Welcome to the first issue in 2016 of FTM, the technology magazine for customers of Future Electronics

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The special theme of this issue is ‘Power and Power Management’, a topic of interest to anyone designing an electronics system. In the Application Spotlight section of the magazine, readers will find a selection of the newest and best parts for power systems.

Many of these parts address system designers’ need to reduce the amount of power that their products consume, both in normal operation and when idle. Across every sector of the electronics industry, the requirements of energy efficiency legislation are becoming more stringent.

This is nowhere more so than in the field of motor drives: driven by regulations such as the European Commission’s Energy-related Products (ErP) directive, manufacturers of electric motors are having to equip their products with the ability to match their speed and power output to the load, providing for a huge reduction in average power consumption.

For many OEMs, the best way to meet the requirements of the ErP directive is to replace legacy fixed-speed motors with a new Variable Speed Drive (VSD) design. The Circuit Centre section is dedicated to components that are ideal for use in VSDs.

This includes Intelligent Power Modules (IPMs) such as the ON Semiconductor device : IPMs provide a quick and simple means to implement a motor-drive’s inverter, and they also save board space when compared to discrete inverter circuits.

The push for greater power efficiency is also fuelling growing interest in Silicon Carbide (SiC) components: SiC devices achieve lower power losses than silicon-based equivalents, can switch faster and can operate at higher temperatures. In terms of performance and efficiency, then, SiC is far better than silicon as a material for high-voltage power components.

The problem with SiC is its cost – but there might be good news on the horizon for designers who want to use SiC components but who are concerned about the impact on their budget. As the market for electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles undergoes rapid growth, SiC components will be used in the vehicle’s traction power system and in fast chargers This promises to drive up sales volumes and therefore to reduce unit prices.

This could have a knock-on effect on the general electronics market, allowing a far wider range of high-voltage applications to benefit from the efficiency and performance of SiC MOSFETs, diodes and power modules. The BSM180D12P3C007, a SiC power module from ROHM Semiconductor, is an excellent example of the latest generation of SiC power components now available to the electronics industry.

Whether your interest is in SiC MOSFETs, IPMs or other new components, FTM presents you with an interesting selection of new parts. Enjoy reading!

Paul-Donaldson
Paul Donaldson
Vertical Markets Director, Future Electronics (EMEA)

 

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