Electronics makers trim their need for power to help extend battery life and meet new efficiency standards. It used to be the case that embedded systems just had to be small enough to fit in the space available, and powerful enough to handle the processing job at hand. Not anymore. Increasingly, embedded electronics are designed with power consumption in mind. The reason, of course, is a combination of new "green" power-efficiency standards and an explosion in battery- powered uses where operating life carries a premium. One efficiency metric kicking in this year applies to computers and servers. The 80 Plus standard dictates these devices have an energy efficiency of 80% or greater at 20, 50, and 100% of rated load with a true power factor of 0.9 or greater. The only way to reach this level of operation is with a power-factor controller and by using some clever phase manipulation in the ac/dc power converter. Another area drawing attention is that of soft switching, more commonly known as zero-voltage or zero-current switching. Soft switching has long been viewed as a way to cut down on the generation of electromagnetic interference. In an energy-efficient world, however, it is a way to reduce the amount of power dissipated in semiconductor switches. Innovation can also be found in the area of microcontrollers. The easiest way to lower power consumption in computer chips is to put the device into a sleep mode when it isn't busy. But chipmakers are striving to lower power consumption even when chips are sleeping. Another technique is to scale the speed of the clock so chips operate only as fast as they need to for the job at hand. The battery budget of a baby camarasaurus The offspring of Caleb Chung, who also created Furby, Pleo is said to be
Products & Services
ZigBee® chips are cost-effective, standards-based, wireless networking chips that provide low data-rates, low-power consumption, security, and reliability.
Switching Power Supplies
Switching power supplies are DC sources that use a switching element (normally a power transistor) to generate the desired voltage. Switching power supplies are also called switch-mode products or switching mode power supplies (SMPS).
Charge Pump Regulators
Charge pump regulators are circuits that generate higher voltages from low voltage inputs by using capacitors as storage elements. They are used in notebook computers and mobile phones.
Computer Power Supplies
Computer power supplies convert alternating current (AC) line to direct current (DC) line, needed by the computer.
PWM Amplifier Chips
Pulse width modulated (PWM) amplifier chips generate a current that switches between high and low output levels. PWM amplifiers have a much higher power capability for a given volume than linear amplifiers. They are also less expensive.
Topics of Interest
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