Conventional wisdom says that the way to grab headlines at a major conference is to hold all announcements until opening day then launch the new products with your PR agency and marketing department beating the publicity drums loudly enough to be heard for miles around.

Call it the Big Bang Publicity Theory.

The only trouble is a growing number of practitioners are not buying in. They prefer instead to announce what’s upcoming in the run-up to a show, and that’s good for columnists like me who can then give readers (you) a sneak peek at what will be introduced. At APEC 2017, for example, several passive components suppliers have already announced what they will be showing at this, the premier global event for applied power electronics, when the conference doors opens in Tampa on March 27.

Continuous advancement of power semiconductor device technology has allowed the switching frequencies of power converters to keep rising, while semiconductor junction temperatures also increase and system footprints are shrinking. All of which influences the required features of passive components. With that in mind here, in alphabetical order by supplier, is a first look at what will be new and notable in passives at APEC 2017.

AVX will launch two new capacitor series for EV/HEV applications at this year’s APEC In addition to releasing the new FHC1 and FHC2 Series capacitors, especially designed for use in conjunction with IGBT modules to prevent ripple currents from reaching back to the power source and to smooth out DC bus voltage variations in EV and HEV applications, AVX engineers onsite will also promote the company’s portfolio of passive components for low- to high-power applications throughout the automotive, industrial, medical, military, consumer, and telecom markets. They will also talk about the various design tools they offer to ensure more first-pass design successes.

Knowles Capacitors plans to exhibit a range of new and updated products from its Syfer, Novacap and DLI brands. Syfer branded AEC-Q200 approved ranges offer a voltage rating of up to 3kV, meeting the requirements of modern automotive applications including EVs and HEVs. Three such products are 250Vac Safety Certified Capacitors, High Temperature X8R Capacitors (up to 150 °C) and Surface Mount EMI Feedthrough Filters. All are available with FlexiCap flexible termination to reduce the risk of mechanical cracking.

From the DLI brand one highlight will be the PX range, a high-reliability solution for DC blocking in such applications as semiconductor data communications, receiver optical subassemblies, trans-impedance amplifiers and test equipment. The new PX Series compliments DLI’s OptiCap broadband devices, which provides DC blocking performance from 16 KHz to 40 GHz, but in a lower profile. The PX series is said by the company to provide a surface mount, low cost solution with ultra-broadband performance, extremely low insertion loss, low frequency stability and excellent return loss across the wide bandwidth.

The range of Epcos CeraLink capacitors based on PLZT ceramic (lead lanthanum zirconium titanate) is being extended. The low profile (LP) types for SMD soldering are now available with a voltage of 500 V and a capacitance of 1 µF, or with 700 V and 0.5 µF. The dimensions of the variants with L-style terminal, for example, are 10.84 mm x 7.85 mm x 4 mm. Thanks to its compactness and a maximum temperature of 150 °C, these capacitors can be embedded as snubber capacitors directly into IGBT modules.

The new types with J-style terminal are even more compact, with dimensions of just 7.14 mm x 7.85 mm x 4 mm. One advantage of the CeraLink LP types is their low ESL of just 2.5 nH. The CeraLink solder pin (SP) type is available for higher capacitance values of 20 µF and 10 µF for the rated voltages of 500 V and 700 V, respectively. This type has a low ESL of just 3.5 nH. Thanks to their low parasitic effects, CeraLink capacitors are well-suited for converter topologies on the basis of fast-switching semiconductors such as GaN or SiC. Voltage overshoots and ringing when switching are said to be significantly lower than with conventional capacitor technologies.

Three new series of Epcos aluminum electrolytic capacitors are said to offer improved performance. The B43743/B43763 series screw terminal capacitors feature a 40 percent higher ripple current capability than the previous series of the same size. The new capacitors are designed for rated voltages between 350 V DC and 450 V DC and cover a capacitance range from 1500 µF to 18,000 µF. The components withstand a maximum operating temperature of 105 °C, at which a useful life of 6000 hr is achieved.

Depending on the type, can diameters range from 64.3 mm to 90 mm, and heights from 80.7 mm to 221 mm. Ripple current capability has also been increased for snap-in types; it is about 20 percent higher for the B43544 series designed for 400 V DC and 450 V DC. Altogether this series covers voltages from 200 V DC to 550 V DC and offers capacitances between 47 µF and 2700 µF. At maximum operating temperature of 105 °C and the rated current, useful life is 3000 hrs. The can diameter ranges from 22 mm to 35 mm, and heights from 25 mm to 55 mm.

