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Toshiba Electronics Europe Innovation Centre

Welcome to the Toshiba innovation centre, the place where your big ideas become our reality. We know that innovation is the lifeblood of business, and that is why here at the Toshiba Innovation Centre we are constantly striving to answer all your questions about our technologies, to make it easier for you to place them at the heart of your innovations.

Field-Oriented Control of Brushless Motors without the Math More

Field-Oriented Control of Brushless Motors without the Math

During their studies, engineers are confronted with much mathematics that forms the basis of electronics and electronic systems. However, once embedded in our selected industry segment, many of us never really have to contend with convolution, Laplace transforms, or the details of Fourier since we end up developing applications that use this mathematics, rather creating the algorithms themselves.  More...

Infotainment systems require efficient high-quality audio – without a high cost More

Infotainment systems require efficient high-quality audio – without a high cost

Long gone are the days when ‘in car audio’ referred to a crackly radio or maybe a built-in tape deck or CD player. In all but the most basic versions, the in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) is a ‘hub’ within the vehicle, providing many functions including safety, guidance and entertainment. In fact, the capability and convenience of the IVI system is high on the list of decision-making factors for modern car buyers.  More...

Finding the optimal power switching solution for cordless handheld tools More

Finding the optimal power switching solution for cordless handheld tools

Power tools have simplified the lives of professional tradespeople and craftspeople providing accurate and fast operation that is significantly less demanding on the human body than their manual alternatives. With the advent of powerful, compact and long-lasting battery technology, portable power tools have enabled work, maintenance and repairs to be undertaken almost anywhere.  More...

Is Automotive Ethernet the next revolution in in-car audio? More

Is Automotive Ethernet the next revolution in in-car audio?

In-car audio has been around for just about as long as the car itself. It was back in the 1920’s that a radio receiver from Westinghouse was offered as an upgrade for Chrysler vehicles. Costing around half the price of the car itself, it was certainly a luxury. Since then, entertainment in the vehicle has developed beyond recognition, essentially turning it into a smartphone on wheels. USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Internet connectivity allow almost any device to be used as an input to the audio system and deliver more music than can be played during an entire journey.  More...

Protecting and delivering power and data in USB Type-C designs More

Protecting and delivering power and data in USB Type-C designs

A world without USB is barely imaginable. Since its introduction in 1996 it has not only successfully ousted a plethora of outdated parallel and serial data transfer technologies in the world of PCs and laptops, it has established itself as a de facto charging interface for smartphone and tablets, and has even been integrated into automobiles.  More...

Bridging video solutions to extend video capability on automotive SoCs More

Bridging video interfaces to automotive SoCs with image enhancement capability

Getting into the latest vehicles, especially premium offerings, it is striking to see the number of displays being used. Not only has the center console made way to a large display for general interface needs and infotainment, the dials of the dashboard and even wing mirror functionality are moving to color displays too. Features such as reverse parking, camera-based wing mirrors, and 360° surround vehicle view depend on camera feeds that can handle the wide dynamic range of both daytime and nighttime driving conditions.  More...

What benefits will Automotive Ethernet deliver to vehicle cable harnesses? More

What benefits will Automotive Ethernet deliver to vehicle cable harnesses?

The typical cable harness in an average automobile is the third heaviest item as well as being the third most expensive to manufacture. Only the chassis and engine, for internal combustion engine-based vehicles, weigh and cost more. With vehicles moving to hybrid and all-electric drivetrains, weight reduction remains high on the list of required improvements. However, this cannot be achieved with innovation in conductor material weight alone: it requires a fundamental change in the E/E architecture to reduce the number of networking topologies in use.  More...

Efficient control of BLDC motors is easier than you think More

Efficient control of BLDC motors is easier than you think

Perhaps surprisingly there are still many applications today where brushed DC motors are used. Despite their low efficiency and the electromagnetic interference they generate, they are simple to integrate and control. In many cases, such as simple children’s toys or the electric mirrors of a vehicle, they are a good match to the application. Driven only occasionally, the poor efficiency has a negligible overall impact. However, there are plenty of applications where motors run for long periods of time or even continuously, and it is here that brushed DC motors have made way for brushless solutions.  More...

Maintaining stepper motor control precision while reducing energy consumption More

Maintaining stepper motor control precision while reducing energy consumption

When it comes to precise mechanical control a stepper motor is likely to be a prime candidate. Such motors provide accurate positioning of paper and print heads in printers, scanning units in flatbed scanners, and, increasingly, the print heads of 3D printers. They can also be found in applications that move significant loads, such as in industrial equipment and robotics. The common denominator across these applications is how much power must be applied to the motor coils so that enough torque is generated to stop the rotor from stalling during operation.  More...

How do hardware accelerators simplify motor control applications? More

How do hardware accelerators simplify motor control applications?

Hardware accelerators have been an essential feature of microprocessors for decades, providing performance for features that the processor is unable to execute efficiently itself. Many times, this circuitry has been dedicated to performing floating point calculations or complex mathematics to bridge a performance gap of the processor’s instruction set. The advantage they often bring is determinism to calculations that, without them, would complete in varying time periods. In the world of control systems, such as motor control, this reliable determinism is highly beneficial.  More...

