Increasingly, electronics engineers are looking for speed and efficiency in the power conversion devices they buy. With portable electronic products packing more content in less space, and with consumer devices processing more data in less time, engineers are facing a tough mix of challenges involving heat dissipation and performance. That's why a growing number of power factor corrector controllers and power converters in the 200-million-device-a-year converter market are featuring boosts in both efficiency and speed.
"Power density is increasing in all kinds of applications from computers to handheld portable devices," notes Fulvio Pulicelli, business unit director for converters and lighting at STMicroelectronics.
Experts say the new breed of power converters will be able to handle microprocessors that are faster and more powerful, while meeting the needs of end products that call for longer battery lifetimes.
Many of those converters will end up in laptops, game consoles and set-top boxes, but a large percentage will also be used in industrial controllers, medical equipment and automotive systems.
"Traditional applications, such as industrial devices, are picking up wireless communication abilities, so they're going to start needing high-speed data converters," says John Hall, strategic marketing applications manager for Analog Devices Inc.
For reasons such as those, makers of power converters are rolling out new products. The following two devices offer solutions focusing on performance and efficiency.