Ally Winning, European Editor, PSD
Across the Atlantic this month, all the talk is about APEC, the first real show of the year to focus on the power industry. This year, the event will take place in New Orleans, which should bring a touch of French Quarter sparkle to the event. However, in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center the focus will be strictly on business as companies across the power industry gather to show off their innovations to attendees in the exhibition hall and inform the audience about the latest advances in the conference technical sessions, where over 500 peer-reviewed papers will be presented.
Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it to the Big Easy, but the rest of the PSD team will be in attendance to bring you the latest news from the event in both our daily newsletters and the magazine. If you haven’t signed up for our newsletters yet, now would be a good time to make sure you don’t miss anything from the event. No doubt both the exhibition and conference will be dominated by wide bandgap materials. These materials have already changed the industry completely from even a few years ago, and they are still at the early stages of development and there is even more potential to be unlocked.
Inside the print issue, we’ll take a closer look at where the market is at the moment and how to get the best out of current wide bandgap products. In the first article in our special report, René Mente from Infineon Technologies looks at the decisions that have to be taken when deciding the right time to switch from silicon to silicon carbide for MOSFETs in switch-mode power supplies. Many designers would like to make the move sooner rather than later, but the cost difference can often cancel out the gains made from efficiency. As technology advances, those gains increase, while the price drops. New ranges of 650V SiC MOSFETs have closed the gap further. However, designs using silicon MOSFETs must be changed to accommodate SiC MOSFETs to get the best outcome.
Our next special report article has been written by Peter Dallimore for RS’ DesignSpark division. The article goes into more depth about at how to get the best results from SiC MOSFETs and how careful gate current management is the key to controlling the devices at high switching speeds. Using gate-driver ICs that have been optimised for SiC applications can not only control the gate current, but also incorporate additional safety features, making the designs not only more efficient, but safer in the process.
Alongside our special report, the March issue will also include a range of general articles that are intended to educate and inform in other areas of power design, including custom power magnetics design and designing a PoE-PD for IoT applications. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy.
European Editor, PSD