Formula 1 racing will be greener than ever this year. The engines -- now called "Power Units" -- have been replaced with smaller, more efficient units that rely more on energy management using hybrid technology and less on fuel. A new energy recovery system on the Energy F1-2014 Power Unit harnesses waste energy from braking and turbo energy that would otherwise be wasted as heat.
A breakdown of the new Formula One 760-hp 1.6L turbocharged Power Unit. MGU-K and MGU-H are the engine's kinetic (braking) and heat (turbo) motor generator units, respectively. Click here for a larger version.
(Source: Renault Sport F1)
Researchers from the University of Illinois, the University of Arizona, and other institutions have developed a flexible piezoelectric energy harvesting device that can power a pacemaker or other medical device indefinitely when implanted on a constantly moving organ such as a heart, lung, or diaphragm.
The energy harvester includes nanoribbons, a rectifier, and a rechargeable battery, all covered by a flexible biocompatible plastic (see image and video below). The researchers wrote in a paper that it could eliminate the need for periodic surgeries to replace device batteries.
A thin, flexible mechanical energy harvester, with a rectifier and microbattery, could power an implantable device like a pacemaker indefinitely when implanted on a constantly moving organ.
(Source: University of Illinois/University of Arizona)
In product news, Linear Technology has unveiled a dual-output current-mode synchronous step-down DC/DC controller with low-value DCR sensing and temperature compensation. The LTC3875 has an output voltage accuracy of ±0.5% and enables the use of power inductors with DCRs as low as 0.2 mΩ.
The company also unveiled the LTC3111 synchronous buck-boost converter that delivers up to 1.5 A from single or multiple-cell batteries, supercapacitor stacks, and wall adapters.
An AC/DC controller from Rohm integrates PFC and quasi-resonant controllers into a single SOP18 package. The BM1C001F has a built-in 650-V-tolerance start circuit.
Toshiba Electronics has expanded its UMOS VIII-H high-speed, ultra-efficient MOSFET family. The 32 new devices offer voltage ratings of 60-250 V and surface-mount packaging options.
Monolithic Power Systems has introduced a fully programmable six-phase controller specifically designed for communications and cloud-based systems. The MP2953 includes telemetry and auto-loop compensation and targets high-density VR/VRM systems.
Murata Power Solutions has introduced low-power isolated encapsulated DC/DC converters for use in harsh environments. The 15-W SPM15 and 25-W SPM25 operate over a temperature range of –40°C to +85°C and achieve typical efficiency ratings of 84% to 91%.
B&K Precision has relaunched its PwrApp iOS app for remote wireless control of the company's 9170/9180 Series power supplies. The company says the updated app offers better stability, an updated GUI, new data export options, and multi-channel control.
Finally, Dialog Semiconductor said its DA14580 SmartBond SoC has entered volume production. The company calls the device the industry's smallest and lowest-power Bluetooth smart SoC.