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The Energy Imperative

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    Time to revisit power consumption in home appliances

    By Majeed Ahmad | January 19, 2017

    A single-package solution simplifies inverter design and lowers power consumption. Image courtesy of Rohm Semiconductor

    The notion of smart home has been making headlines for many years, but it’s actually the energy efficiency part where homes are making the most tangible gains through what designers call inverterization of appliance designs.

    Take the case of home appliances like air conditioners and ceiling fans.

    The Energy Imperative

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      Chipmakers warming up to 48V datacenter movement

      By Majeed Ahmad | January 19, 2017

      The single-stage conversion from 48V voltage bus to the point-of-load (PoL) in cloud server racks offers significant reductions in distribution and conversion power losses. (Image source: Maxim Integrated)

      With the emergence of 48V datacenter architecture on the server rails, is there a greener cloud on the horizon in 2017? A lot depends on the availability of chips that can efficiently facilitate the 48V single conversion to the point-of-load (PoL) while providing the projected 16x reduction in distribution loss and 30 percent lower conversion loss.

      The Battery Chronicles

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        Smart energy storage will define the future of everything: the grid, automobiles and gadgets

        By Patrick Mannion | January 15, 2017

        Vionx Energy field engineer Michael McNeely stands in the engineering house, monitoring vanadium redox flow battery tests. (Bruce Gellerman/WBUR)

        Vionx Energy field engineer Michael McNeely stands in the engineering house, monitoring vanadium redox flow battery tests. (Bruce Gellerman/WBUR)

        From smartphones to automobiles and the electric grid, energy storage is becoming more critical. For mobile devices, the need is clear for safe, longer-lasting, energy-dense chemistries. For automobiles, the move to hybrid, electric, and autonomous vehicles has increased the bounty to be had for denser and lighter storage.

        Internet of Things

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          The Internet Of Things 2017: one analyst’s outlook

          January 13, 2017

          The full impact of major technological shifts play out over years, if not decades.
          When the Internet spilled over from its roots in research into the business realm, people were certain – and concerned – that Internet commercialization would inevitably change the nature of the Internet itself.

          Years on, people had it all wrong. Commerce did not change the Internet – the Internet in fact, completely upended and changed the world of commerce – and it continues to do so at an accelerating rate – throughout the world.

          The Energy Imperative

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            China powers up $360 billion renewable energy future

            We’ve all seen the images from Beijing, millions of residents chocking on dirty yellow smog. It’s the result of China’s dependency on coal as a primary fuel – something the current government plans to attack in a bold energy initiative focused on solar, wind and other renewable sources.

            The goal is to curb greenhouse gases, a plan that will create 13 million jobs and pump $350 billion into China’s economy between now and 2020 according to the New York Times.

            Beyond Silicon

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              Silicon carbide on the road to automotive electrification

              By Majeed Ahmad | January 2, 2017

               

              Higher voltages and currents increase power density while reducing switching losses. Image courtesy of Infineon Technologies.

              The automotive industry has long been focusing on the higher efficiency of the combustion engine and electrification of the drivetrain in hybrid and fully electric vehicles to meet CO2 emission goals. Now we finally see a tipping point with a greater availability of silicon carbide (SiC) chips that offer extremely low power losses and higher temperature resistance.

              Efficiency: The First Fuel

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                Edison’s revenge? Why DC-only distribution makes sense for energy savings

                By Patrick Mannion | January 2, 2017

                The drive for energy conservation, the DC basis of modern electronic systems, and the development of renewable energy sources have converged to challenge the 100-year-old assumption that AC alone is the single best means of distributing electricity.

                Instead, a combination of AC for the main grid and DC for micro and nano grids is shaping up to be a more energy-efficient path, if industries and engineers come together to define the necessary standards and implement them effectively.

                Efficiency: The First Fuel

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                  The rise of energy-efficient microcontrollers

                  By Majeed Ahmad | January 2, 2017

                  The humble microcontroller — also the workhorse of embedded design — has long been battling the dilemma of how to raise the performance bar while conserving energy. A new generation of MCUs is finally turning a corner on energy-efficiency challenges while offering greater processing horsepower for high-end embedded designs.

                  Case in point is ST Micro’s STM32H743 microcontroller that boasts the ARM® Cortex®-M7 core running at 400MHz.