Why advanced power conversion techniques will be sparking joy for data center solution providers More

Why advanced power conversion techniques will be sparking joy for data center solution providers

Photos from birthday parties, work documents, and email chains all rely on the massive storage power of the cloud to keep our memories alive, our businesses operating, and our communications intact. As a result, the demand for cloud storage, and the amount that is available, continues to grow. Smartphones, laptops and PCs continuously backup every tiny change that occurs throughout the day. Unless society undertakes a Marie Kondo-style decluttering, reviewing which of our thousands of photos and videos still spark joy, data centers will continue to grow to accommodate demand.  More...

Enhanced connectivity for e-bike applications More

Enhanced connectivity for e-bike applications

E-bikes are steadily gaining in market share, with growth predicted to lie between 6 and 8% until 2025. Unlike the automobile market, range is less of an issue. Instead consumers are more focused on reliability and convenience. This means longer intervals between charging and higher integration into daily life. Many e-bikes are already fitted with some sort of display, providing information on charge, speed and estimated range. But with the trend toward wearables, and with smartphones positioned at the center of such data collection, connectivity is on the list of options for e-bike users to consider.  More...

Complying with IEC 60730 in motor control applications More

Complying with IEC 60730 in motor control applications

With the continual push toward ever more efficient household appliances, engineers have benefited from the energy savings that brushless motors provide. This has, however, added an extra layer of complexity. Implementation of sinusoidal commutation for Field-Oriented Control (FOC) often demands the use of a microcontroller that can implement both the motor control as well as executing other elements of the application with a single device.  More...

Replacing wire bonds enhances automotive MOSFET performance and reliability More

Replacing wire bonds enhances automotive MOSFET performance and reliability

Modern automobiles contain an unprecedented amount of electronics and the level of electronic content in vehicles is set to continue to grow. The drive for efficiency comes in part from legislation designed to protect our environment and also from consumers who want to reduce their motoring bills. Automakers are striving to meet these challenges by moving to electric propulsion and replacing many mechanical and hydraulic systems with smaller, lighter and more efficient electrical alternatives.  More...

Making Field-Oriented Control of motors simple More

Making Field-Oriented Control of motors simple

The move from mechanical to electronically controlled commutation of motors, coupled with new battery technologies, has opened up a wide range of new applications. Microcontrollers are often the best choice for implementing the motor control since their features are also required to implement other features of the end application. This is made especially challenging when considering the hard-real-time demands of electronically commutating a motor.  More...

Efficient motor control for e-bike applications More

Efficient motor control for e-bike applications

Since the 1990s, e-bikes have been steadily growing in popularity across the globe, with the market expecting to grow to around 7 million units by 2025. Although the range concerns surrounding automobiles are not as predominant in the e-bike market, it is still essential that consumers can enjoy the advantages of their electrically supported bicycle without the need to charge it up after every journey.  More...

HDD or SSD for storage systems? – Comparing the performance More

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One of the hottest topics within technology circles is when to move from established technology to the newer version, taking into account the costs and any possible risks. IT professionals are engaged in making this decision, determining whether (and when) SSDs offer better performance than the older, but lower cost, HDD technology. As one of the leading drive manufacturers with significant experience in both HDD and SSD technology, Toshiba Electronics Europe set out to investigate the question as to whether an array of 10krpm HDDs can offer a better performance solution than Enterprise SSDs and, if so, under what conditions?  More...

Testing replacement drives in hardware-based RAID systems More

Testing replacement drives in hardware-based RAID systems

Hard disc drives are becoming more reliable, often achieving a Mean Time To Failure (MTTF) of up to 2.5 million hours and carrying a warranty of up to five years. In practice, this means that a storage system comprising 1000 identical hard drives should only expect two or three drives to fail during one year within the warranty period.  More...

A new class of audio amplifier for automotive applications More

A new class of audio amplifier for automotive applications

The world has always enjoyed listening to high quality audio, whether in our homes or in our vehicles. Over the years many amplifier configurations have been used to deliver a faithful signal at high power levels, with improved efficiency. The path of amplifier evolution has incorporated both the analog and the digital domains, spawning a variety of topologies including Class AB and Class D, which remain in common use.  More...

Will USB Type-C make power adapters obsolete? More

Will USB Type-C make power adapters obsolete?

Since the specification for USB Type-C was published by the USB Implementers Forum (USB IF) in 2014, the new bi-directional standard with flippable connectors has been appearing on more and more devices, including laptops, tablets and smartphones. While still in the early phase of its rollout, market research firm IHS predicts that around 500 million devices will be shipped with USB Type-C this year. And this figure is expected to quadruple to 2 billion devices in 2019.  More...

HDD-based solutions to meet the tasks for archiving and video streaming More

HDD-based solutions to meet the tasks for archiving and video streaming

“Data, data everywhere – as far as the eye can see.” That pretty much sums up the reality for IT professionals these days for whom terabytes, petabytes and even exabytes and zettabytes have become part of the daily business language.  More...

