PCIM Goes Virtual for a Second Year

Ally Winning, European Editor, PSD



Usually at this time of year, I’d be preparing to head off to Nuremberg for the biggest power event of the year. PCIM is always the showcase for the power industry in Europe and the exhibition that almost every company involved in the industry uses as a launchpad for their newest products and technologies. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the exhibition and conference will not be held physically for the second year in a row. Instead, it will take place as a digital event like last year. No matter the format of the event, PSD will be there to bring you the latest news.

This year, we will be looking to not only bring you the latest announcements from the event, but also to take a deeper look at the technology behind new products and the reasoning behind market moves. This coverage will be part of an ongoing new initiative, so if your company is making a big announcement or entering a new area, I’d love to talk to you about it. You can contact me at ally@powersystemsdesign.com for more information.

The subject of this month’s Special Report is Power Semiconductors. Whether they are manufactured from silicon, or more complex wide bandgap materials, power semiconductors are the most basic building blocks of the power industry. These discrete components and ICs are key to the gains in efficiency, speed and power usage in the systems in which they are designed. Although GaN and SiC technology get most of the attention at the moment, the vast majority of power systems still run-on silicon technology, and there is a huge amount of research involved in wringing the last few drops of performance out of it. Silicon provides a cheaper solution than competing materials, at least at the moment. The competing technologies usually offer better performance, or higher power handling. Together, the materials give designers a much wider choice that allows them to tailor their design to each possible application.

Our first Special Report feature comes from Analog Devices. Molly Zhu and Fei Guo look at how paralleling LDO regulators can increase supply current capability and mitigate heat dissipation. The pair use ADI’s LT3033 VLDO regulator as an example of how the devices operate together, as well as providing other benefits for system designers. In our second Special Report article, Avnet Abacus’ Jon Cooper looks at the requirements of powering 5G designs. 5G installations vary wildly in size and requirements and any solution needs to be ultra-reliable as service providers are committed to maximizing uptime. Meeting this challenge is demanding at the best of times, but in 5G’s case, the complexity of the electronics makes a difficult task even harder.

Best Regards,

Ally Winning

European Editor, PSD