Recent Posts

Guest blog: Electric vehicles: less power to the driver

By Richard Wallace 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.

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.

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

Vision Statements: An Interview with Steve Lambouses

By Girish Mhatre 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.

Guest Blog: Calculating the accuracy of a battery fuel gauge

By Richard Wallace February 2, 2017

battery fuel gauge

By Onyx Ahiakwo

A battery fuel gauge obtains data from the battery to determine how much juice is left. Do not misconstrue gauging accuracy for measurement accuracy. A gauge’s ability to accurately report state of charge (SOC) and predict remaining battery capacity depends on measurements including voltage (‘V’), current (‘I’) and battery temperature (‘T’).

Guest Blog : How the IoT — and the smartphone — are enabling the smart home

By Ajinder Singh January 23, 2017




A smart home in San Diego, California combines the best of modern architecture with the best in smart home technology.

By Ajinder Singh

Providing a comfortable space for its occupants is only the minimum requirement for a habitable building, whether it be a primitive shelter, or modern steel and glass structure.

A building should be more than just a “container” for its occupants.

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.

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.

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.