Automotive Infotainment – the audio design challenge More

Automotive Infotainment – the audio design challenge

As technology proliferates in modern vehicles, the infotainment system is becoming central to the driver experience and modern voice-responsive in-car systems will guide us to our destination, avoiding traffic along the route, as well as allowing us to receive and make phone calls and, of course, filling the cabin with high quality audio. In fact, the modern infotainment system was shown in a recent Accenture survey to be more important to consumers when selecting their next vehicle than the basic performance of the vehicle itself.  More...

Accurate and highly efficient stepper motor control More

Accurate and highly efficient stepper motor control

Stepper motors are integrated into applications where precise control is a basic operating requirement. From printers and vending machines, to industrial robots, stepper motors are often the only option. To achieve their precision, designers need to ensure that the rotor never loses synchronization as a result of stalling. In order to compensate, a current margin that is sufficient to prevent heavy torque changes, is normally used.  More...

Driving brushless DC motors at higher efficiencies More

Driving brushless DC motors at higher efficiencies

The move from brushed to brushless DC motors (BLDC) has of itself resulted in a marked improvement in power consumption. The electronic commutation of the rotor, coupled with precise feedback on rotor position, has led to a wide range of BLDC control solutions. But with electric drives consuming around 40% of the world’s electricity worldwide, developers are continuously looking for simple approaches to further reduce power consumption.  More...

Long term availability of replacement HDDs for enterprise storage systems More

Long term availability of replacement HDDs for enterprise storage systems

Modern hard drives, and especially enterprise hard drives, are inherently very reliable. Manufacturers such as Toshiba offer warranties of up to five years, which indicates their confidence in the products. Popular models such as Toshiba’s MG06 offer Mean Time To Failure (MTTF) figures of 2.5 million hours – a figure that has been increased from 2 million hours. In the real world, this means that in an installation of 1000 enterprise hard drives, users should expect only two or three drives to fail per year during the warranty period.  More...

Optimizing efficiency in UPS systems: The power of A-SRB More

Optimizing efficiency in UPS systems: The power of A-SRB

Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems are key to protecting the data that we rely on so heavily in the modern world. While the data centers that store our information have layers of redundancy to protect information in the event of failure of a server or storage media (such as a drive), if the power disappears suddenly then data is at risk of corruption or loss.  More...

HDD-Based solutions to meet the tasks for storage systems virtualisation More

HDD-Based solutions to meet the tasks for storage systems virtualisation

Data has always been a valuable commodity but, in today’s world, it is rapidly growing in value as we base so many of our day-to-day decisions on it – often indirectly as the machine-to-machine communications of the Internet of Things are taking care of us.  More...

USB Type-C: Everything to everyone? More

USB Type-C: Everything to everyone?

USB Type-C has fundamentally changed the way that devices, especially computers and peripherals, will connect in the future. Although it is part of the USB 3.1 specification, USB Type-C is truly a game-changer in that it incorporates the USB Power Delivery (USB PD) specification that allows up to 100W of power to be delivered alongside data at up to 10Gbps.  More...

UPS Architectures: Challenges and solutions More

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Data is critical to modern life and we are creating more of it than ever before. What’s more, thanks to the Internet-of-Things, a growing volume of today’s data is being created and stored without any direct human involvement. Given our reliance on it, not only do we need data to be stored safely and securely, we need 24/7/265 access - from anywhere in the world.  More...

PV Power: The Shining Light Now Gets Brighter Thanks to A-SRB More

PV Power: The Shining Light Now Gets Brighter Thanks to A-SRB

Solar-generated energy has come of age, with large scale deployment continuing throughout Europe. Last year it was top of the list for global renewable power installations, accounting for 47% of the total, according to a report issued by REN21 (a multi-stakeholder organisation dedicated to the promotion of renewable technology). This is compared with wind’s share of 34% and hydropower’s 15.5%.  More...

Designing USB Type-C: How to address power and data integrity challenges More

Designing USB Type-C: How to address power and data integrity challenges

With an estimated 9-10 billion ports in operation, Universal Serial Bus (USB) has become the most commonly used interface technology in modern electronics/computing designs. Though the standard continues to evolve, it needs to do so in such a way that delivers extra functionality while maximising compatibility with widely proliferated previous generations. Elevated power levels and accelerated data rates present a variety of new challenges, not least in terms of long-term reliability and signal integrity.  More...

How to control latching relays in smart power meters - an alternative use for brush motor driver ICs More

How to control latching relays in smart power meters - an alternative use for brush motor driver ICs

Magnetic latching relays are key components in today’s smart power meters, where they are used to facilitate the remote disconnection and reconnection of power to the consumer premises. A key benefit of such relays is their low power consumption as they maintain last contact position after the control power has been removed. Turning the relay on and off simply requires a momentary application of a trigger pulse current to the relay coil. A pulse in one direction will set the relay to the first position, and a pulse in the other direction to the second position.  More...

Which storage system: HDD or SSD? More

Which storage system: HDD or SSD?

The world of data storage is moving on quickly. We are creating more data than ever before, which has to be stored securely and should be easy to retrieve. A couple of decades ago tape was the preferred storage method and these days it is in fact still in use, but limited to very centralised archiving applications. The invention of disc drives based upon high-density spinning magnetic platters – now known as Hard Disc Drives (HDDs) brought higher storage densities and much greater user convenience, especially in terms of data accessibility.  More...

