The big news in power this week was yesterday's announcement of Infineon Technologies' planned acquisition of International Rectifier. On the face of it the move appears to make sense from a technology perspective, with IRF's strengths in GaN technology complementing Infineon's position in SiC technology. IRF's product line-up is also broader than Infineon's, which is more focused on high-voltage/high-power devices aimed at very large industries like automotive and energy.
Yesterday, German chipmaker Infineon Technologies - in its largest merger ever - agreed to buy International Rectifier. Prior to the official announcement, however, speculation swirled over several other chipmaker names - not all of which are even primarily in the power space - as possible acquisition targets.
Prior to yesterday's official announcement, however, speculation was swirling as to Infineon's potential acquisition target. For example, among potential names cited in a Barron's column ("Who Will Infineon Pick? Deal Speculation Boosts Chip Makers"), International Rectifier wasn't even mentioned. Instead, traders were apparently focusing on such names as Power Integrations, Fairchild Semiconductor, Semtech, and even Freescale Semiconductor.
And indeed, Infineon's CFO is quoted as saying that the company looked at "a whole bunch" of possible acquisition targets -- including one unnamed company that had been approached -- before settling on International Rectifier. For more on the deal, see Infineon Buys International Rectifier .
In product news this week, Texas Instruments introduced 17 new AEC-Q100-qualified high-voltage LDOs: TPS7A16xx-Q1 (60-V input), TPS7B67xx, TPS7A66xx-Q1, and TPS7B4250-Q1. The company also announced the TPS23861EVM-612 two-layer-PCB PoE power sourcing equipment EVM and design based on its TPS23861 PoE controller.
An integrated display power and LED driver IC from Intersil includes a hybrid dimming feature that is claimed to improve display brightness uniformity and color consistency. The ISL98611 offers a greater than 88% efficiency for the display power function and up to 93% efficiency for the backlight driver.
Linear Technology has introduced a dual-output multiphase synchronous step-down DC/DC controller with a serial digital interface. Each PWM channel of the LTC3882 can produce output voltages from 0.5 to 5.25 V using a range of 3.3-V-compatible power stages.
International Rectifier has announced a series of high-performance 600-V ultra-fast Trench-gate Field Stop IGBTs optimized for welding applications. The IR66xx Series devices are co-packaged with a soft-recovery low-Qrr diode and feature ultra-fast switching (8 to 30 KHz) with a 5-µs short circuit rating.
Analog Devices has posted details a complete, coin cell-powered, high-precision, meter-on-chip for portable device applications. The ADUCM350 features a 16-bit, precision, 160-ksps ADC, 0.17% precision voltage reference, 12-bit no-missing-codes DAC, and a reconfigurable ultra-low-leakage switch matrix.
An N-FET pre-driver IC announced by Melexis complements the company's BLDC pre-driver portfolio and addresses conventional DC motor applications. Offered in a compact 28-pin package, the MLX83100 can simultaneously drive four 500-nC-rated N-FETs at up to 28-V operating voltage with minimal self-heating.
Avago Technologies has introduced a new smart gate drive optocoupler device designed to improve isolated power supplies and simplify gate drive design. With a 2.5-A rail-to-rail output, the ACPL-302J features an integrated flyback controller for DC/DC converters and a full set of fail-safe IGBT diagnostics, protection, and fault reporting.
Finally, ROHM Semiconductor has announced two new switching regulator series designed to meet high operating voltage, extended temperature, and small layout requirements. The BD9G101G DC/DC converter features a 6~42-V input range, an integrated internal high-side 42-V power MOSFET, and 0.5 A of output, while the BU9000xGWZ 6-MHz synchronous step-down switching regulator uses an ultra-low-current PFM mode and provides up to 1.0 A of load current with an input voltage range from 4.0 to 5.5 V.