Looking Forward to 2019



2018 was a quite memorable year for power electronics and this year looks to be even more exciting. Of course, PSD will be there all the way to bring you the latest updates in the industry around the world. The main focal point of the year, at least in Europe, will be the PCIM exhibition, held in Nuremberg in June. Naturally, PSD will be at the show, not just covering news and product launches, but also hosting a panel discussion on integrating GaN technologies.

GaN will revolutionise the power industry, but designing power products with GaN differs from normal design in some quite significant ways. The guests on the panel will come from large companies, distributors and smaller companies, and they will lay out what their company is specifically doing to help designers leverage the benefits of GaN technology. We have several confirmations at the moment, but there may be one or two spaces available. If your company has a unique view on GaN integration, and you’d like to present that at the industry’s premier European event, then please feel free to get in touch with me.

The main subject of this month’s magazine is power supplies and magnetics. Unsurprisingly GaN also features heavily here too, at least in the power supply part of the special focus. The first article in the feature is a bit unusual. Automotive applications are often highlighted when discussing the potential benefits of wide bandgap materials, but in most cases it refers to SiC because of its superior handling of the large voltages used in electric vehicles. However, in this issue, Finepower discusses how GaN also has the potential to feature heavily in electric vehicles.  Onboard charging circuits are important to the operation of electric vehicles, and will remain so until a unified infrastructure for vehicle charging is adopted globally. Onboard chargers can be bulky, and any space in an electric vehicle drivetrain that is not used for batteries can be said to lower the potential range. Finepower are developing a GaN-based onboard charger that is smaller, lighter and charges faster than traditional electric vehicle chargers extending the range.

A second article in our power supply special focus looks at changing standards globally. Various governments around the world have developed new standards to counteract environmental damage. The new standards look to cut overall energy consumption and reduce emissions of CO2. In the article, Rafal Kasikowski from TT Electronics looks at these new standards and talks about the challenges of meeting them for external power supplies.

So here’s to an exciting and prosperous 2019 for all our readers. All of us here at PSD wish you a very Happy New Year! I hope, like us, you are recharged after the break and ready for the challenges the year will throw at us.

Ally Winning

European Editor, PSD