Incremental advances drive growth in photovoltaic installations More

Incremental advances drive growth in photovoltaic installations

Solar power continues to be one of the cleanest and most reliable alternatives to the fossil fuels that we have relied on for so long. While Europe has been the leading market for solar power, demand is also increasing elsewhere, not least due to investments in countries such as China, Japan and India.  More...

Hardware and firmware for ADAS in challenging environmental conditions More

Hardware and firmware for ADAS in challenging environmental conditions

One of the truths about driving is that the most likely cause of an accident is the person behind the wheel. In fact, a study by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) attributed 94% of all accidents to the driver.  More...

Superjunction MOSFET Technology Trends for Power Design More

Superjunction MOSFET Technology Trends for Power Design

Smaller package sizes and increased power density levels are the order of the day in circuit designs intended for power conversion. They are just one of a broad range of pressures being exerted onto electronics engineers, however. Energy efficiency and operational reliability are two equally significant demands, along with cost constraints.   More...

Incremental improvements deliver significant benefits to high-power automotive applications More

Incremental improvements deliver significant benefits to high-power automotive applications

Modern vehicles are employing more electronics than ever before to make them more efficient and ultimately, safer. Improved efficiency not only reduces vehicle running costs but also means less heat is generated in the on-board electronic systems. This, in turn, means those systems can operate with less cooling, allowing them to become smaller. Smaller systems are, by definition, lighter - which also has a positive impact on the efficiency of the vehicle.  More...

Why MOSFETs can make cordless power tools smaller and lighter More

Why MOSFETs can make cordless power tools smaller and lighter

The market for power tools is buoyant - both for professional builders and for homeowners who are adding value to their properties through ‘do-it-yourself (DIY). Whether a ‘DIYer’ or a professional, users are demanding more of their tools - longer operating lifetimes, lower weight and smaller size are three critical criteria for a successful product. As the battery is one of the heaviest and bulkiest elements of a cordless power tool, reducing the size through efficient use of power is one of the most direct ways of meeting all three criteria.  More...

Challenging high-power automotive applications demand parallel switching More

Challenging high-power automotive applications demand parallel switching

As we move ever-closer to truly autonomous vehicles, we are seeing ever-higher levels of electrification in the vehicles that leaving modern production lines. In many cases the electronic content is low-power technology that brings additional processing and sensing capability to the vehicle, making it safer and easier to drive.  More...

How semiconductor advances can drive improved motor control More

How semiconductor advances can drive improved motor control

BLDC motors are found in many applications including industrial control, automotive systems and in the office or home. BLDC motors power electric fans, air conditioning pumps as well as controlling the moving parts in devices such as printers.  More...

Motor control: Hardware versus software More

Motor control: Hardware versus software

In the early 1820s, as part of his extensive studies into electro-magnetic induction, the scientist Michael Faraday first observed how a wire carrying a current could be made to rotate around a magnet. From these rudimentary beginnings, electric motors have developed into a huge global business, with billions of units being shipped every year serving applications in the industrial, automotive and consumer electronics sectors.  More...

Bringing greater efficiency and versatility to next generation photovoltaic designs More

Bringing greater efficiency and versatility to next generation photovoltaic designs

Photovoltaic technology is playing an important part in satisfying Europe’s growing energy demands. Last year it constituted nearly 7% of Germany’s total electricity generation (coming to 41,000MW) and was also a major contributor in countries like Spain, Portugal and Greece. Improving the efficiency of photovoltaic implementations will be critical if we are to make greater use of the sun as an energy resource in the future.  More...

Unique packaging technology drives automotive MOSFETs More

Unique packaging technology drives automotive MOSFETs

MOSFETs play an important role in modern vehicles and are found in applications as diverse as powertrains, safety systems, comfort features and vehicle lighting. As the electronic content of vehicles continues to grow, and as e-mobility becomes popular, the importance of these devices is increasing.  More...

Paralleling MOSFETs: Some key considerations More

Paralleling MOSFETs: Some key considerations

Power MOSFETs are probably the most popular switching device in modern power solutions. They are generally easy to use and semiconductor manufacturers ensure that performance increases with each successive generation. Even so, on occasion, designers find the need to operate two MOSFETs in a parallel configuration.  More...

Next generation MOSFET technology takes on the challenges of the automotive sector More

Next generation MOSFET technology takes on the challenges of the automotive sector

Today the average vehicle will have in the region of 60-70 (electronic control units) ECUs and high-end luxury models can easily possess 150 or more. The increased quantity of electronics content has, in itself, a variety of serious implications for engineering teams, while external forces are also influencing certain key aspects of automobile design.  More...

Advanced power MOSFET technology addresses cordless power tool challenge More

Advanced power MOSFET technology addresses cordless power tool challenge

An increased interest in DIY and the need to improve productivity in the industrial sector has driven significant growth in the cordless power tool sector. The recent ‘Global Power Tools Market: Strategic Assessment and Forecast 2017-2022’ report from analysts Research and Markets estimates that, over the course of the next five years, this business will continue to expand. Compound annual growth is predicted at above 6%, leading to a market that is worth $40 billion by the end of this period.  More...

How do MOSFET current and thermal limitations interact? More

How do MOSFET current and thermal limitations interact?

