Microelectronics world news

Microchip Adds Military-Standard Enhanced Low Dose Radiation Sensitivity (ELDRS) Qualification to Its Portfolio of Small-Signal Bipolar Junction Transistors to Ensure High Reliability for Critical Applications

ELE Times - Fri, 06/21/2024 - 13:21

The Joint Army Navy (JAN) transistors tested up to 100 Krad at 10 mrad per second

In the United States, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) manages the global defense supply chain and works with suppliers to ensure high reliability of all the components that go into an end application. Integral to the manufacturing process of components designed for military applications are rigorous tests and compliance standards that must be met to make it on the Quality Products List (QPL), which guarantees a certain level of reliability and streamlines the procurement process. As a leading supplier to the aerospace and defense market, Microchip Technology (Nasdaq: MCHP) announces its portfolio of JAN transistors is now tested and qualified to Military-Standard Enhanced Low Dose Radiation Sensitivity (ELDRS) requirements including MIL-STD-750, Test Method 1019 and specifications such as MIL-PRF-19500/255, /291, /355, /376 and /391.

These military-grade transistors have been manufactured to withstand varying levels of radiation exposure and are part of the Joint Army Navy (JAN) designation system used to specify components procured for military applications. These designations ensure that electronic components used in critical military and aerospace applications can operate reliably in radiation-rich environments.

JAN Transistor Designations
  • JANSE Transistors (30 Krad): Withstand up to 30 Krad per unit of absorbed radiation dose
  • JANSK Transistors (50 Krad): Withstand higher levels of radiation, up to 50 Krad
  • JANSU Transistors (100 Krad): The most radiation-resistant among these families, capable of enduring up to 100 Krad

Microchip’s legacy in aerospace and defense spans 60 years, with fabs dedicated to aerospace and defense semiconductor manufacturing and testing. The company’s fab in Ennis, Ireland, is a robust MIL-PRF-19500 screening and reliability testing facility. Microchip’s fab in Lawrence, Massachusetts, is DLA Certified with the capability to conduct in-house ELDRS to MIL-STD-750, Test Method 1019. Microchip provides the flexibility for customers to test to the designated Radiation Hardness Assurance (RHA) level depending on the program needs for the components and end application.

“Through rigorous in-house testing at our Ennis and Lawrence facilities, our products are certified to operate with high performance and high reliability in harsh environments,” said Leon Gross, vice president of Microchip’s discrete products group. “We are committed to developing and manufacturing products that ease the design process based on our customers’ specific requirements. Microchip was the first company to provide Total Ionizing Dose (TID) rated Radiation-Hardened Bipolar Junction Transistors (BJTs); now, we worked closely with the DLA to add testing for ELDRS characterization.”

Microchip has a broad portfolio of high-reliability solutions designed for the aerospace and defense market including Radiation-Tolerant (RT) and Radiation-Hardened (RH) MCUs, FPGAs and Ethernet PHYs, power devices, RF products, timing solutions, as well as discrete components from bare die to system modules. Additionally, Microchip offers a wide range of components on the QPL to better serve its customers. To learn more about Microchip’s aerospace and defense solutions, visit the website.

Resources and Support

The new families of JAN transistors are supported by comprehensive analysis, test reports and detailed data sheets.

Pricing and Availability

The families of JANSE (30 Krad), JANSK (50 Krad) and JANSU (100 Krad) transistors are now available. For additional information and to purchase, contact a Microchip sales representative, authorized worldwide distributor or visit Microchip’s Purchasing and Client Services website, www.microchipdirect.com.


High-res images available through Flickr or editorial contact (feel free to publish):

  • Application image: flickr.com/photos/microchiptechnology/53744134673/sizes/l

The post Microchip Adds Military-Standard Enhanced Low Dose Radiation Sensitivity (ELDRS) Qualification to Its Portfolio of Small-Signal Bipolar Junction Transistors to Ensure High Reliability for Critical Applications appeared first on ELE Times.

