The Object of Power is Power



In our February Editorial Call, we stated that “no topic is more central to our publication than power supplies.” And it’s never been more true.

It’s our raison d'être. Our purpose. Our mission statement. And it defines us as a brand.

Combine that with magnetics and you truly have one of the most expansive, and arguably most important, topics of the year.

Not surprisingly, our contributors came at the topic from very different angles. Almost everything needs a power source, which makes power supplies one of the most ubiquitous items in our industry.

First up, Vicor discusses how to enable higher-performing power delivery networks (PDNs) with “Fixed-ratio converters boost performance of battery-powered systems.”

Where it concerns up-time, charging time, distance travelled, and payload capacity, the efficiency of PDNs is extremely important, especially when it comes to the automotive, robot, and UAV markets. And for that, fixed-ratio converters come in handy.

As Vicor’s Tom Curatolo notes, “Unlike more popular, mainstream regulated DC-DC converters, fixed-ratio converters allow designers to architect and optimize their PDN for higher system performance.”

The next article deals with a phenomenon that’s rapidly consuming the industry, Industry 4.0 (i.e. the direct analogue to that other famous term, the Internet of Things).

Advanced Energy’s Shane Callanan covers “The speed at which power is changing to meet the demands of industry 4.0.”

Automation, artificial intelligence, and process power are three of the most important IoT innovations, and, indeed, process power is critical to such industries as healthcare, telecom, computing, and semiconductor chip manufacturing.

And process power is set to soar even further in the near-future.

“The process power sector is growing faster than the semiconductor industry, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.9% (2014-2019) compared to wafer fab equipment (WFE) CAGR of 7.3%,” Shane says.

Moreover, Shane points out that, as devices shrink, power becomes even more important, and shrinking electronics have been a consistent theme for some time now.

Shane O’Connor, with Bourns, makes a conclusive case for “Why You Should Consider a Push-Pull Topology for DC-DC Converter 12 V EV Applications.”

As Shane observes, “The push-pull configuration is ideal for battery management systems (BMS), on-board chargers and traction inverters that need to isolate high-voltage circuits from low voltage circuits,” and this, in turn, makes push-pull transformers ideal for isolating power in DC-DC converter systems.

The last article I’d like to highlight muses about “When to use single vs. dual DC/DC buck regulators.”

Texas Instruments’ Anthony Fagnani notes that “You might consider a dual output regulator when your design requires the smallest solution size,” and conversely, “Single output regulators have an advantage over dual output regulators when the regulator must operate at high ambient temperature.”

Anthony does a great job pointing out all the cases and instances where you might choose one over the other.

Enjoy the February issue!

Best Regards,

Jason Lomberg

North American Editor, PSD