The differentiating factor for the powersupplies required for all grid-connected and many portable applications can frequently come from additional features. For supplies that connect directly to an ac source, power factor correction (PFC) plays an increasingly important role to meet requirements such as EN61000-3-2. Many dc-to-dc converters target point of load (POL) power for critical high-performance processing applications. The intermediate bus architecture (IBA) in applications such as telecom, high performance computers, and servers converts the input power for distribution within the system to POL converters. The recent availability of digital power control units provides engineers additional features and choices for new POL designs. For dc-to-ac inverters, ruggedness provides an essential feature.
Power supply components and alternative power supply components that help original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) achieve their design goals include transformers, gate drivers, and integrated circuits. These components typically have to be easier to use and fit into less space as well as offering more features.
Batteries provide the power source for portable applications. These portable applications continue to increase in all market segments providing untethered use for numerous products. For portable products getting more battery life for a given weight and size is paramount.
This section addresses the trends in power supplies, power supply components, and batteries.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.