Renesas’ R-Car Open Access Platform Accelerates Software-Defined Vehicle Development With Market-Ready Software

ELE Times - Fri, 06/21/2024 - 12:54

RoX SDV Platform Combines Hardware, Out-of-Box Software and Cloud-Native AI Development Environment for ADAS, IVI and Gateway Systems

Renesas Electronics Corporation, a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, today launched R-Car Open Access (RoX), a development platform for software-defined vehicles (SDVs) that integrates all essential hardware, operating systems (OS), software and tools needed for automotive developers to rapidly develop next-generation vehicles with secure and continuous software updates. Designed for the Renesas R-Car family of system on chips (SoCs) and microcontrollers (MCUs), the SDV platform includes comprehensive tools for the seamless deployment of AI applications. By pre-integrating all fundamental layers required to develop SDVs, RoX drastically reduces the complexities for car OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, saving time and money.
The advent of SDVs represents a major step forward in automotive technology – accelerating toward more driving autonomy, electrification and connected experiences. Cars have to be aware of the 360-degree surrounding space with ASIL D levels of sensing, processing and control to deliver safety and autonomy applications. The in-cabin experiences for drivers and passengers are being revolutionized. As a result, modern electrical/electronics (E/E) architecture depends on software to control vehicle functions, manage real-time data networks across different ECU zones, and provide customer differentiation. It has become more difficult to maintain and upgrade these complex software stacks while ensuring the highest levels of safety. Renesas’ customizable solution solves these challenges by offering a cloud-native development environment and a simulation platform, supporting the software-first approach and parallel hardware and software development.
Out-of-box Platform with Market-Ready Software Stacks
The flexible RoX SDV platform is available in two versions. “RoX Whitebox” is an open, easily accessible software package that includes royalty-free OS and hypervisor software such as Android Automotive OS, FreeRTOS, Linux, Xen and Zephyr RTOS, as well as reference applications designed for specific domain systems. “RoX Licensed” is based on industry-proven commercial software solutions, such as QNX and Red Hat In-Vehicle Operating System, as well as AUTOSAR-compliant software and SAFERTOS®. It is pre-integrated and tested to run on Renesas’ R-Car SoCs and MCUs and includes pre-validated software stacks from STRADVISION for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Candera CGI Studio for in-vehicle infotainment (IVI), to name a few. These software solutions can be easily productized and customized or expanded depending on OEMs’ needs.
With the RoX SDV platform, automotive system engineers can start building their software immediately using a highly integrated toolchain even before the hardware is available. This is made possible through the cloud environment and the virtual development platform, which let developers design, debug in simulation, and verify their software before deploying on live SoCs and MCUs. The virtual development platform includes the Renesas Fast Simulator (RFS) as well as partner solutions such as ASTC VLAB VDM and Synopsys Virtualizer Development Kit (VDK) to provide broad coverage of simulation speed, features and use cases.
For seamless end-to-end AI development, RoX offers the AI Workbench to enable developers to validate and optimize their models and test their AI applications all in the cloud, either on the virtual development platform or on Renesas board farms. A wide range of AI models, automated pipelines, as well as a specific hybrid compiler toolchain (HyCo) are available to support the rapid AI deployment on the R-Car heterogeneous compute platform across generations of SoCs.
AWS Cloud Services Now Available
The RoX SDV platform now supports Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing services as part of the AI Workbench development environment. With the Renesas R-Car SDK (Software Development Kit) containerized in the AWS cloud environment, developers can innovate and optimize their designs more efficiently. This tight integration allows them to simulate and test hardware and software combinations instantly and deploy AI applications that seamlessly run on R-Car devices.
Scalable R-Car Gen 5 Family 
The RoX SDV platform is designed for current generation R-Car SoCs, the upcoming R-Car Gen 5 MCU/SoC Family, and future devices. The SDV platform provides car OEMs and Tier1 suppliers the flexibility to design a broad range of scalable compute solutions for ADAS, IVI, gateway and cross-domain fusion systems as well as body control, domain and zone control systems.
Renesas’ R-Car Gen 5 is currently the only hardware architecture in the industry that can accommodate the full range of processing requirements – from zonal ECUs to high-end central compute, serving from entry-level vehicles to luxury-class models. Thanks to a new unified hardware architecture based on Arm® CPU cores, customers developing with the R-Car Gen 5 devices will be able to reuse the same software and tools across diverse E/E applications that span car models and generations, preserving their engineering investments. Renesas’ high-performance SoC products will offer both domain-specific and cross-domain solutions using application processing, large display capabilities, sensor connectivity, GPU and AI processing.
“RoX is a significant advancement that will speed up the shift-left approach for software-defined vehicles,” said Vivek Bhan, Senior Vice President and General Manager of High Performance Computing at Renesas. “Today, car OEMs and Tier1 suppliers are heavily investing in software development and maintenance. Renesas understands this challenge and is closely working with them to deliver a flexible, ready-to-deploy development solution that can be maintained throughout the vehicle’s lifespan. The RoX platform empowers our customers to design vehicles that deliver new value and bring improved safety and delightful comfort experiences to drivers and passengers.”
“At AWS, we’re committed to helping our customers and partners accelerate development and bring innovation to drivers faster than ever before,” said Andrea Ketzer, Director of Technology Strategy, Automotive & Manufacturing at AWS. “With Renesas’ R-Car Gen 5 devices supported by the AI Workbench on AWS, customers will achieve faster and more validated simulations and the ability to develop independently of hardware. This step change in development will drive the industry forward and place software innovation at the forefront of mobility.”
According to TechInsights, the market shift to domain, zonal and centralized architectures will translate to a growing processor market, incorporating SoCs and MCUs, worth $25.9 billion by 2031. “Being able to maintain and upgrade complex software stacks that incorporate operating systems, hypervisors and other functional software stacks will thus become an increasingly critical element of the supply chain,” said Asif Anwar, Executive Director of Automotive End Market Research at TechInsights. “By also being able to offer cloud-native environments to support a software-first approach to development and testing of the hardware, the Renesas RoX SDV platform offers a ready-built ecosystem that encompasses these elements in support of a scalable portfolio of next generation R-Car Gen 5 processors to address this sizable market.”
Renesas’ R-Car Open Access Platform is being demonstrated at the AWS Summit Japan in Tokyo from June 20-21.
RoX SDV Platform Partners:
Operating System/Hypervisor Partners
  • QNX
  • Red Hat
  • Vector AUTOSAR
Software Stack Partners
  • Candera CGI Studio
  • EPAM AosEdge
  • Excelfore eSync
  • MM Solutions
  • Nullmax
Development Tools Partners
  • ASTC VLAB Works
  • Synopsys Virtualizer Development Kit (VDK)
Cloud Partners
  • AWS
  • Microsoft Azure
The R-Car Open Access Platform is available today with the option to license. Open-source OS, commercial OS, full application software stacks, virtual development, cloud infrastructure and debugging and emulation tools are available by Renesas or through partners. Additional information about the development platform is available here and information about the R-Car Gen 5 Family can be found here. Please contact your local sales teams for more details.