Power MOSFETs are popular switching elements in many modern power devices. As engineers try to squeeze ever more performance and efficiency from each design, then MOSFETs are pushed to their limit. However, there is obviously a limit to each device's capability, yet there is no single means to define this limitation as it depends on a number of factors that interact.  More...

High performance MOSFETs build better power tools More

High performance MOSFETs build better power tools

Cordless power tool designers face multiple challenges, many of which interact and, in some cases, compete with each other making component selection critical to producing a winning design.  The battery itself is one of the most obvious trade-offs. Selecting a battery with the most energy per unit weight is key; more important is to ensure that all aspects of the design are as efficient as possible so as not to waste energy.  More...

Rapid pedestrian detection: Advanced algorithms and hardware accelerators for ADAS More

Rapid pedestrian detection: Advanced algorithms and hardware accelerators for ADAS

CoHOG is a proprietary algorithm that was developed by Toshiba for the purpose of detecting objects that concern an ADAS system - and a driver. Its effectiveness comes from examining the edges associated with humans including elbows, shoulders, legs and hips.  More...

How to reduce switching losses in Photovoltaic (PV) inverters More

How to reduce switching losses in Photovoltaic (PV) inverters

With rising energy costs and requirements for portability, efficiency is key to every power system. This is particularly true for photovoltaic (PV) inverters where designers and operators want to convert as much of the Sun's energy to electrical power as possible. While the power sector is relatively mature there remains room for incremental innovation. Innovation such as this new technique to control switching losses in power converters based on half-bridge circuits.  More...

Choosing technology to enhance ADAS in poor conditions More

Choosing technology to enhance ADAS in poor conditions

There are many potentially hazardous situations for drivers, especially in urban environments and when conditions are not ideal – such as poor lighting, rain, glare from other vehicles and sunsets. Semiconductor technology advances can significantly improve image acquisition and processing, thereby extending ADAS capabilities in vehicles. This allows designers to enable new features ranging from pedestrian and vehicle detection to traffic sign and traffic light recognition.  More...

How to improve motor control and efficiency using FOC More

How to improve motor control and efficiency using FOC

Electric motors are one of the largest consumers of power electronic designs. International environmental directives, commercial considerations and customer expectations mean that driving motors in a way that is as energy efficient as possible is a major consideration for engineers.  More...

Automobile rear-view camera technology set to play major role in improving road safety More

Automobile rear-view camera technology set to play major role in improving road safety

With advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) technology fundamental to the long-term goal of autonomous driving, opportunities for automotive imaging applications are growing rapidly. One area where there is currently significant activity is rear-view cameras – thanks both to the advantages they offer and legal requirements to make them mandatory on new vehicles.  More...

Why new superjunction developments are delivering cooler, more efficient MOSFETs More

Why new superjunction developments are delivering cooler, more efficient MOSFETs

Superjunction MOSFETs have become favoured solutions for energy-conscious designers. Through semiconductor process advances, modern devices allow smaller die sizes for the same MOSFET on-resistance, enabling designers to reduce circuit size and increase current density.  Improved fabrication processes, such as the single-epitaxial fabrications enabled by deep trench filling, give greater freedom to optimise N- and P-channel aspect ratios thereby minimising on-resistance and reducing MOSFET size.  More...

How to speed ADAS designs with a reversing camera reference design More

How to speed ADAS designs with a reversing camera reference design

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), reversing cameras will substantially reduce injuries and deaths, especially among children. And rear-view technology is changing - rear-view video feeds are becoming intelligent systems that identify potential obstructions in real time - even when the vehicle is in motion. The camera itself is becoming a key element in the wider ADAS system.  More...

Using Intelligent Phase Control (InPAC) to deliver low noise and optimized motor efficiency More

Using Intelligent Phase Control (InPAC) to deliver low noise and optimized motor efficiency

Our lives are becoming increasingly automated and motors are at the heart of this trend - powering everything from electric fans, pumps in air conditioners and refrigerators to controlling the moving parts in devices such as printers. Yet, with the increasing use comes a requirement to reduce both the energy used and the acoustic noise of motion control solutions.  More...

How to Remove the Limitations of Software Solutions for Motor Control More

How to Remove the Limitations of Software Solutions for Motor Control

Motors convert electrical energy into movement that can be used to make things, move things, cool things and much more. They are a large energy user and the greatest potential efficiency improvements lie in the way in which motors are driven.  There are many approaches for controlling motors. Field Oriented Control (FOC), sometimes known as Vector Control, is a mathematical approach that overcomes the poor low-speed accuracy of trapezoidal control while addressing the high-speed inefficiency of sinusoidal control.  More...

How 3D reconstruction for enhanced object recognition improves road safety More

How 3D reconstruction for enhanced object recognition improves road safety

The breadth of camera and image processing hardware and supporting software incorporated into car models is increasing dramatically. Market research firm Yole, for example, predict that the market for automotive cameras alone will be worth at least $7 billion annually by the end of this decade. Such technology offers real opportunities for reducing the number of accidents on our roads and minimising the risk of driver error through more effective automated response mechanisms.  More...

