ISSUE: July 2022


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» IC Simplifies Analog Control Of The Totem-Pole PFC Stage

» Designing An Open-Source Power Inverter (Part 5): Kilowatt Inverter Circuit Design

» Electrothermal Models Predict Power MOSFET Performance More Accurately

» Focus On Magnetics:
Transformer Design Pitfalls: Stepup Is Not As Easy As Stepdown

» Special Guest Commentary:
Empowering High-Voltage AC Applications With Monolithic GaN Bidirectional Switches

» New Power Products

» Industry Events

» Other Top Power News

From the Editor's Desk

David G. Morrison
Editor, HOW2POWER TODAY       

Conference tutorials offer opportunities to expand your power electronics knowledge quickly with the benefit of expert instruction. Often the instructors for these tutorials are academics (university professors) rather than engineers working in industry, because in many cases the latter may not be allowed by their employers to present on advanced tutorial topics for fear of their revealing proprietary information. So the professors, who sometimes also serve as consultants to industry, provide a valuable service in giving tutorials on cutting-edge subjects. Nevertheless, there are engineers in industry for whom giving tutorials is not in conflict with their company’s mission, but rather supportive of it as their instruction somehow involves their company’s products. Engineers making their way to this year’s ECCE conference in Detroit (October 9-13) will find examples of both types of instruction in an expansive series of 24 tutorials on a wide range of design topics such as application of WBG devices, power electronics modeling, control, magnetics, and motor drive design as well as application-focused sessions relating to vehicle electrification and power grids. Naturally, some of these tutorials are relevant to those working in automotive—an application area that always gets its due at ECCE (both power electronics and electric machines) but even moreso this year with the conference being held in Detroit. The topics are too numerous to adequately describe here, so please browse this list of ECCE 2022 tutorial abstracts at your convenience. For those interested in advanced topics, also check out the subjects being tackled in ECCE 2022’s 18 special sessions, in which experts from industry, academia and government will discuss the latest developments in some of the same areas covered in tutorials. However, in this forum the discussions are more forward looking with an eye toward addressing both current and future design challenges.


IC Simplifies Analog Control Of The Totem-Pole PFC Stage

by Christophe Basso, Future Electronics, Toulouse, France

Although conceived over 25 years ago to regain the precious percent of efficiency lost in the front-end bridge of high-power pre-converters, the totem-pole power factor correction (TPFFC) circuit did not become practical until the introduction of wide-bandgap semiconductors—the SiC and GaN power switches. Since these devices became widely available, TPPFC solutions have become popular and are currently implemented using digital control carried out by a microcontroller. However, analog solutions are now emerging, such as the NCP1680 from onsemi which brings a fully integrated product for operating a borderline conduction mode (BCM) TPPFC. This circuit lends itself well to powering converters up to a level of 300 W for a universal mains application, while incorporating the benefits of higher efficiency and increased power density which the TPPFC supports. Read the article…

Eliminating the need to write code for a
microcontroller, the NCP1680 mixes
analog and digital circuitry to orchestrate
the many variables that need to be
monitored in a TPPFC pre-converter.

This part discusses at length the
design of the inverter stage’s circuit

Designing An Open-Source Power Inverter (Part 5): Kilowatt Inverter Circuit Design

by Dennis Feucht, Innovatia Laboratories, Cayo, Belize

This series has introduced the design objectives, considerations and a proposed circuit architecture for an open-source power inverter dubbed the Volksinverter. It has also analyzed key design choices such as output waveshape selection, and explored variations on the proposed two-stage inverter architecture. Here in the latest installment, the article delves further into the design of the inverter output stage by presenting a detailed circuit implementation capable of delivering 1.2 kW of output power. This part 5 specifically explains the design and operation of the gate-drivers, ground fault protection and current sensing and overprotection. Read the article…

Electrothermal Models Predict Power MOSFET Performance More Accurately

by Andy Berry, Nexperia, Manchester, U.K.

One of the biggest challenges facing engineers when designing with discrete power MOSFETs is the fact standard simulation models provided by many manufacturers are limited in how well they emulate real-world performance. For example, most standard models can only be used to simulate how a discrete device will behave at a nominal temperature (typically 25°C). In addition, they neglect to include some important device parameters that could provide insight into the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) performance of a circuit. In this article we explore the limitations of standard models for power MOSFETs by simulating a simple half-bridge circuit typically used in a range of motor control applications. We then demonstrate the improved accuracy that can be obtained by performing the same simulation using an advanced electrothermal model developed by Nexperia. Read the article…

Simulation of double pulse
testing using a standard MOSFET
model produces unrealistic,
excessive voltage overshoot and

Sponsored by Payton Planar Magnetics
A monthly column presenting information on power magnetics design, products, or related technology

Transformer Design Pitfalls: Stepup Is Not As Easy As Stepdown

by Gregory Mirsky, Design Engineer, Deer Park, Ill.

When designing transformers, engineers often forget that they not only transform one voltage into another but also transform impedance. The apparent input impedance has a component that is the secondary impedance divided by the squared transformation coefficient. This causes certain problems with power transfer at high frequency by means of a stepup transformer. In particular, these problems relate to the impact of the turns ratio and other factors on the input circuit time constant. In this article, we will analyze the relationship between these parameters and demonstrate this relationship with a design example. Read the full article…

Transformer model for analyzing
impact of turns ratio and secondary-side
components on input impedance.


Empowering High-Voltage AC Applications With Monolithic GaN Bidirectional Switches

by Mohamed Imam, Infineon Technologies, Chandler, Ariz.

