industrial computers including 3.3 V, 5 V, 12 V, -12 V and 5 V (standby) and are 1U rack/enclosure mountable. The ZWX300 includes a sixth output (a second 12 V) to support extra drives, memory and fans.

With convection-cooling, power ratings are 90 W, 120 W and 150 W. With forced-air cooling (30 cfm), these ratings jump to 153 W, 204 W and 255 W, respectively, and peak power ratings add from 30 W to 40 W to these figures. Package sizes range from 3.7 in. × 1.42 in × 8.27 in. up to 4.65 in. × 1.42 in. × 9.84 in.

Product Demos

In addition to the products being introduced at APEC, many recently introduced products will be shown or demonstrated in the exhibition hall. Power modules are particularly well represented.

For example, Microsemi (www.microsemi.com) will show its new line of 38 standard power modules in the low-profile and compact SP1 package. The modules, which include phase leg, full-bridge, buck, and boost configurations, target applications such as power factor correction, motor control, UPS, power supplies, solar inverters and welding converters. The power modules feature a 12-mm profile that provides minimum parasitic inductance, while solderable pins provide easy mounting to top-printed circuit boards.

At the Powerex (www.powerex.com) booth, visitors will find the NX-Series of IGBT modules. These modules were developed with a new package design that uses a building-block concept to provide multiple configuration options, improved manufacturability, reduced development time and lower cost. Designed for use in general-purpose motor drives, the NX-Series features high thermal conductivity aluminum-nitride ceramic to provide improved heat transfer from the chips to the heatsink.

A common base plate and case shell are used with interchangeable screw terminal box and pin terminals to create single, dual, seven-pack and converter-inverter brake circuit configurations. These modules offer ratings ranging from 75 A to 600 A at 600 V and 35 A to 600 A at 1200 V with NTC thermistor output in a 17-mm thin package.

For designers working with IGBTs, a related product on display will be Vette's (www.vettecorp.com) Aluma-Cop Liquid Cooled Flat Tubes, which were developed for the liquid cooling of IGBTs. The flat tube has a cross-sectional aspect ratio of greater than 4:1 with internal, integral forged fins creating a flow channel optimized for both fin pitch and fin height-to-width ratios. This design provides better cooling than designs that press a smooth bore-round copper tube into an aluminum carrier block, says the company.

STMicroelectronics (www.st.com) will show two power MOSFETs intended for the most demanding dc-dc converter applications. The STD60N3LH5 and STD85N3LH5 use the latest version of ST's STripFET technology to deliver low conduction and switching losses — up to 3 W lower in a typical voltage regulator module. These 30-V devices, which are available in DPAK and other packages, achieve low FOM (RDSON × QG). For example, the STD60N3LH5 specifies a gate charge of 8.8 nC and an on-resistance of 7.2 mΩ at 10 V, making it suitable as a control FET in a synchronous buck converter.

Toshiba America Electronic Components (www.toshiba.com/taec) will show the latest addition to its family of power multichip modules. The TB7004FL is a 35-A, 30-V synchronous stepdown converter switching module that is compatible with Intel's Driver-MOSFET 1.0 (DrMOS 1.0) specifications. It combines MOSFET gate drivers with high-side and low-side MOSFETs produced in the company's UMOS V-H process.

Voltage Multipliers (www.voltagemultipliers.com) will showcase its E-Zorb controlled avalanche high-voltage diodes. These diodes specify ratings of 10 mJ to 400 mJ for reverse avalanche energy, 2.5 kV to 10 kV for working reverse voltage, 20 mA to 1.5 A for average rectified current, and 30 ns to 3000 ns for reverse-recovery time.

Texas Instruments (www.ti.com) will exhibit two USB power management switches with adjustable, 100-mA to 1.1-A current limit. Housed in a 2-mm × 2-mm SON or a 6-pin SOT-23, the TPS2550 and TPS2551 feature an integrated 85-mΩ, n-channel MOSFET.

Magnetics (www.mag-inc.com) will exhibit powder cores based on XFLUX, a distributed air gap 6.5% silicon-iron material. A true high-temperature material with no thermal aging, XFLUX offers lower losses than powder iron cores and superior dc bias performance. XFLUX cores are best suited for low- and medium-frequency chokes where inductance at peak is critical.

Positronic (www.connectpositronic.com) will show its CBD Series of Combo-D Power Contacts, which now offers power contact options for use with size 6 AWG wire. These contacts have a contact resistance of 0.0003 Ω maximum per IEC 512-2 Test 2b and are rated for current levels up to 110 A per contact per UL 1977. The contacts are also suitable for voltages up to 450 Vac.

The APEC exhibit will provide opportunities to view power-specific test equipment. For example, Newtons4th (www.newtons4th.com) will exhibit its PPA2500 KinetiQ Power Analyzers featuring a new architecture that yields high accuracy and precision over the highest frequency range, at a price tag of less than $10,000 for 3 channels. The power analyzer measures power, phase, harmonics and impedance, and provides a true-RMS multimeter as well as real-time digital, tabular, graphic and oscilloscope displays. KinetiQ was developed for designers of electronic devices ranging from power supplies and lighting ballasts to microwaves and motor drives.

Chroma Systems Solutions (www.chromausa.com) will showcase Cool-Burn, an automated test system featuring energy-saving recyclable electronic loads. Designed for burn-in testing of isolated and nonisolated dc-dc converters, the test system saves energy by recycling the converter's output power, reduces heat and utility costs via diminished energy demands and dramatically increases production volumes by reducing change-over times.

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