Jason Lomberg, North American Editor, PSD
Two steps forward, one step back.
Because of a recent uptick in COVID cases, my local metro area, Philadelphia, reimposed the mask mandate, becoming the only major city in the U.S. to have an indoor mask mandate.
That’s not exactly encouraging news….
Even my son’s school district (Cherry Hill, NJ) unmasked everyone, and only local medical offices consistently require face coverings, so to have a major metropolitan area like Philly mask up again after 2+ years of it (followed by a temporary reprieve) is frustrating to say the least….
On a happier note, May focuses on what’s likely our publication’s most quintessential topic – Power Semiconductors – and just in time for PCIM Europe’s grand return to a live spectacle.
PCIM Europe has been meeting in Nuremburg since 1979, and because of, what else, the coronavirus, it’s been on a 2-year digital jaunt. Still, one of Europe’s most critical industry events that regularly attracts 10K+ visitors (12,182 for the last live one in 2019), 500+ exhibitors, and hundreds of lectures and conference participants will be live again from May 10-12, 2022.
I can’t think of a better retort to all the misery and inconveniences of the last two years.
As per usual, May’s subject matter experts explored the issue from wildly different perspectives, all under the same wonderfully diverse umbrella.
The first article I’d like to call out deals with arguably the hottest (and most consistent) industry topic, wide bandgap semiconductors – more specifically, silicon carbide.
ROHM’s Brandon Becker gives a comprehensive SiC overview with “A Look at the Advantages of 4th Generation SiC MOSFETs.”
Brandon notes the intrinsic advantages of 4th-gen SiC MOSFETs, concluding that “All of these highly desirable power device characteristics have led to an increase in demand for SiC MOSFETs in many applications across the power spectrum,” and this is true with electric vehicles, alternative energy systems, and data centers, and “industrial power supplies are increasingly reliant on efficient operations to save on energy costs and increase the effectiveness of their subsystems/equipment.”
And speaking of data centers, Flex Power Modules’ Oscar Persson focuses on “Optimizing Data Center Intermediate Bus Voltage for Significant System Efficiency.”
While more data throughput is important (without proportionally increasing power draw), it’s equally critical to “squeeze better efficiency out of the power delivery system, to reduce losses, consequent costs and cooling system overhead.”
To the credit of designers, even though “center workloads have increased around 10x since 2010, energy use to 2020 stayed largely flat.” That’s some splendid news in these dark times.
Stay safe, and have fun in Nuremburg!
North American Editor, PSD