The push toward a universal mobile phone charger in the EU continued this past week when the European Parliament voted in favor of making the ability to work with common chargers an essential requirement for all "radio" products. The legislation would come into effect in three years -- allowing two years for member states to implement the rules and another year for manufacturers to comply. (See "MEPs Push for Common Charger for All Mobile Phones.")
Also in Europe, GreenDataNet, a research project sponsored by the European Union that hopes to enable urban datacenters to reach 80% renewable power use and reduce their needs for grid power -- is investigating the use of second-life electric vehicle Li-ion batteries, along with renewable sources, to address the power needs of data centers in a more efficient way. The use of EV batteries as a storage solution is seen as a way for datacenters to become actual smart grid nodes.
The EU-based GreenDataNet project hopes to optimize -- at a grid level -- the energy use and impact of urban datacenters. (See full size image.)
In product news, ams is offering a reference design for the accurate cell monitoring and balancing of lithium pedelec and e-bike batteries. The AS8506 demo kit allows balancing of up to seven cells completely autonomously, without a microcontroller and firmware.
Intersil has announced a family of digital modules designed to meet the power needs of high-current 25/33-A applications in cloud computing and wired/wireless infrastructure. The ISL8270M/71M dc/dc PMBus modules feature a 4.5- to 14-V input range and a programmable 0.6- to 5-V output. The company also introduced the radiation-hardened ISL70003SEH 3.0-
to 13.2-V-input, 6-A POL buck regulator for aerospace and satellite applications.
Murata Power Solutions announced a new series of ultra-miniature surface-mounted 2-W dc/dc converters. The MTU2 series measures just 8.2 x 8.4 x 8.5 mm, with a 0.69 cm2 footprint.
Linear Technology introduced a high-input-voltage-capable synchronous forward controller with active clamp transformer reset. The LT3752/LT3752-1 allows either operation up to 100 V input (LT3752) or operation with input voltages greater than 100 V (LT3752-1).
New power MOSFETs from Infineon are optimized for body diode hard commutation. The OptiMOS Fast Diode (FD) 200V and 250V achieve a Qrr reduction of 40% compared to standard OptiMOS 200V and 250V devices, improving reliability.
Micrel unveiled a new family of power modules at APEC 2014. The MIC28304, MIC45205, MIC45208, and MIC45212 operate from a 4.5- to 26.5-V input (70 V for the MIC28304) and deliver 3, 6, 10, and 14 A, respectively.
Allegro MicroSystems has introduced a synchronous buck regulator capable of delivering up to 8A. The A8672 uses valley current mode control and has a 2- to 16-V input range and an adjustable output down to 0.6 V.
A high-input-voltage series of converter modules from Pico Electronics offers an input voltage range of 120 to 370 VDC and isolated output voltages from 5 to 300 VDC. The DC1 modules have an output power up to 300 W and are available in a single brick package.
International Rectifier introduced a 100-V FastIRFET power MOSFET for dc/dc power supplies in telecom applications. The IRFH7185TRPbF features an RDS (on) of 4.2 mΩ and max Id of 123 A (at 25°). The company also announced new PMBus-enabled, CHiL digital PWM controllers and integrated PowIRstage solutions.
A dimmable buck LED driver from Diodes Inc. can drive up to nine LEDs in series from a voltage source of 6 to 36 V. The AL8807 includes an integrated power switch and operates at a switching frequency of 1 MHz.
Vishay Intertechnology expanded its microBUCK synchronous buck regulators with a new 4-A device. The SiP12109 features programmable switching frequencies up to 1.5 MHz and an input voltage range of 4.5 to 15 V.
Finally, AVX has launched its next-generation medium-power film capacitors for dc filtering applications. The FFLC Series capacitors offer higher specific energy than equivalent solutions (up to 240J/l), feature controlled self-healing technology, and are available in large case sizes up to 35L.