We don't think of the switches we use in our everyday lives as having a direction: a light switch turns the light on or off, even though it is powered by alternating current (ac). But in the world of semiconductors, most switches are not bidirectional, and this makes many forms of circuitry more complex than they would be if cost-effective bidirectional switches (BDSs) were available. So that’s what we’re working on at Infineon. Read the full story…

Vicor Header

Power density driving the next generation of robotic functionality

Today’s mobile robots are a vital and fast-growing part of today’s economy and are enabling new ways of doing business. For most mobile robots carrying a larger payload, having longer run times and speed to destination are all critical specifications and competitive advantages. And for mobile robots, power is often the limiting factor for next-generation innovations. Size, weight, power efficiency are integral to power design, enabling or limiting the robots performance.

Find out more.

More from Vicor:

eBook: SOSA-aligned COTs power supplies designed for 3U Open VPX systems

Where fixed ratio converters fit in high power delivery systems



PPM Power’s Test Kits with

Test Kits With Cooling Speed Evaluation Of SiC-Based Inverter Designs

 Diagram: SiC Test Kits with Cooling are integrated power conversion solutions consisting of an engineered cold plate, busbar and dc link capacitor. Using standard Power Ring capacitors from Advanced Conversion and custom cold plates and busbars designed by PPM Power, they provide rapid and high-performance prototype evaluation of inverters and similar topologies.

See the full story…

Infineon Technologies’
IMD701A motor controllers.

Highly-Integrated Motor Controllers For Battery-Powered Products

 Diagram: These fully programmable motor controllers integrate the XMC1404 microcontroller with the 6EDL7141 three-phase gate driver IC in a 9-mm x 9-mm 64-pin VQFN—to enable the development of next generation battery-operated products using BLDC or PMSM motors. With integrated precision power supply and current shunt amplifiers, these ICs eliminate much of the peripheral circuitry typically required.

See the full story…

ROHM Semiconductor’s
BD9xxN1 series LDOs.

Automotive LDO Regulators Are Stable With 100-nF Output Capacitance

 Photo: The 150-mA automotive primary LDOs meet the basic requirements of automotive products, such as operation above 125°C, AEC-Q100 qualification, and input voltages greater than 40 V. Incorporating ROHM’s Nano Cap control technology supports an output capacitance of 100 nF while ensuring stable operation required by applications.

See the full story…

Green Watt Power’s EVC-60-2400
series ac chargers.

2400-W EV Charger For 48-V Li-Ion Applications Features CAN And IP66 Rating

 Photo: The ruggedized ac chargers with 48-V, 40-A output are designed for charging lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicle applications, material handling, motorcycles, scooters, and e-carts. The high-density design allows easy mechanical integration into a variety of form factors and has options for either fan- or liquid-cooled designs.

See the full story…

More Power Products. . .

Tool Speeds Selection Of Capacitors, Inductors, Filters And Other Devices

Rad Hard 100-V GaN Transistor Boasts Low On-Resistance

650-V IGBT Targets Solar Inverters

GaN Transistor Targets Consumer, Industrial and Data Center Applications


Workshop Discusses The Latest Trends And Technologies In Vehicle Electrification

by Fred Weber, PSMA Vehicle Electrification Workshop Chair

On Tuesday, September 13 at 9:00 AM CDT and the following Tuesday, September 20, at 9:00 AM CDT, the PSMA Transportation Electronics Committee will offer an extraordinary two-session virtual Vehicle Electrification Workshop which will be focused on the latest technologies and future trends in this area. This workshop will be fine-tuned for any engineer or manager that is involved in vehicle electrification. This includes not only those in the automotive industry, but also those in off-road and heavy-duty industries. Each session will lead off with keynote speakers and end with Q & A and a roundtable discussion. The first session’s keynote will be offered by KIA Motors with a presentation on the “Evolution of the EV Market”.

Read the full story…

Symposium Shares Knowledge On Electrical Transients And Electrical Overstress

The EOS/ESD Association’s annual EOS/ESD Symposium, which will be held September 18-23, 2022, at The Peppermill in Reno, NV, is the premier international event for professionals in industry and academia working in the field of EOS and ESD to meet and learn about the latest technical findings and innovative designs. The EOS/ESD Symposium is a long-standing conference dedicated to the understanding of issues related to electrical transients and electrical overstress, and the application of this knowledge to the solution of problems in consumer, industrial, and automotive applications. This includes electronic components and manufacturing, as well as systems, subsystems, and equipment.

Read the full story…


CPES will again offer the short course “Modeling & Control Design of DC-DC Converters,” August 1- 5 in Blacksburg, Va.

CISSOID has collaborated with NAC Group and Advanced Conversion to offer a compact, integrated three-phase SiC power stack combining a 1200-V SiC Intelligent Power Module from CISSOID and a six-pack low-ESR/ESL dc-link capacitor from Advanced Conversion.

HiSpeed will be designing and delivering the electric motor and inverter for electrification of the iconic Norton motorcycle with support from Powersys.

Innoscience has expanded its European office with a new GaN power device R&D center in Leuven, Belgium, headed by Jan Šonský who joined Innoscience as vice president of R&D.

Amber Solutions, an innovator in AC Direct digital management of electricity in solid-state architecture has changed its name to Amber Semiconductor.

Navitas Semiconductor, a provider of GaN power ICs has announced its acquisition of VDD Tech, creator of advanced digital-isolators for next-generation power conversion.

iNRCORE, a Family of Brands supplying high reliability magnetics and other components, has acquired Vanguard Electronics, a manufacturer of both catalogue and custom high reliability magnetics for applications in the defense, aerospace, space and medical industries.

Renesas $10M investment in Arduino's Series B round will help the company expand its open-source prototyping platform and provide Arduino with access to a new level of technology within Renesas' product portfolio, including MCUs/MPUs, analog, power, and networking ICs.