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Beyond Silicon

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    Wireless charging: A wide-bandgap sweet spot?

    Wireless power transfer eliminates worries over compatible connectivity

    By Alix Paultre | June 28, 2017

    wireless chargingExcept for those closeted away in secure labs, working on top-secret projects, electronics engineers (EEs) know by now that wide-bandgap semiconductors outperform silicon devices in just about every way. But, figuring out what actual performance benefits might accrue to a specific application is still something of a mystery. A look at the challenging world of wireless charging might illustrate how next-generation solutions can deliver performance benefits unmatchable in silicon.

    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.

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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.