The post Renesas’ R-Car Open Access Platform Accelerates Software-Defined Vehicle Development With Market-Ready Software appeared first on ELE Times.

Teledyne e2v HiRel releases enhanced plastic UHF to S-band ultra-low-power LNA for space applications

Semiconductor today - Fri, 06/21/2024 - 12:24
Teledyne e2v HiRel Electronics of Milpitas, CA, USA (part of the Teledyne Defense Electronics Group that provides solutions, sub-systems and components to the space, transportation, defense and industrial markets) has announced the availability of its latest space-enhanced plastic (SEP) UHF to S-band (0.3–4GHz), low-noise amplifier (LNA) model TDLNA0840SEP, which is suitable for demanding high-reliability applications where ultra-low power consumption, low noise figure, and small package footprint are critical for program success...

BAE and GlobalFoundries collaborate on supply of essential semiconductors for US national security programs

Semiconductor today - Fri, 06/21/2024 - 12:17
BAE Systems Inc ─ which develops and services electric propulsion technology at its facilities in Endicott, NY, USA and Rochester, UK ─ and New York-headquartered GlobalFoundries (GF) are collaborating to strengthen the supply of critical semiconductors for US national security programs...

Guerrilla samples broadband gain block, extending amp core from 8GHz to 11GHz

Semiconductor today - Fri, 06/21/2024 - 12:04
Guerrilla RF Inc (GRF) of Greensboro, NC, USA — which develops and manufactures radio-frequency integrated circuits (RFICs) and monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs) for wireless applications — is sampling the GRF2115, an ultra-wideband, high-linearity gain block amplifier that delivers what is said to be an exceptionally flat gain response over a single 50MHz to 11GHz broadband tune...

Infineon launches CoolGaN 700V G4 power transistor product family

Semiconductor today - Fri, 06/21/2024 - 11:59
Infineon Technologies AG of Munich, Germany has launched the CoolGaN Transistor 700V G4 product family, which is said to be highly efficient for power conversion in the voltage range up to 700V...

Five technologies reshaping electronics manufacturing

EDN Network - Fri, 06/21/2024 - 11:22

Electronics keep getting smaller in both consumer and commercial applications. As the demand for minuscule form factors rises, electronics designers face the increasingly difficult task of embracing this trend while ensuring manufacturability.

Smaller electronics leave less room for error. Their materials may also be more prone to breaking and contamination at this scale. However, this doesn’t mean the microelectronics trend is unsustainable. Several technological innovations have arisen to meet these growing challenges.

  1. 3D printed circuits

Conventional machining poses challenges on the micro and nano scales, thanks to its vibrations, friction and general lack of precision. 3D printing is a promising alternative, especially now that it’s possible to print circuitry.

