Here's a round-up of some recent interesting and noteworthy power-related news and announcements.
Leading off is the announcement of a partnership between Redox Power Systems and the University of Maryland with plans to market a "building block" fuel cell in 2014 that will be one tenth the size and cost of available units. Called "The Cube," the solid-oxide-based unit is about the size of a dishwasher and can be connected to a natural gas line (or other fuel sources) to produce 25 kW, with additional power offerings to follow.
To be available in 2014, the Redox PowerSERG 2-80 "Cube" fuel cell will connect to a natural gas line to deliver 25 kW at one-tenth the size and cost of currently available units.
Maxim Integrated announced plans to acquire power management IC vendor Volterra Semiconductor. According to the announcement, the move will strengthen Maxim's position in the enterprise and communications markets.
According to IMS Research in their 2013 edition of "The World Market for AC-DC & DC-DC Merchant Power Supplies," the world power supply market is projected to grow by 2.4 percent in 2013. This follows a decline in 2012, and is largely being driven by increasing use of consumer devices, as well as adoption of LED lighting and continued growth of data centers.
Recent product announcements of interest include the LTC3330 energy harvesting DC/DC converter from Linear Technology. It operates from 3V to 19V AC or DC, and delivers up to 50mA of continuous output when harvestable energy is available without requiring any supply current from the battery. It uses only 750nA when powered from the battery under no-load conditions.
Dialog Semiconductor (which recently acquired iWatt) introduced a 45W solid state lighting LED driver that integrates boost and flyback converters in a single IC. Optimized for non-dimmable LED luminaires, the iW3623 achieves a power factor of greater than 0.95 from 100-220Vac, with a THD and output ripple of less than 10 percent and 5 percent, respectively.
Touchstone Semiconductor introduced the TS3310 150-nA IQ boost converter. Designed to enable ultra-long battery life in battery powered applications, the device boosts input voltages of 0.9V-3.6V to one of eight user-selectable outputs ranging from 1.8V to 5.0V.
International Rectifier announced the IR3823 SupIRBuck integrated voltage regulator for space-constrained netcom, server and storage applications. The 3.5x3.5-mm device delivers up to 3A at 97.5 percent efficiency.
Finally, Intersil introduced what it claims are the most precise lowest-output-noise radiation-hardened voltage references for space and satellite applications. The 1.25-V ISL71090SEH12 and 2.5-V ISL71090SEH25 offer an initial voltage accuracy of +/-0.05 percent, and +/-0.15 percent over the entire military temperature and radiation exposure ranges.