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The Battery Chronicles

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    Battery and charger solutions move e-bike into a new gear

    By Majeed Ahmad | March 27, 2017

    The e-bike battery systems benefit from both travel charger and home charger. Image courtesy of Intersil

    Europe’s enthusiasm for the clean environment and energy efficiency apparently makes the electric bicycles or e-bikes a poster child of the shift from mechanical to electronic control systems. However, what’s new in the e-bike story is that China is now only issuing new licenses for e-bikes while putting an end to the permits for gas-powered bicycles.

    Efficiency: The First Fuel

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      Bluetooth low energy: Control LED color and brightness with a smartphone

      By Majeed Ahmad | March 27, 2017

      Bluetooth mesh networking and beacon functionality are now allowing smart lighting startups like PURillume to simplify installation complexity, reduce energy consumption, and automate lighting controls merely by using a smartphone or a tablet.

      PURillume’s LED lamps for hospitality and residential markets can be color tuned wirelessly using Bluetooth low energy (BLE) encrypted connections from a master lamp, smartphone or tablet.

      Beyond Silicon

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        GaN transistors to demo power efficiency at APEC 2107 show in Florida

        By Majeed Ahmad | March 21, 2017

        photo_of_gaN_module

        TI’s GaN-based LMG5200 module for 48V-to-POL applications in datacenters (shown on top) uses eGaN power FETs from EPC.

        Gallium nitride (GaN) chips are going to have a show of power — and how they can boost power density and energy efficiency — at the Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC) being held on 26-30 March 2017 in Tampa, Florida.

        Texas Instruments will showcase how its GaN-based 48 to POL half-bridge controllers can facilitate greater energy efficiency at the AC-to-processor stage.

        The Energy Imperative

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          CCS: A unified EV charging standard in the making

          By Majeed Ahmad | March 13, 2017

          Charging circuits

          The CCS infrastructure supports up to 100 kW of energy delivery while using HomePlug Green PHY links for communication and monitoring. Image courtesy of Phoenix Contact

          Electric cars, as Mercedes-Benz chief Dieter Zetsche puts it, need both convincing vehicles and a comprehensive charging infrastructure. Eventually, a robust charging network is taking shape in 2017 in order to galvanize the mass consumer adoption of electric vehicles (EVs).

          Beyond Silicon

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            Guest blog: Electric vehicles: less power to the driver

            February 24, 2017

            By Nagarajan Sridhar

            A couple of months ago, I got a chance to test-drive a new autonomous vehicle. My general observation: it was a computer on wheels! Because of the traction motor (a key characteristic of electric vehicles [EVs]), it was totally silent, with no whirring sound from the integrated circuit-based engine. Also memorable was experiencing autopilot mode, which is the predecessor to the autonomous driverless vehicular concept.

            The Energy Imperative

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              Revisiting motor control in electric and hybrid vehicles

              By Majeed Ahmad | February 24, 2017

              The dedicated motor control circuit in Renesas’ automotive MCUs is aiming to create energy efficiency by offloading static processing operations from the CPU.

              The fuel efficiency demands are pushing carmakers to produce more electric, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). That, among other things, will require a major design overhaul of vehicle’s electronic building blocks such as ECUs and MCUs.

              The Energy Imperative

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                Collaboration and standards desperately needed for GaN, SiC, power architectures

                Vision Statements: An Interview with Steve Lambouses

                February 16, 2017

                Editor’s Note: The higher switching frequencies, operating temperatures, and voltage-handling capabilities of wide bandgap (WBG) materials such as gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC) makes them of fundamental importance to any effort to reduce energy consumption. In this Q&A, Steve Lambouses, vice president and general manager for high-voltage power at Texas Instruments explains why they are so important, and what we need to do to deploy devices based on these materials more quickly.

                Efficiency: The First Fuel

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                  Smart lighting and the makeover of LED driver ICs

                  By Majeed Ahmad | February 7, 2017

                  LED driver ICs such as Fairchild’s FL77944 accommodate higher wattage systems like street lights using parallel connections with LEDs.

                  American Airlines Center near the Dallas downtown recently replaced the high-pressure sodium and metal halide light fixtures with LED luminaires in its parking garages. And that has allowed the sports and entertainment arena to reduce an estimated 60 percent energy consumption and $1.26 million in total lifetime savings in parking garage lighting.