3D printing doesn’t risk breaking any fragile materials because it doesn’t cut any item away. It’s also mostly automated—removing human error—and can print structures a fraction of the width of a human hair. Newer printing materials make it possible to lay traces directly instead of cutting channels to then fill with a conductor. Consequently, they reduce production steps, leaving fewer chances for mistakes.

  1. Roller transfer printing

Other printing methods have emerged as promising micro-manufacturing solutions, too. Researchers at the University of Strathclyde found it’s possible to use roller transfer printing to adhere micro-LEDs to semiconductors at scale with minimal errors.

Roller transfer printing itself is far from new but applying it to electronics manufacturing can yield significant accuracy and production scale improvements. The researchers successfully aligned over 75,000 devices with deviations no larger than a micrometer through this continuous rolling process.

  1. Electrical discharge machining

Electrical discharge machining (EDM) is another production method with vast potential in electronics manufacturing. Unlike conventional machining, EDM involves no physical contact with the cutting surface, instead using electrical arcs to cut material. This lack of friction makes it ideal for manufacturing microscale electronics components out of sensitive materials.

Micro-EDM wires can be as small as 20 microns in diameter, enabling precise cutting tolerances. That scale is difficult to achieve with conventional machining or even laser-cutting, making this an optimal micro-engineering method.

  1. Onsite nanocrystal growth

In other microelectronics applications, machining isn’t as much of a concern as component alignment. Placing materials onto microscale semiconductors and PCBs can be difficult, given tight tolerances and the risk of breaking them through unnecessary pressure. Researchers at MIT found a solution in growing nanocrystals directly on the device.

By fostering onsite perovskite growth, the researchers positioned these materials with sub-50-nanometer accuracy and no risk of breaking the fragile nanocrystals. LEDs, lasers and solar panels would all benefit from this production method.

  1. Automation and AI

Across all these innovations, automation and artificial intelligence (AI) play an increasingly central role in electronics design. Eliminating errors is the key to overcoming many micro-machining challenges, and automating mistake-prone tasks is often the best way to do so.

3D printing, EDM and roller transfer printing are all highly automated processes. In the design stages, AI can suggest changes or simulate real-world performance to ensure manufacturability and functionality. As demands for smaller electronics rise, these technologies will become standard in the industry.

New technology makes micro-machining electronics possible

Today’s smaller electronics require ultra-precise measurements and control. The only way to manage these challenges effectively is to capitalize on new technologies. These innovations showcase how the electronics industry is evolving to meet these new demands.

Staying abreast of changes like this is key to remaining competitive in this industry.

Ellie Gabel is freelance writer as well as associate editor at Revolutionized.



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Renesas Completes Acquisition of Transphorm

ELE Times - Fri, 06/21/2024 - 09:43

Accelerates Wide Bandgap Product Offering and Introduces 15 New GaN-Based Winning Combination Reference Designs

Renesas Electronics Corporation (“Renesas” TSE:6723), a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced that it has completed the acquisition of Transphorm, Inc. (“Transphorm” Nasdaq: TGAN), a global leader in gallium nitride (GaN) as of June 20, 2024. With the closing of the acquisition now completed, Renesas will immediately start offering GaN-based power products and related reference designs to meet the rising demand for wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductor products.

WBG materials such as GaN and silicon carbide (SiC) are considered key technologies for next-generation power semiconductors due to their superior power efficiency, higher switching frequencies and small footprints compared to conventional silicon-based devices. Both GaN and SiC-based products are expected to grow rapidly over the next decade, driven by demand from electric vehicles (EVs), inverters, data center servers, artificial intelligence (AI), renewable energy, industrial power conversion, consumer applications and others.

“Customers instantly benefit from the new GaN products through turnkey reference designs, which integrate technologies from both companies,” said Chris Allexandre, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Power at Renesas. “Adding GaN into our portfolio also reinforces our commitment to develop products and technology that make people’s lives easier. Providing robust and sustainable power solutions that save energy, reduce cost and minimize environmental impacts does just that.” 

Investing in the power business is an important part of Renesas’ strategy for achieving sustainable, long-term growth. Other recent moves that Renesas has made to bolster this market segment include: the opening of the Kofu Factory, a dedicated 300-mm wafer fab for power products; ramping up a new SiC production line at the Takasaki Factory; and forging an agreement with Wolfspeed to secure a steady supply of SiC wafers over the next 10 years. With GaN technology now part of Renesas’ portfolio, Renesas is poised to offer more comprehensive power solutions to support the evolving needs of customers across a broad range of applications. 