How to improve power conversion performance with new MOSFET technologies More

How to improve power conversion performance with new MOSFET technologies

To meet the demand for increasing energy efficiency in switching power conversion systems, superjunction MOSFETs have become preferred devices for energy-conscious designers. Superjunction technologies allow reduced die sizes enabling designers to reduce space and increase current density. However, new demands are coming to the fore, such as improved noise performance.  More...

Optimising MOSFET performance – chip and package More

Optimising MOSFET performance – chip and package

The ongoing drive to improve power conversion performance while reducing system size and thermal dissipation is at the heart of today’s MOSFET development. And to achieve this, semiconductor manufacturers must consider both the underlying semiconductor processes and the packaging technology.  More...

MOSFETS: Improving power switching, reducing noise More

MOSFETS: Improving power switching, reducing noise

Alongside efficiency, thermal management and size, designers of power conversion applications need to consider switching speeds and EMI-related noise. The good news is that the latest MOSFET technologies not only reduce power consumption and heat dissipation – they also contribute to enhanced switching performance and reduced noise.  MOSFETs based on Toshiba’s latest UMOS VIII-H trench process, for example, offer excellent switching ripple suppression capability, which helps designers to reduce overall EMI noise.  More...

Innovations in Automotive Image Recognition/Processing Technology will lead the way to an autonomous future More

Innovations in Automotive Image Recognition/Processing Technology will lead the way to an autonomous future

The automobile industry is steadily progressing towards an era where autonomous vehicles will become commonplace. Research conducted by Reuters indicates that technology relating to automated/assisted driving will represent around $25 billion in annual revenue by the end of this decade (almost 4x its current worth). This is based on the fact that several leading car manufacturers, including BMW, Audi, Toyota and Tesla, plus technology firms like Google, have all stated that they expect the rollout of autonomous vehicles to begin in earnest in the 2021 timeframe.  More...

Role of HV-IPD Technology in Boosting Efficiency of Modern Household Appliances for a More Energy Aware Society More

Role of HV-IPD Technology in Boosting Efficiency of Modern Household Appliances for a More Energy Aware Society

Where as in the past it was aspects like the external aesthetics or the retail cost that would influence purchasing decisions when it came to household appliances (such as refrigerators, dish washers, washing machines, etc.), now it is the energy rating that often proves to be the overriding priority. Thanks to the introduction of the EU Energy Label program, consumers have become more aware of the reduced running costs that installing more energy efficient appliances, with variable speed operation, will bring - thereby allowing them to curb their utility bills.  More...

In search of a quieter life - combatting noise and vibration via innovations in motor control More

In search of a quieter life - combatting noise and vibration via innovations in motor control

To meet the pressing need for elevated levels of energy efficiency, the conventional direct current (DC) motors incorporated into electric fans, domestic appliances, air conditioning systems, office equipment and such like, have over time been replaced by more sophisticated three-phase brushless DC (BLDC) motors. This has enabled compliance with the stringent international environmental guidelines that have now emerged, as well as helping to reduce the size of utility bills.  More...

Using integrated drivers to deliver functional safety in automotive motor control? More

Using integrated drivers to deliver functional safety in automotive motor control?

More and more automotive applications now employ motors for enhanced automation – in areas such as locking mechanisms, mirror adjustment and parking, cooling fans and so on. And while problems with these systems would be a nuisance, in most cases they would not have a significant impact on safety.  More...

Ethernet-based in-vehicle networking shows it credentials in relation to automotive infotainment More

Ethernet-based in-vehicle networking shows it credentials in relation to automotive infotainment

Figures produced by Yano Research indicate that the number of automotive communication nodes deployed annually will have gone through an almost tenfold rise from the start to the end of this decade. The advent of the ‘connected car’, which has been widely publicised, means that greater communication capabilities now need to be incorporated into automobile designs.  More...

Combatting Heat Dissipation Issues as Higher Density Power Systems are Deployed More

Combatting Heat Dissipation Issues as Higher Density Power Systems are Deployed

Rapidly escalating power densities in semiconductor devices are being expected in order to provide consumers with sleeker, more attractive electronic products that possess greater functionality while also supporting longer periods between recharges. As a result, the specification of key elements of the power system, such as MOSFETs, must be given substantial consideration, so that well-reasoned procurement decisions are made.  More...

Processes enable higher efficiency in motion control More

Processes enable higher efficiency in motion control

Given the rapid growth in the use of small motors in automotive applications such as throttle bodies, locking mechanisms, cooling fans, seat positioning, mirror parking and so on, it is not surprising that much semiconductor research and development is focused on motor driver technology.  System designers (and consumers) are seeking simple, compact and reliable solutions that drive ever-higher levels of integration in semiconductor devices. Efficiency is another significant focus area, either due to rising energy costs or the limited availability of power (in a battery-powered application for example).  More...

Implementing Smarter Motor Control Technology to Address Changing Industrial Landscape More

Implementing Smarter Motor Control Technology to Address Changing Industrial Landscape

Industrial systems are evolving as new technologies come to the fore. The opportunity for high degrees of connectivity will mean that equipment is furnished with greater capabilities in relation to how various items communicate with one another. It will also bring about greater autonomy and faster responsiveness. The introduction of what is widely referred to as Industry 4.0 means that the motors incorporated into industrial hardware will need to exhibit more advanced and energy efficient drive technology.  More...

