My first day at APEC 2012 started with an interview. I spoke to Alex Lidow about the nature of Gallium Nitride for an Engineering TV video, in which Alex describes how GAN works and how it must be driven in depletion and enhancement modes. That video was posted last night; it's a very good introduction to the differences between GaN and CMOS.
Later in the morning I registered for the conference, and took my first look at the papers that are going to be presented here. Even if you only look at the titles of these sessions you can get a good idea of what's going on. Here are some of my favorites:
• Start with "Understanding HEV Fuel Economy." Now that's one that is particularly important because if you don't understand the energy in a gallon of gasoline you don't understand the energy in a kilowatt hour.
• I was also intrigued by "System Architecture Impacts on Power Supply Design for Solid State Lighting," "Electric Vehicle DC Charger Integrated within a Photovoltaic Power System," "Next Phase of Power System Architectures for Present/Future Data Centers," "Worldwide Microgrid Development," and "Tthe Evolving Power Supply Paradigm." There is an entire technical session on Power Supply on a Chip Technology moderated by Cian O'Mathuna, of Cork's Tyndall National Institute. O'Mathuna and his pursuit of the ultimate in power supply miniaturization have been fixtures of APEC conferences for as long as I've been coming.
• Something else I found intriguing in the program was an entire technical session on EMI in which the concept of clock dithering is never mentioned. It's strictly about EMI suppression.
Their are hundreds of other sessions no doubt equally entrancing to power engineers who are focused on those technologies but the few I mentioned above will give you an idea of the breadth of this conference that of the importance of the technologies that are presented here.