On the same day that it completed the acquisition of Transphorm, Renesas rolled out 15 new Winning Combinations, market-ready reference designs that combine the new GaN products with Renesas’ embedded processing, power, connectivity and analog portfolios. These include the designs of Transphorm’s automotive-grade GaN technology integrated for on-board battery chargers as well as 3-in-1 powertrain solutions for EVs.

Some examples are: 
  • 500W Onboard Battery Charger for 2-Wheeler EV
  • 3-in-1 EV Unit: Inverter, Onboard Charger, DC/DC Converter
  • 240W 48V Extended Power Range AC/DC Adapter 
  • 3.6KW Bi-directional Digital Power DAB System

Founded in 2007 in Goleta, California, Transphorm, with roots from the University of California at Santa Barbara and the Wide Bandgap industry, is built on a foundation of unique technology entrepreneurship. Transphorm, a leading innovator in GaN semiconductors designs, manufactures and sells high-performance and high-reliability GaN power products for a broad spectrum of high-voltage power conversion applications.

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Startup Orca Semiconductor Exits Stealth Sampling Its First PMIC

AAC - Fri, 06/21/2024 - 02:00
The new startup is tackling the inefficiencies of “big analog” with its application-specific approach.

Renesas completes acquisition of Transphorm

Semiconductor today - Thu, 06/20/2024 - 21:14
Renesas Electronics Corp of Tokyo, Japan has completed its acquisition of Transphorm Inc of Goleta, CA, USA...

Lit Thinking selects Taiyo Nippon Sanso MOCVD platform

Semiconductor today - Thu, 06/20/2024 - 20:15
Industrial gas company Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corp (TNSC) of Tokyo, Japan (part of Nippon Sanso Holdings Group) says that Lit Thinking of Orlando, FL, USA is purchasing a TNSC SR2000HT-RR metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) reactor for its research and development on far- UVC-LEDs, aided by support and expertise from TNSC...

Companies Rally RISC-V Support for AI and HPC Applications

AAC - Thu, 06/20/2024 - 20:00
As RISC-V gains traction as an open-source alternative to Arm, several companies have announced partnerships and research to bolster the ISA.

Cambridge start-up Wave Photonics raises £4.5m in seed funding

Semiconductor today - Thu, 06/20/2024 - 17:43
Wave Photonics of Cambridge, UK (which was founded in May 2021) has received £4.5m ($5.8m) in a seed investment round co-led by the UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (UKI2S) and Cambridge Enterprise Ventures, with participation from the Redstone and QAI Ventures’ Quantum Fund, Kyra Ventures, and Deep Tech Labs. This was complemented by non-dilutive funding in grants from the Horizon Europe European Innovation Council (EIC) Fund and UK Government agency Innovate UK (which provides funding and support for business innovation as part of UK Research and Innovation). The company’s total funding to date is now £5.4m ($6.9m)...

ST remains largest silicon carbide power device maker, with 32.6% market share

Semiconductor today - Thu, 06/20/2024 - 15:41
Market research firm TrendForce reports that the silicon carbide (SiC) power device industry maintained strong growth in 2023, driven by the application of battery electric vehicles (BEVs). The top five suppliers accounted for about 91.9% of total revenue: Europe-based STMicroelectronics led the pack with 32.6% market share, while US-based onsemi rose from fourth place in 2022 to second place in 2023...

The Role of Protocol Gateways in Advancing Smart Grid Digital Transformation

ELE Times - Thu, 06/20/2024 - 14:06

Electrical power grids have recently embraced digital transformation, driven by the pursuit of net-zero carbon emissions. This evolution has turned legacy utility networks into smart grids, aiming to enhance energy management through real-time data collection and analysis. Ensuring the smooth operation of a smart grid is a complex task, necessitating effective solutions for timely data acquisition, analysis, and notifications among diverse subsystems.

Navigating the Intricacies of Smart Grids pic courtesy: Moxa

Smart grids encompass multiple subsystems, including traditional power generation, renewable energy sources, digital substations, microgrids, energy storage systems, and end users. Each subsystem has unique characteristics and requirements, such as power distribution control, power monitoring, and energy storage management. The challenge lies in the diverse communication protocols used by these subsystems. For example, feeder lines typically use IEC 61850, DNP3, or IEC 101/104; meters rely on Modbus; renewable energy systems use CANbus; and backup power systems employ J1939. Integrating all this data is a complex task.

Challenges and Solutions

Effective protocol conversion and data integration are critical in this complex environment. Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) are often used for this purpose, but they require extensive programming, which increases both cost and complexity. Industrial computers are another option, but they demand expertise in managing various communication protocols. Additionally, on-site diagnostic and troubleshooting tools are necessary to address potential issues even after the system has been operational for some time. The complex network topology also requires careful consideration of network security, especially in harsh environments.