Ethernet Based Communication Set to be Foundation of Automobile Infotainment Systems More

Ethernet Based Communication Set to be Foundation of Automobile Infotainment Systems

The car models now being developed and manufactured are very different from previous generations.   Incorporation of increasingly sophisticated functionality (in terms of navigation, telematics and entertainment) mean it would no longer be correct to consider them as simply a mode of transport. Though this is still clearly their primary purpose, they now possess various other attributes as well. Many of these reflect the complex digitally-enhanced lifestyles we lead elsewhere - while we are in work, in public places, in our homes, etc.  More...

Satisfying Automobile Industry’s Demands for More Effective Motor Control Solutions More

Satisfying Automobile Industry’s Demands for More Effective  Motor Control Solutions

The prevalence of electric motors in automotive designs is increasing considerably, as a substantial proportion of modern vehicles’ functionality is migrated away from traditional mechanical implementations towards modern streamlined electronic implementations - in order to reduce weight and thereby improve fuel economy. Among the areas where electric motors are now seeing widespread deployment are in fuel/oil/water pumps, exhaust gas recirculation systems and electric power steering systems.  More...

How MOSFET technology will boost the effectiveness solar energy installations More

How MOSFET technology will boost the effectiveness solar energy installations

According to market analysis conducted by IHS, by the end of this year the world’s total installed photovoltaic capacity with be over 310GWatts - that is 8 times what it was at the start of the decade. GlobalData predicts by 2025 this capacity will have more than doubled again, reaching 652GWatts.  With demand for solar technology continuing to grow, and the conversion efficiencies of photovoltaics still relatively low (though gradually increasing), there is an ongoing need to minimise the power losses of the supporting electronics (and thereby make full use of the converted energy).  More...

The era of Industry 4.0 will be dependent on implementation of smarter motion control More

The era of Industry 4.0 will be dependent on implementation of smarter motion control technology

It is clear that the emergence of Industry 4.0 will have a major impact on the way in which industrial processes are carried out. Thanks to the implementation of advanced connectivity, it will be possible to make manufacturing facilities more efficient, as items of machinery will be able communicate with one another with greater effectiveness and thus be better coordinated. The consequences of all this will be ... more

How to protect analogue circuits using isolation amplifiers More

How to protect analogue circuits using isolation amplifiers

Much like the break pieces that are used to separate sections of a domino rally, optical isolation is used to separate different sections of an electrical circuit.  Why would you want to separate parts of a circuit? Well, the galvanic isolation provided by an optical isolator can protect sensitive components from potentially damaging high currents or voltages. Such isolation can also be useful for protecting sensors from interference or signal grounding problems.  More...

Realizing benefits through full integration of smart gate-drivers More

Realizing benefits through full integration of smart gate-drivers

Motors are everywhere in the modern world - especially in HVAC equipment, light industrial drives and small appliances. Inverter-based variable-speed motor drives are well established in high-power systems and bring clear energy saving benefits. Now, vendors of lower power systems are now seeking to implement this architecture to improve efficiency.  More...

Why Ethernet Holds the Key to Data Hungry Automotive Infotainment More

Why Ethernet Holds the Key to Data Hungry Automotive Infotainment

The role of the car is changing. Until now, it has been a means of getting from A to B in style, safety or speed – depending on the car you select. Increasingly, intelligent infotainment systems are making the car an extension of their owner’s digital lifestyle – keeping them connected to social media and email while on the move as well as facilitating easier, smoother and more efficient journeys by being connected to traffic reports and weather information. More...

Knowledge is Power - Essential Attributes of Power MOSFETs More

Knowledge is Power - Essential Attributes of Power MOSFETs

When looking to incorporate MOSFET devices into power system designs, there are numerous issues that should be given careful consideration. Through having a good understanding of each of these, the best fit can be found between the various component options available and the specific design criteria that need to be adhered to. Also the necessary trade-offs between different parameters can be better executed.  More...

Thermal Management Implications of Advances in Packaging & Silicon Technologies for Power Semiconductor Devices More

Thermal Management Implications of Advances in Packaging & Silicon Technologies for Power Semiconductor Devices

The heat energy that is present in power ICs, such as MOSFETs, not only impacts on these devices’ operational performance, it also has the potential to impinge heavily on system reliability, increasing the risk of failure and shortening operational lifespan. It has a detrimental effect on the running costs involved too - as power adaptors that exhibit poor conversion efficiency characteristics will need to draw more current from the main supply, thus adding to the size of the user’s utility bills. Engineers simply cannot afford to ignore the heat dissipation issue.  More...

Smarter Motor Control More

Smarter Motor Control

The face of industry is changing with a promise of highly connected machines that communicate, coordinate and make autonomous decisions.  Speed, precision, smoothness and energy efficiency will be at the heart of Industry and the machines that drive it. The motors that move current generations of equipment often consume over 50 per cent of the total system energy supplied – to meet its full potential, next generation of motor drives needs to deliver improved performance with a significant reduction in total energy consumed.  More...

