PCIM Lights the Way

Ally Winning, European Editor, PSD



Ally Winning, European Editor, PSD

It really feels like things are finally getting back to normal. I know that I’ve said that on this page before, but on my recent trip to PCIM in Nuremberg, everything almost felt like it did before the COVID pandemic. If it wasn’t for masks being a requirement on public transport in Germany, it could have been 2019 again. The PCIM exhibition was also getting back to normality itself. The organisers distributed a press release after the show saying that 384 exhibitors attended, taking up 24,000 m2 of floorspace. Half of those exhibitors came from abroad, and that was without the hundreds of companies that are usually in attendance from China. It really is encouraging for the industry that almost 200 companies saw the worth in bringing their staff from all around the world to Nuremberg to show off their latest innovations. Over the three days, 11,300 visitors attended the exhibition. That is also a huge number considering the circumstances.

There was a real feeling of optimism at the event. Even though it was smaller than usual, that was to be expected. Almost every exhibitor I spoke with was happy with the attendance and the interest shown from attendees. There were many new announcements about new technology that you will be able to read about here over the next few weeks and months. As expected, the headlines are all about how wide bandgap materials are pushing the boundaries of what is possible. Almost every one of the 20 or so companies I met over the two days had a story to tell about GaN or SiC. Now the exploratory stage is past, those companies are starting to find their feet in the design and manufacture of wide bandgap materials and are really starting to reap the rewards.

One of the most interesting developments I saw at the exhibition was from NexGen Power systems. The company has developed a method of growing GaN on GaN, which provides a vertical structure that can handle higher voltages and currents than normal GaN devices. One of the areas that NexGen sees as a target for its Vertical GaN devices is the lighting market. As the company’s devices can handle higher currents in smaller packages than normal power ICs, it can be incorporated neatly in the LED light package to enable smaller less intrusive lighting solutions. In our lighting Special Report this month, NexGen’s Tizano Pastore provides an overview of the capabilities of the Vertical GaN technology incorporated in the company’s NexGen Helios NL0205 LED driver and also gives us a practical example of the device in use in that role.

As well as the Special Report, we have our Technical Focus section providing insight on a variety of topics of interest to power engineers, as well as our usual selection of news and comment.


Best Regards

Ally Winning

European Editor, PSD