The Weekly Watt

By Alix Paultre, Editor-in-Chief

Summer is in full bloom, and one’s mind turns to leisure and the outdoors. An engineering mind may turn to all the electronics used in the outdoors and in harsh environments that have only come available because of the convergence of device integration, advanced packaging, and hi-density energy storage and management. What began with transistor radios on the beach is now a multi-billion dollar industry dealing in products as diverse as smart bike helmets, handheld GPS, fish finders, selfie-cam drones, sports video cameras, and a wide array or other applications that would take their own article to address (coming soon).

What this means for the power electronics community is that better PMICs, batteries, and circuits that either harvest energy for personal products or devices that run so efficiently that they can choose from available energy sources. Wireless charging will become a requirement for all personal electronics, but especially for devices that can be made with a wireless user interface (with or without screen) and wireless charging in seamless packages for guaranteed water immunity and harsh-environment resistance.

Protection is very important in tiny smart objects, so STMicro’s 0201 ESD-clamping diodes quickly clamp transients to a voltage as low as 7 V, and handle 7 A peak pulse current, to provide superior protection and design flexibility for space-constrained devices. The unidirectional ESDZL5-1F4 and bidirectional ESDZV5-1BF4 have a snap-back characteristic, with 5.8 V trigger voltage and low dynamic resistance, and as little as 6pF capacitance, to ensure the integrity of high-speed signals. Capable of withstanding 15 kV and 18 kV contact discharge respectively, both devices exceed the IEC 61000-4-2 specifications.

With leakage current below 100 nA helping to maximize battery life, ST’s new ESD-clamping diodes are ideal for protecting equipment such as industrial sensors, IoT devices, active cables and connectors, smart-home electronics, wearable devices like smart watches and healthcare or fitness bands, and portable products including smartphones, tablets, data loggers, and point-of-sale terminals.

This same desire to be in the outdoors also drives (pun intended) the automotive marketplace, which can be even more of a harsh thermal environment than being exposed to the elements. They also have weight and form factor pressures. Addressing this, Vishay Intertechnology (www.vishay.com) released TMBS Trench MOS Barrier Schottky rectifiers in a MicroSMP (DO-219AD) package to save space while enabling higher power densities and efficiency . The 1A and 2A devices have a 0.65mm profile and a forward voltage to 0.36V for 1 A devices and 0.40 V for 2 A devices.

Maxim Integrated’s MAX20078 synchronous-buck high-brightness LED controller provides both a fast response time with low electromagnetic interference (EMI) for automotive exterior LED lighting and improved safety applications. In matrix lighting, LED drivers and controllers switching at high speeds can cause overshoots and undershoots. These applications are not easy to design, as they require numerous LEDs located in a densely-concentrated area and EMI can be especially difficult to eliminate.

Bourns (www.bourns.com) added new AEC-Q200-certified high-temperature Polymer Positive Temperature Coefficient (PPTC) resettable fuses to its successful line of Multifuse products. Offered in 1206 and 1210 (3014 and 3024 metric) surface mount packages and featuring operating temperatures up to 125 °C, Bourns designed the miniature sized MF-NSHT and MF-USHT series as ideal circuit protection solutions for automotive systems, and to provide superior resettable fault protection for a new generation of high density boards in industrial, telecom and consumer electronics that also must operate in elevated temperatures.

The latest high-temperature Multifuse models are based on Bourns’ freeXpansion technology, which is a space-saving manufacturing process that enables smaller surface mount package sizes and increased fuse performance with higher hold currents (Ihold), improved resistance stability and higher voltages (Vmax). The MF-NSHT and MF-USHT series provide higher hold currents at elevated temperatures with Ihold up to 0.50 Amps and post trip resistance as low as 1.6 Ohms.

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