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Beyond Silicon

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    Which is better? SiC or GaN?

    Proper device selection ensures optimal performance

    By Alix Paultre | June 17, 2017

     

    It is all well and good to point out that wide-bandgap materials like silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) are superior performers to legacy silicon, but what does that really mean to the designer? What application spaces can best benefit from the next generation of semiconductors? There is a difference between frequency-oriented applications like RF and LiDAR and energy-oriented applications like power electronics; wide-bandgap devices, properly chosen, can serve both well.

    Beyond Silicon

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      What is the difference between GaN and SiC?

      Each material has its pluses and minuses

      By Alix Paultre | June 5, 2017

      Characteristics of SiC, GaN and Silicon

      The wide-bandgap revolution is still in its infancy, but we have finally reached the point where promise is being followed by product. Every major embedded manufacturer now has a wide-bandgap play, if only to demonstrate to the marketplace that they are players. Partnerships between the technology developers and mainstream semiconductor companies are coupling disruptive tech with trusted sources to ease migration pains.

      Beyond Silicon

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        Why use wide-bandgap semiconductors?

        They're not one-for-one replacements for silicon

        By Alix Paultre | June 1, 2017

        Packaging is a critical issue in wide-bandgap semiconductor development.

        Buzz about the promise of wide-bandgap semiconductors abounds, but engineers are only just starting to look to them as real solutions, not mere hype. There are still birthing pains, but mainstream acceptance of the technology appears imminent.

        Still, it is relevant to ask why wide-bandgap is such a disruptive technology.

        Efficiency: The First Fuel

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          Germany hits record production in renewable energy marathon

          In record-breaking weekend, Germany got 85% of its electricity from renewable energy sources

          May 30, 2017

          The sports world is driven by athletes relentlessly driven to deliver their personal best, no matter what the contest.

          Generating renewable energy is reaching a similar level of competitiveness among conservation-minded nations. Witness Germany’s setting of a national record in renewable energy production on a recent weekend in which 85 percent of all electricity consumed was produced through wind, solar, biomass, and hydroelectric power.

          Beyond Silicon

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            Empowering the green revolution with wide-bandgap semiconductors

            Wide-bandgap semiconductors outperform traditional Silicon

            By Alix Paultre | May 23, 2017

            The electronic design industry is in the midst of a near-perfect storm of disruptive sea change, one sending ripples and waves large and small through our entire economy. Inter-related yet distinct, these challenges come from recent technological advances being commercialized and entering the marketplace. New topologies, methodologies, and materials have created opportunities, markets, and application spaces.

            The Energy Imperative

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              Trip the light fantastic: DC powered, energy efficient, Ethernet connected LED illumination

              Guest Blog

              April 24, 2017

              By Steve Pietkiewicz and Dave Dwelley

              Having largely displaced incandescent illumination, LEDs are now poised to replace standard and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). It makes sense: LEDs save energy, virtually eliminate replacement cycles, reduce heat load, and are cost-competitive with respect to bill of materials and installation.

              The widespread adoption of LEDs in lighting fixtures has given rise to another trend: The use of Power over Ethernet (PoE) as the DC LED supply, over the use of the traditional AC line, which requires conversion circuitry, internal to the bulb or fixture, to provide LED-compatible current and voltage.

              The Battery Chronicles

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                Was Goodenough’s 3x Li-ion breakthrough research good enough?

                By Patrick Mannion | April 14, 2017

                John Goodenough (The University of Texas at Austin).

                Was it all too good to be true? It made for a great story: The 92-year-old inventor of the first lithium-ion battery was at it again. This time with new research on a chemistry that could store up to three times as much energy, charge in minutes instead of hours, and operate higher voltages and at much colder temperatures, down to -20˚C.

                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.