The KEMET Application Intelligence Center (KAIC) is our brand new, innovative application lab located at KEMET Headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I sat down with William Mak, Senior Applications Engineer, to talk about KAIC – what it is, what it does, and what kind of innovations we can expect to find there.
What is KAIC?
Simply put, the KEMET Application Intelligence Center (KAIC) is a place to study applications, especially applications that pertain to KEMET parts. The other part of the lab is also to create educational content for engineers, or even beginners. The lab has three main audiences: people who are just getting into electronics, budding engineers, and also seasoned engineers who are incorporating detailed concepts. KAIC is the place to explore application design with KEMET.
What makes KAIC different from what else is out there?
While existing information focuses mainly on the part itself, KAIC focuses on how the part performs within a system. We are exploring how the parts coexist in ways that designing engineers would use them. If an engineer wants to research a certain type of design, like wireless power for example, that person could go to KAIC to explore options. And even if we didn’t have content on your specific area, we are going put out as much information as possible to help you with your wireless design.
How do you choose which designs to make at KAIC?
I try to choose designs that are popular and relevant in the industry right now. I get a lot of suggestions from the KEMET business groups, which is cool because they have their eyes on the latest parts we’ve developed. But for the most part, I like including designs I think are cool, and things that not many people know about. Something really cool right now are sensors and actuators. For example, the Magnetic/Sensor/Actuator group out of Tokyo made a sensor I have here in the lab. It’s my job to show engineers how to best use it. More than just part information, I provide guidelines, recommendations, and pro tips about these parts. I’m also working with existing data sheets to improve them to make it easier for design engineers.
This pyroelectric sensor could be used in motion sensing, like automatic lights, for example.
How does KAIC make KEMET Easy to Design In?
I work with different parts and KEMET data sheets. I try out the parts within different types of applications. I record my findings to help engineers know exactly how the part will perform within an application. Because of this, I am able to help engineers select the right part for their type of design. This saves the engineer time that may have been spent testing a particular part in a particular application. The KEMET pyroelectric sensor only needs a microcontroller with an ADC port and you can use this sensor right away. At KAIC, we can provide useful information or tips that could make things even easier to design.
What is KAIC’s larger purpose?
I just want electronic design to be something that a person at every level can understand. Whether you’re a seasoned engineer, just starting out, or even a student/hobbyist, we want KAIC to be your go-to place for application information. Our location at the KEMET Global Headquarters symbolizes how important design is to us. For one, it reinforces our global focus. Additionally, it keeps engineers, our customers, at the front of mind to the leadership of KEMET. They are what it’s all about!
Why do you get to have such a cool job?
Well, I have been an electronic designer in different fields for the past eight years. I’ve designed surveillance equipment, cell phones, and networking equipment. Most of my professional life is in application design. I’m an electrical engineer and I really enjoy it. In addition, I’m open minded about design. Learning new things is exciting to me, and I want to share that with the design community.
Why is now an important time to have KAIC?
We are living in a time where we can share information across the globe easily and instantly. At this moment, if you have a computer and the inclination, you can learn. My team and I want KEMET to be a big part of that. We want to provide high quality, verified content about electronics design that can engineers can rely on. And of course, we want engineers to choose KEMET. We hope that by providing quality designs, we’ll make their job easier.
How is KAIC staying in tune with the future of technology?
KEMET is data driven. We look closely at market study. We keep open communication with the business groups and incorporate the trends that they see. We not only identify trends as they happen, but we also have analysts that are in tune with the market and can suggest good projects for KAIC based upon their market predictions.
The KAIC Mission:
Exploration. Optimization. Innovation.
- Custom schematic and PCB design
- 1GHz mixed signal oscilloscope
- 3 GHz bandwidth spectrum analyzer
- 1.5 GHz ENA network analyzer
- Power analyzer and DC loads
- Full soldering rework station
Current Application Focus
- Switched Tank Converters (STC)
How can people become involved with KAIC?
At this time, KAIC is still very new, so the best way for our early adopters to be involved is to send us ideas! They can also sign up for the Engineering Center Newsletter to learn the latest project releases from KAIC. If you want to see what KAIC looks like, check it out here. Be sure to check back often and follow KEMET on social media #KAIC.
What would you most like see featured in KAIC? Let us know on the KAIC website!