There are many industries that depend on the proven design concepts that require high voltages to operate. Radar, X-ray machines, traveling wave tubes, down-hole logging, particle accelerators, aerospace ignition systems, partial discharge detection, power utilities and welding equipment are some examples.
A major challenge facing power engineers today is how to overcome a reduction in board space for the power circuitry in commercial electronic products. A quick walk through any electronics retail store will reveal that personal computers have become smaller and even miniaturized which is a trend for many other types of electronic devices.
Medical electronics applications require components that are smaller, more robust, and highly versatile, particularly as medical equipment becomes increasingly portable. Because medical systems often use discrete electronic components in their circuit designs, passive components are critical to optimizing performance and reliability.
Portable products increasingly rely on a single 3.7V Li-Ion battery for the energy source. For these and other low-voltage applications, lower gate voltage power MOSFETs improve the efficiency for extended battery life and reduce the heat dissipation involved in switching the loads. In addition, they simplify the design of numerous control functions by allowing direct control / drive.
This year at APEC I moderated a rap session on dealing with the Smart Grid. It had a standing-room-only crowd, and demonstrated how much interest exists on both the technical and political issues involved.
With GPS rapidly becoming an increasingly vital part of our business and private lives, the market for these devices has seen a strong and steady business growth. Apart from traditional GPS applications, such as navigation and car breakdown emergency systems, GPS functionality has expanded well into the industrial and business markets.
Pick and place robotics has been a common sight in the automotive industry for some time. It is capable of auto racking, bin picking, positioning parts for assembly, and other repetitive tasks that help automate production sequences and reduce costs.
In the past, electronic control units (ECUs) in automotive applications were connected by individual signal wires. However, today, close to 100% of the ECUs are connected by bus systems such as LIN, CAN and FlexRay. This yields significant advantages, including improved data availability, straightforward wiring and standardized interfaces.
I recently had the great honor of moderating the Smart Grid Rap Session at this year’s Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC). It brought home to me that in addition to the technical challenges facing the power industry, there are also political issues that must be addressed as we move forward. The old political arguments around power revolved around NIMBY issues about the location of power plants...
Today’s automobiles have a wide variety of RF systems with antennas on them for Sirius and XM radio, collision avoidance radars, the Global Positioning System (GPS) and other systems. Conventional test facilities can only perform terrestrial directed pattern measurements of the antenna on the automobile.
Thanks to things like twix machines, and then fax machines, and more recently, the Internet, e-mail and excel spreadsheets, the component distribution business certainly has changed a lot over the years. What hasn’t changed is a component distributor’s fundamental value proposition.
What value does a component distributor offer other than obtaining goods from a single source? Can they offer value beyond that convenience? Large distributors offer everything from resistors to Fully Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs).
To be a global leader in the electronics industry, a component distributor must support OEMs with technical information and engineering resources, while providing global logistics and inventory services that streamline the manufacturing process.
As LEDs continue to penetrate the market and replace last generation light sources, new engineering challenges arise. These challenges come in the form of thermal, optical and electrical issues. For the electrical engineer, maximizing efficiency is usually at the top of the list. However, selecting the proper LED driver topology sometimes can be dictated by the application.
It isn’t easy to be an engineer these days. You have to be on top of rapidly-developing technology while creating devices and systems with the latest in functionality and integration.