HV-IPDs Will Play Integral Role in Driving Further Energy Improvements in Domestic Appliances More

HV-IPDs Will Play Integral Role in Driving Further Energy Improvements in Domestic Appliances

Consumer attitudes are changing and the energy ratings of domestic appliances are becoming an increasingly important aspect of modern purchasing decisions - whereas previously it would have come a long way down the list (somewhere below, features, price, aesthetics, etc.). For such items to attain high scores in relation to their energy rating, variable speed operation is necessary (in contrast to the less sophisticated ‘all or nothing’ approach of the past). This allows great efficiency levels to be realised, with a number of different benefits subsequently being derived.  More...

DSOP Advance: Addressing the fundamentals of heat in power systems More

DSOP Advance: Addressing the fundamentals of heat in power systems

Heat is always a challenge in power design. Many solutions are in use, both solid-state (heatsinks, heat-pipes) and air moving devices such as fans. All of these add size, complexity and cost to the system - exactly what today's typical power designer is looking to avoid.  More...

Implementing More Effective Motor Drives More

Implementing More Effective Motor Drives

In order to respond to growing pressures to curb energy consumption, greater prevalence of variable-speed motors is being witnessed. Such motors are being incorporated into heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, domestic appliances (dish washers, refrigerators, washing machines, etc.), light industrial drives and suchlike. These motors, in turn, call for inverter drives to propel them. A key concern, however, when specifying inverter drives for these types of applications is the associated cost.  More...

Cost-Effective Inverters Set to Bring About Next Generation Low Power Motor Drives More

Cost-Effective Inverters Set to Bring About Next Generation Low Power Motor Drives

Improvements to the energy efficiency levels of inverter motor drives are making them increasingly attractive in applications where the power budget needs to be reined in - so that more stringent environmental guidelines can be adhered to. These applications include small HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems, light industrial drives and certain domestic appliances. More...

How to Select the Right Power MOSFET More

How to Select the Right Power MOSFET

According to figures compiled by the Information Network, power MOSFETs will represent a $6.3 billion business by 2017. The attributes possessed by these devices makes them favourable over other power ICs (such as BJTs) when it comes to switch functionality. As well as supporting heightened switching speeds, they have less complex supporting drive circuitry, superior frequency response, elevated input impedance, greater current gain and better temperature stability.  More...

Getting to know your photocoupler - key phrases & characteristics that you need to be aware of More

Getting to know your photocoupler - key phrases & characteristics that you need to be aware of

The global market for photocouplers is expected to rise from a total $1.87 billion last year to $3.22 billion by 2021, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.2% over this period (according to figures compiled by Transparency Market Research). Moving forward, among the key drivers for this rapidly expanding product sector will be their increasing inclusion in automotive, digital signage, imaging and printer system implementations.  More...

DSOP Advance: high power density MOSFETs in a small package More

DSOP Advance: high power density MOSFETs in a small package

Low-voltage power MOSFETs are used as main switching devices in power supply systems. The power density of these systems is increasing continuously. In order to reduce the system volume and power loss, a significant improvement of the package heat radiation of the MOSFETs is necessary.

To meet this demand, a new MOSFET package called DSOP Advance (Dual Side Cooling SOP 5x6mm) has been developed. Details of the new package were presented in a paper during PCIM 2014 in Nuremburg in May.  More...

Power MOSFETs explained - a 5 minute guide for the busy design engineer More

Power MOSFETs explained - a 5 minute guide for the busy design engineer

Solar power is big business. As demand for solar panels grows, there is an increasing need for more compact and energy efficient electronics so that every possible milliWatt of energy harvested from the sun is captured and made available to use.

Photovoltaic inverters convert the DC current produced by an array of photovoltaic cells to AC at local line voltage and frequency, ready to be fed into the grid or used to power an off-grid network. Micro-inverters that connect to just one panel each are also available – ensuring that reduced output from any panel (perhaps because of shade or snow) doesn’t disproportionately affect the output of the total array.  More...

Low-Power Inverter Drives for High-Power Environments More

There is increasing demand for a new generation of smart gate-driver couplers that combine compact, power-efficient and cost-effective protection techniques and active Miller clamping all in a single device that simplifies design, saves component count, and minimises solution size.  More...

Innovations in isolation - advanced photocoupler technologies enable greater protection in smaller packages More

Photocouplers (also known as optoisolators or optocouplers) have become an increasingly important bridge between circuits operating at different voltages.

They provide galvanic separation and prevent the flow of potentially damaging loop currents between grounds at different potentials; or ensure that current or voltage surges do not damage system components or harm users. Optical isolation is also useful for preventing the propagation of electrical noise and eliminating impedance mismatches.  More...

Improving the efficiency of solar panels with advanced MOSFET technology More

Solar power is big business. As demand for solar panels grows, there is an increasing need for more compact and energy efficient electronics so that every possible milliWatt of energy harvested from the sun is captured and made available to use.

Photovoltaic inverters convert the DC current produced by an array of photovoltaic cells to AC at local line voltage and frequency, ready to be fed into the grid or used to power an off-grid network. Micro-inverters that connect to just one panel each are also available – ensuring that reduced output from any panel (perhaps because of shade or snow) doesn’t disproportionately affect the output of the total array.   More...

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