A Power-ful New Year

Jason Lomberg, North American Editor, PSD



Auld Lang Syne. Or in modern English, for old time’s sake. And while we celebrate everything great in 2018, the New Year means a fresh start – a new year of possibilities, a new CES, and a critical topic that, as noted in our edit call, hits at the very foundation of our fair publication.

Our January/February issue covers "Power Supplies & Magnetics" and the phenomenon that produces electromagnetic fields. And because the topic is so broad, it covers everything from tunnel-magnetoresistance (TMR) to charge pump ICs, impedance matching, and a lot more.

Because of the need to balance thermal management, output, and accuracy in various applications, designers are increasingly turning towards TMR sensors, which replace anisotropic magnetoresistance (AMR) and giant magnetoresistance (GMR) sensors in applications where thermal controls were required.

Marcus Christian Meyer with TDK Corporation discusses these “New advances in TMR Sensors,” which are seeing increased adoption in automotive and e-vehicle applications and industrial equipment applications.

“Some TMR sensors have extremely low power consumption (5mW/under recommended conditions). This makes them ideally suited for automotive applications, including as automotive steering angle sensors or EPS (electric power steering) motor angle sensors,” Meyer says.

Meanwhile, in “Is There a Charge Pump IC in Your Product’s Future?”, Jeff Sorensen with Helix Semiconductors discusses charge pumps in “flying capacitor” topologies, and because of the headlong dash towards shrinking electronics – smaller and more efficient – it might be time to reintroduce them to the masses.

Sorensen claims that “With the drive to improve efficiency in nearly all electronic product areas, charge pumps have a role in helping reduce waste and making products more attractive to the consumer by reducing cost of operation and weight.”

With “Understanding Impedance Matching and the Selection of Transformers,” Triad Magnetics’ Lazaro Rodriguez examines why impedance matching is so important, how it works, and “how it can be easily implemented during the system design phase through proper impedance matching and transformer selection.”

“It’s clear that being able to match the load impedance is essential to the functionality of the circuit, especially for maximum power transfer,” Rodriguez writes.

Finally, and while I don’t usually preview our general-purpose Technical Features, I wanted to mention Analog Device’s “Jumpstarting IEEE 802.3bt’s PoE++” for the pure gravitas of the topic. I’ll let author Christopher Gobok’s intro speak for itself:

“IEEE’s next Power over Ethernet (PoE) standard, also known as PoE++, has power sourcing equipment (PSE) and powered device (PD) developers scrambling for the latest hardware, and rightfully so as PoE++ delivers up to 71.3 W to the PD, nearly tripling the previous standard’s 25.5 W.”

Here’s to another great year of power (systems design)!

Jason Lomberg,

North American Editor, PSD