Making Power Supplies More Efficient

Ally Winning, European Editor, PSD



Ally Winning, European Editor, PSD

February is traditionally when the work year kicks off at full pace. The exhibition season starts up again, in the UK at least, with the Southern Manufacturing and Electronics show in the Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre from the 7th to 9th February. However, the traditional first major event in the European electronics calendar year, Embedded World will not be held in its usual time slot in the Nuremberg Messe at the end of February. This year the event will be held in the middle of March. Neither of those shows concentrate on power electronics, although both will feature manufacturers and distributors of power systems among their exhibitors, so there should still be plenty to see if you decide to attend.

Embedded World especially will be of interest if your focus is on power innovation. The show’s main focus is on microcontrollers and software. Along with other types of processor such as GPUs, CPUs and FPGAs, the power demands of MCUs have grown more complex and require a large amount of current delivered with precise timing, tightly controlled slew rates, as well as other restrictions. Alongside the CPU and single-board computer manufacturers will be a good selection of companies who are innovating in the powering of system processing elements.  

Another power subject that will feature heavily at Embedded World is USB-C. India has recently joined the EU in mandating the use of the USB-C connector for the charging of consumer equipment to reduce the vast amount of e-waste that is being generated. The country is the second largest mobile phone market in the world after China, so that will pressure even more manufacturers to develop innovative power solutions using the standard. I’m sure we will see many of these power supplies showcased in Nuremberg featuring higher levels of power delivery and multiple charging sockets. Hopefully the EU and India look at long-life design and home repair next to reduce the amount of e-waste even further.

We will also be looking at power supplies in this month’s Special Report. It goes without saying that power supplies are the bread and butter of our industry, but as the articles in the Special Report will show, there is still plenty of room for innovation to ensure the components that make up the supply are functioning as efficiently as possible. As we reduce the size of supplies, heat becomes more of an issue to their performance and increasing efficiency is one way of reducing the amount of heat generated. The articles inside the Special Report look at the testing of components as well as how to make power supplies safer.


Best Regards,

Ally Winning

European Editor, PSD