Protocol gateways provide an optimal solution. They enable protocol conversion through simple configuration, eliminating the need for extensive programming. This facilitates seamless data integration and communication between different systems, even without extensive technical skills.

Streamlining Remote Troubleshooting for Smart Grid Devices

Many smart grid devices are located in remote areas, making remote access and troubleshooting essential to minimize the time and cost associated with dispatching personnel for on-site issue resolution. Protocol gateways offer built-in tools for troubleshooting, significantly reducing the time required for fault diagnosis and the cost of external debugging tools.

Ensuring Security in Smart Grids

Given the potential for remote connections to protocol gateways, security is paramount. Protocol gateways need to provide secure connection features, such as HTTPS connections, robust account and password management, and comprehensive event log recordings. These features help mitigate the risk of hacker attacks and ensure system security.

Ensuring Reliability in Harsh Conditions

Smart grid equipment often operates in harsh environments. Therefore, protocol gateways must be rugged, with resistance to wide temperature ranges and electromagnetic interference, to ensure the system’s overall reliability.

Conclusion pic courtesy: Moxa

In the smart grid era, protocol gateways are crucial for ensuring smooth data flow between different systems. The various communication protocols used by the subsystems of the electrical grid require effective protocol conversion and seamless data communication to fully realize a smart grid. Protocol gateways enable easy protocol conversion through simple configuration, remote troubleshooting, and enhanced system security. Implementing this technology will contribute to smarter and more efficient energy management, advancing the development of smart grids and transforming electricity delivery worldwide.

Story credit: Moxa

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Solar day-lamp with active MPPT and no ballast resistors

EDN Network - Thu, 06/20/2024 - 14:00

When the Sun is shining and illumination is needed inside a dimly lit interior space, a popular, proven, and highly efficient solution is to utilize the energy of available sunlight in the simplest and most sustainable fashion conceivable: Opening a window!

Wow the engineering world with your unique design: Design Ideas Submission Guide

Sometimes, however, details of access to the outdoors make this traditional solution inconvenient, impractical, or downright impossible. Then, a more topologically flexible approach may be needed, even if it’s more complex and less efficient than the window gambit. Enter the solar day lamp.

A solar day lamp is an illumination system comprising a solar photovoltaic panel mounted outside—sustainably converting sunlight into electrical power—a run of wire to conduct said power into the interior, then suitable circuitry and LEDs to re-convert the delivered power back into a useful light source. 

It’s admittedly more complicated than a window, but still better than stumbling around in the dark!

For such a double-conversion scheme, converting light into electricity and then back into light, to work with a reasonable size (and cost!) solar panel and still be bright enough to be useful, puts a premium on achieving high efficiency for both conversion steps. This design idea (see the figure) presents some ways to achieve these design imperatives.

Solar day lamp with maximum power point tracking and high voltage, constant-current LED drive.

By definition photovoltaic panels work by converting light into electrical power. It follows that the amount of power a panel can produce depends on the amount of light shining on it. Duh! What’s perhaps less obvious is that a panel’s power output also depends on the voltage to which it’s loaded, and that the voltage of maximum conversion efficiency and power output (maximum power point voltage = MPPV) varies significantly with the amount of light and (to a lesser degree) temperature.

For example, the spec’ sheet for the panel illustrated rates it for “30 Watts” and “12 Volts”. But this should never be read as saying it can source 30 W into a 12 V load, because it won’t—not even in full direct sunlight. In fact, the most it could ever deliver into 12 V is barely 20 W. To hope to get the rated 30 W, the load voltage must be allowed to rise to 156% of the nominal 12 V rating—to 18.7 V (the so-called maximum power voltage = MPV). What’s going on?

This situation is actually typical of solar panel specifications. The rated output voltage is usually deliberately underrated. This accommodates the fact that panels seldom get to bask in full perpendicular sunlight, and that a user would rather get something rather than nothing in the way of usable output (e.g., enough to charge his 12 V battery) in less than perfect conditions. 

And in fact, nothing is about all this panel actually would output into an 18.7 V load if, for example, anything less than about 20% of full Sun were shining on it.

In order to extract maximum power from the panel, optimum loading must vary with incident illumination and temperature.  This stratagem is typically called maximum power point tracking (MPPT) and is the purpose of U2, A1 and surrounding components. 

