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Controller vs converter vs module Integration is the driving force behind many of the technologies we see from semiconductor manufacturers. Power devices are no different, whether it be integration of compensation, switching components, multiple outputs or inductors.   For this conversation we are going to define controller as, well, a switching controller. A converter would be a controller with integrated switches (we’ll focus on synchronous converters with both high and low side FE ...
Gallium nitride device can handle high voltages and make power conversion more efficient. (Image credit: MIT)   Most people know that electrical efficiency affects nearly everything that uses power- smartphones/mobile devices, electric vehicles and even the grid. Power converters play a significant role in the electrical equation, but they are incredibly inefficient and will never output more than the power it takes in. They are responsible for modifying voltages or convert between DC and ...
Introduction Sometimes in order to learn something, it is good to build and experiment and measure. That’s not always possible due to practicality concerns. This was the case recently, for a review of a piece of equipment that can work with a three phase mains electricity connection. The trouble is, I do not have a three-phase supply in my home, and I do not have easy access to such a thing at work either (and neither do most people unfortunately). Furthermore, I would not trust myself wit ...
3D printed gears and spring toggle a switch made of conductive plastic, which changes the state of a 3D printed antenna to convey data to a Wi-Fi receiver. (Image credit: University of Washington)   Researchers from the University of Washington have advanced civilization a few more years into the future by developing the first 3D printed plastic objects that are capable of collecting useful data and communicate that data to connected devices wirelessly without any electronics or batteries. ...
New research from Samsung show that lithium-ion batteries can be both fast charging and have high capacities when coated with graphene. No, this isn’t your carpet under a microscope. It’s what graphene looks like. (Photo from Samsung)   Even though lithium-ion batteries have a lot of capabilities, they’re pretty limited. Normally, they can only provide either fast charging speeds or high capacities, rarely both. Samsung researchers working with Seoul National University a ...