Smart is beautiful – advanced technologies drive green energy

Microelectronics International

ISSN: 1356-5362

Article publication date: 10 May 2011



(2011), "Smart is beautiful – advanced technologies drive green energy", Microelectronics International, Vol. 28 No. 2.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Smart is beautiful – advanced technologies drive green energy

Article Type: Industry news From: Microelectronics International, Volume 28, Issue 2

Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. estimates its 2010 design-in potential to be $1.4 billion. Almost 13 per cent of this – nearly $170 million – comes from alternative and sustainable energy designs. This is driven by the development of ever smaller, highly efficient passive components and semiconductors as well as their integration into green energy solutions (alternative energies – wind, solar and tidal energy, among others) and energy efficient applications for the computer/consumer/ITC and automotive electronics markets. These advanced technologies are built on modern electronic components with high power densities and compact designs – one of the development areas that Vishay focuses on both in semiconductors and passive components. In addition, Vishay also offers special customer-specific fine tuning between systems and components.

Computer/consumer electronics/ITC

Vishay plans an annual growth rate of well above 10 per cent for components and other key devices in this market. About 40 per cent of all Vishay’s design activities in the computer segment are focused on ultra-mobile PCs and tablet PCs. Vishay meets the requirements for highly efficient power supplies for extremely small spaces with its asymmetric dual TrenchFET® Power MOSFET in the PowerPAIR® package (SiZ710DT) and the latest TMBS® rectifiers in 45-V implementation with currents of up to 15 A (V15P45S), IHLP® series inductors, and the WSLP family of Power Metal Strip® resistors. Together, these components have been used to help create the power management basis of the currently most successful tablet PC, and have been used for intelligent battery charging designs. Vishay has also developed components for improved handling of modern electronic appliances. For instance, the VCNL4000 is the industry first’s proximity and ambient light sensor combining an IR emitter, photo PIN diode, ambient light sensor and DSP in a single package that can be used to control backlighting in touch-sensitive displays.


About 20 per cent of Vishay’s sales are done in the automotive sector. Vishay components are used as fast, low-loss switches in electric vehicles (EVs), and it is estimated that by 2010, about 1 million units EVs will be in use in Germany. They contribute to minimizing the size and weight of energy storage components (inductors and capacitors) while meeting higher EMC requirements. They play a decisive role in designs such as start-stop systems, braking energy recovery, intelligent battery management, mechatronic controls and x-by-wire approaches such as steer-by-wire. In the context of new high-voltage (HV) requirements associated with the development of HV lithium-ion batteries for EVs, Vishay develops innovative components in close cooperation with its OEM customers: HV filter chokes as well as IGBT and HV MOSFET modules for HV inverters and HV battery charge controllers; protection and filter capacitors; HV battery current monitors (battery shunts) for currents of up to 1,000 A, including all further components required for galvanic isolated battery controls.

In 2009, 30 per cent of Vishay’s automotive design-ins (about $74 million) was done in the field of fuel saving and emission-reduced power-train designs for hybrid electric and EVs, and the trend continues to increase. In this segment, Vishay achieves an average annual growth rate of 9 per cent. Vishay offers off-the-shelf as well as customer-specific key components for use in hybrid electric vehicle inverters.

Losses in control electronics are also causing high fuel consumption and thus high CO2 emissions. Depending on the application, the number of discrete components in an electronic control unit ranges between 50 and 2,500. Vishay contributes to minimizing their power loss and improving EMC behavior with its new IHLP®6767 series of high-current inductors featuring an extremely low DCR of only 2.5 mΩhm. In addition, the company also develops resistive networks and arrays in a variety of technologies (thick film and thin film) as well as combinations of R/C components aimed at adjusting many different kinds of sensors.

Green energy

According to iSuppli, demand for semiconductors for use in inverters – one of the core products for alternative energy generation equipment – is projected to rise from $3 to $7.2 billion in 2014. Currently, Vishay’s design and development activities in the alternative energy, power transmission and SmartPower segments accounts for about 8 per cent of total sales. By 2013, the company aims to achieve an average growth rate of 25 per cent for new projects (design-ins) in the wind/solar energy segment. For these applications, Vishay supplies the MKP1848 and MKP385 series of film capacitors, which can be used as coupling capacitors or resonance capacitors. They are ideal for use in PV inverters thanks to their compact design, PCB mounting and technological parameters. The company also supplies the VO3120 and VO3150 optoelectronic IGBT and MOSFET driver devices. For junction boxes – the interconnection point between solar cells and the inverter – Vishay has further developed its bypass diodes and is currently introducing the Trench MOS barrier Schottky diode (TBMS®) in cooperation with its customers. Benefits include extremely low forward voltage losses and very high reliability, while offering high operating temperatures and robust design.

Vishay’s high-quality components, such as the ULDCR series crowbar resistors and power capacitors, also play key roles in wind energy installations, since some 200 crowbar resistors and 1,200-1,600 DC power capacitors are required for a wind park power of 400 MW. In Europe only, demand for capacitor units in 2010 will reach between 12,000 and 20,000 pieces, representing a volume of more than £30 million. Vishay ESTA is the only vendor globally offering a complete range of power capacitors, and holds 19 per cent market share of the European power electronics market.

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