U2a and U2b oscillate to generate a ~100 Hz “perturbation” square-wave that is summed with the duty-cycle control signal applied to U1. This results in periodic variation of the solar panel loading voltage. Panel power efficiency therefore also varies, generating a signal at synchronous rectifier U2c pin 4, where it is sampled and applied to feedback integrator A1. The resulting MPPT signal is accumulated, becoming feedback to 25 kHz voltage-multiplier oscillator U1 that increases or decreases U1’s duty cycle in the correct direction to maximize power accepted from the solar panel.

A generalized description of how “perturb-and-observe” active MPPT works is detailed in “Solar-array controller needs no multiplier to maximize power”.

The power extracted from the panel must then, of course, be input to the LED array and used to generate useful light. The usual way this is usually done is to connect the LEDs in a low voltage serial/parallel matrix. This topology unfortunately incurs inherent inefficiency due to the need for current-balancing ballast resistors that compensate for unavoidable mismatch between LED forward voltages. About 10% or more of total available power is typically lost in this way. 

The circuitry shown avoids this inefficiency by boosting panel voltage to a value high enough (~90 V) to accommodate a pure series connection of thirty1-W LEDs. Hence the need for ballast resistors is eliminated along with their undesirable power losses, resulting in a significant further improvement in lamp efficiency.

A complication arises, however. What if continuity of the LED series string is lost and the current delivered by D1 has nowhere to go?

If this should happen and nothing were provided to safely control the accumulation of charge on C8, the voltage there would rise dangerously (theoretically without limit) until destruction, perhaps violent, of many components including Q1, D1, and C8, became inevitable. Voltage comparator transistor Q2 is configured to prevent this catastrophe, setting U1’s RESET input low and shutting down Q1 drive should a hazardous overvoltage condition threaten to occur.

Stephen Woodward’s relationship with EDN’s DI column goes back quite a long way. Over 100 submissions have been accepted since his first contribution back in 1974.

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STMicroelectronics reveals high-performing, efficient, and space-saving 36V operational amplifiers in industrial and automotive grades

ELE Times - Thu, 06/20/2024 - 13:03

STMicroelectronics has introduced the TSB952 dual operational amplifier (op amp) with 52MHz gain bandwidth and supply current of just 3.3mA per channel at 36V, delivering high performance for power-conscious designs.

With its wide supply-voltage range of 4.5V-36V, the TSB952 provides design flexibility and can operate from diverse power sources including industry-standard voltage rails. In addition, the wide supply range helps the system withstand large transient spikes and voltage drops. Also featuring rail-to-rail output swing, the op amps fulfil applications that demand a wide dynamic range, such as signal conditioning for power supplies.

The TSB952 can operate from -40°C to 125°C, enabling designers to use the devices in industrial and automotive environments. ST will release AEC-Q101 qualified parts for automotive use later in 2024. All devices have 4kV ESD tolerance (human body model) and are EMI hardened.

The TSB952 is available in an ultra-small 3mm x 3mm DFN8 package with wettable flanks that saves space and allows economical PCB designs. It is also available in the popular SO8 package with standardized pin assignments to facilitate upgrading existing designs for increased performance and efficiency.

The industrial-grade versions in DFN8 and SO8 are in production now. The automotive-qualified devices will be available in Q3 2024. Pricing starts from $0.96 for orders of 1000 units and free samples of the TSB952 are available from ST eStore. The TSB952 is included in ST’s 10-year longevity program that guarantees long-term product availability.

For more information, please visit www.st.com/tsb952

The post STMicroelectronics reveals high-performing, efficient, and space-saving 36V operational amplifiers in industrial and automotive grades appeared first on ELE Times.

Shipments of mini-LED backlight LCD displays to surpass OLED displays in 2025

Semiconductor today - Thu, 06/20/2024 - 12:59
According to the latest ‘Mini-LED Backlight Market Tracker’ from market research firm Omdia, LCD TV displays equipped with a mini-LED backlight unit will reach 6.2 million units in 2024, while Samsung Display and LG Display will produce 6.8 million units of OLED TV displays (including both WOLED and QD OLED TV variants). However, by 2025 the mini-LED backlight TVs are forecasted to reach 9.3 million units, surpassing the 7.5 million units of OLED TVs for the first time...

Infineon announces availability of its CoolGaN 700 V power transistors for increased performance in consumer and industrial applications

ELE Times - Thu, 06/20/2024 - 12:44

Infineon Technologies AG introduces the new CoolGaN Transistor 700 V G4 product family. The devices are highly efficient for power conversion in the voltage range up to 700 V. In contrast to other GaN products on the market, the input and output figures-of-merit of these transistors provide a 20 percent better performance, resulting in increased efficiency, reduced power losses, and more cost-effective solutions. The combination of electrical characteristics and packaging ensures maximum performance in many applications such as consumer chargers and notebook adapters, data center power supplies, renewable energy inverters, and battery storage.

