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The Energy Imperative

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

    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.

        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.