The new Epcos DC link capacitor has been specifically designed for the HybridPACK 1-DC6 IGBT module from Infineon Technologies. The notable features of this component are its six busbar terminals with dimensions matching precisely to fit the IGBT module. This multiple contacts produces good current capability while at the same time offering very low parasitics. For example, the ESR has a maximum value of 0.6 mΩ and the ESL value is just 25 nH. Thanks to this low ESL, voltage peaks on switching off the IGBTs are almost completely eliminated. The new capacitor is designed for a rated voltage of 450 V DC and offers a capacitance of 600 µF. Its current capability is about 150 A at a maximum ambient temperature of 105°C and a cooled temperature on the underside of 75°C. The component is designed using power capacitor chip (PCC) technology in which the capacitor element is constructed as a stacked winding, with which a volume fill factor of nearly 1 is achieved. The dimensions of the housing are correspondingly compact, at just 140 mm x 72 mm x 50 mm.

In addition to its GaN and SiC power devices Panasonic will exhibit its conductive polymer capacitors. Layered polymer aluminum capacitors, for example, use conductive polymer as the electrolyte and have an aluminum cathode. Depending on the specific model, these capacitors cover a voltage range from 2-35V and offer capacitances between 2.2-560µF. The distinguishing electrical characteristic of these polymer capacitors is their extremely low equivalent series resistance (ESR). For example, some SP-Cap polymer capacitors have ESR values as low as 3mΩ. Panasonic notes that by adopting a conductive polymer its caps are compact and can significantly suppress ripple current and noise while maintaining excellent temperature characteristics.

Polymer tantalum capacitors employ a conductive polymer as the electrolyte and have a tantalum cathode. They span voltages from 2 to 35V and capacitances from 3.9 to 1500µF. They feature low ESR, down to 5mΩ. Packaged in a molded resin case, the POSCAP M size, for example, measures just 2.0 by 1.25 mm. Though compact, a wide range of sizes is available for this capacitor type.

With its proprietary low-loss ferrous alloy magnetic material technology, the Panasonic Power Inductors on display at APEC are said to prevent rapid decrease in inductance and realize size reduction and high bias current. Their temperature stability means there is no inductance temperature de-rating, which contributes to power supply circuit size reduction and enhanced efficiency.

The company will also showcase its Current Sensing Resistors, which offer a stable resistance value over a long period of time and use proprietary metal junction technology. By adopting an exterior that easily releases heat; the product can achieve a wide range of resistance values.

Vishay will be showing the new commercial version of its popular Automotive Grade IHLE series of low profile, high current inductors featuring integrated e-shields for EMI reduction. Available in the 2525, 3232, and 4040 case sizes, the Vishay Dale IHLE-2525CD-51, IHLE-3232DD-51, and IHLE-4040DD-51 contain the electric field associated with EMI in a tin-plated copper integrated shield, providing up to -20 dB of electric field reduction at 1 cm (above the center of the inductor) when the integrated shield is connected to ground. By eliminating the need for expensive board-level Faraday shielding to lower EMI, the devices reduce costs and save board space.

The Vishay Dale IHLP1616BZ-5A, optimized for energy storage in DC/DC converters up to 2 MHz, also provides attenuation of noise in high current filtering applications up to the SRF of the inductor. With a continuous operating temperature of 155 °C, it can be used in under-the-hood applications including engine control units for noise suppression, filtering and DC/DC conversion, LED lighting, radar, LIDAR, optical and other sensors, along with entertainment and navigation systems.

The device features high efficiency with typical DCR from 4.0 mΩ to 102.0 mΩ and a wide range of inductance values from 0.10 µH to 4.7 µH. It provides rated current to 19.0 A and is said to handle high transient current spikes without saturation.

Over 240 companies will be exhibiting at APEC, with over 40,000 net square feet of exhibit space purchased on the show floor. The exposition will be open Monday, March 27 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. for its opening reception; Tuesday, March 28 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Wednesday, March 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Murray Slovick

Murray Slovick

Murray Slovick is Editorial Director of Intelligent TechContent, an editorial services company that produces technical articles, white papers and social media posts for clients in the semiconductor/electronic design industry. Trained as an engineer, he has more than 20 years of experience as chief editor of award-winning publications covering various aspects of consumer electronics and semiconductor technology. He previously was Editorial Director at Hearst Business Media where he was responsible for the online and print content of Electronic Products, among other properties in the U.S. and China. He has also served as Executive Editor at CMP’s eeProductCenter and spent a decade as editor-in-chief of the IEEE flagship publication Spectrum.

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