The product series comprises 13 devices with a voltage rating of 700 V and on-resistance range from 20 mΩ to 315 mΩ. The increased granularity in device specification, combined with a wide range of industry standard package options including PDFN, TOLL and TOLT allow RDS resistance and packages to be selected according to application requirements. As a result, both electrical and thermal system performance can be optimized and implemented in the most cost-effective solution.

The devices are characterized by a fast turn-on and turn-off speed and minimal switching losses. The on-resistance range enables power systems from 20 W to 25,000 W. In addition, the 700 V E-mode with the industry’s highest transient voltage of 850 V increases the reliability of the overall system as it offers greater robustness against anomalies in the user environment such as voltage peaks.


The CoolGaN Transistor 700 V G4 products in TOLL, PDFN 5×6 and 8×8 packages are available now, more variety in RDS(on) as well as the TOLT package will follow later this year. More information is available here.

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PCIM Asia 2024 to address high-growth segments of power electronics market through conference and forum line-up

ELE Times - Thu, 06/20/2024 - 12:19

PCIM Asia, Asia’s leading exhibition and conference for power electronics, intelligent motion, renewable energy and energy management will return to the Shenzhen World Exhibition and Convention Center from 28 – 30 August 2024. More than 80% of available booth space has already been reserved at the event’s 2024 edition, as exhibitors look to highlight their latest advancements across a wide range of market segments including e-mobility, clean energy and energy storage, wide-bandgap (WBG) devices and more. The event will facilitate industry discussion on these high-growth application areas through a series of themed forums, as well as through its industry-leading conference programme.

Worldwide, electric vehicles (EV) and renewable energy have emerged as key drivers of expansion in the global power electronics market, particularly for WBG devices such as GaN and SiC. Forecasts indicate that the markets for these devices could reach as high as USD 1.33 billion and USD 5.33 billion respectively by 2026, signalling new opportunities for business growth and innovation across the industry.

At PCIM Asia 2024, participants will find these trends and technologies explored across multiple channels, including on the exhibition floor, through a series of forums and at the PCIM Asia Conference. The event brings together industry stakeholders from throughout the power electronics supply chain – from manufacturers and suppliers to researchers and industry experts – to network, share expertise and discover new products and solutions.

Forums and concurrent events

Alongside the main exhibition, PCIM Asia hosts a selection of concurrent forums that provide additional opportunities for learning and interaction. The Exhibitor Forums provide a platform for exhibitors to promote their latest technologies, while the Industry Forums feature invited speakers, including researchers and subject matter experts, who discuss developments, innovations and challenges in the power electronics field across selected application areas.

Exhibitor Forums:
  • Power Electronics Application Forum: A platform for exhibitors to present their latest products and solutions to the Chinese power electronics market, with offerings including a trend summit, product release presentations, technical training, product demonstrations and business matchmaking sessions.
  • WBG Semiconductor Forum: Addressing the wide bandgap devices market, this forum will cover the latest advancements in SiC and GaN power technologies, discussing supply chain considerations as well as the applications of these technologies in various fields.
Industry Forums:
  • Electric Vehicles and Intelligent Motion Forum: Industry experts and researchers will engage in discussions on electric vehicles, fuel cells, intelligent control systems and electric drives, all within the context of China’s rapidly expanding EV ecosystem.
  • Clean Energy and Energy Storage Forum: Academics and leading enterprises will explore advancements in renewable energy generation and next-generation energy storage, along with enabling solutions in intelligence, digitalisation, multi- vector energy systems and more, highlighting the role of clean energy in supporting sustainability and the low-carbon transition.
PCIM Asia Conference

Like its acclaimed sister event, PCIM Europe in Nuremberg, Germany, PCIM Asia hosts an industry-leading conference concurrently with the exhibition. This conference brings together experts from both industry and academia to exchange technical knowledge and present their latest research findings.

Reflecting the event’s rising global influence in the power electronics sector, the PCIM Asia Advisory Board reviewed over 100 paper submissions in 2024, representing a 30% increase over the 2023 edition. Topics covered include Si devices, power conversion, e- mobility, packaging technologies, smart grid networks, and more.

Prospective attendees can register before 1 July to take advantage of an early bird 20% discount on conference tickets. Details and the registration portal can be found at: https://jinshuju.net/portals/RJ4w0v/login.

PCIM Asia is jointly organised by Guangzhou Guangya Messe Frankfurt Co Ltd and Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH. To find out more about PCIM Asia, please visit www.pcimasia-expo.com or email pcimasia@china.messefrankfurt.com.

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