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March 2024 Newsletter

Mar 31, 2024

March 2024 Updates for Design Engineers 

Read the latest semiconductor and electronics news and updates. 

In this edition:

  1. Japan Ventures Once Again in Chip Market 

  2. MORNSUN®: DC-DC Converters for Renewable Energy

  3. E-Textiles: The Future of Wearables 

Japan Ventures Once Again in Chip Market 

In Hokkaido, Japan, a monumental 67-billion-dollar effort is underway to revitalize the nation's semiconductor industry, driven by the urgency to navigate escalating US-China tensions and secure critical supply chains. Amidst the snowy Japanese landscapes, construction started on a cutting-edge factory by 18-month-young Rapidus Corp., in an ambitious venture aiming to mass-produce 2-nanometer logic chips by 2027.

Japan's government, recognizing the strategic importance of semiconductor production, has allocated in the past three years billions of dollars (B$26.7) to bolster the industry, and is looking to reach B$66.3 in chip-related investments. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida plans to triple domestically produced chip sales by 2030, focusing on both legacy and advanced chip manufacturing.

This strategy comprises two main pillars: attracting foreign chip manufacturers to Japan with substantial subsidies and spearheading the Rapidus project in Hokkaido to reclaim Japan's position at the forefront of chip technology. The latter endeavor is particularly daring, facing technological difficulties and uncertainties regarding market demand.

While Japan's swift decision-making and support stand in contrast to policy delays elsewhere, especially in the US, challenges are still quite substantial. Rapidus faces skepticism over its ambitious goals, with doubts about market viability and workforce shortages. However, partnerships with global entities like IBM and Tenstorrent provide glimmers of hope despite the uncertainties.

Even with risks, Japan's substantial investment underscores its government’s determination to regain semiconductor ability, driven by geopolitical tensions and the imperative of securing vital supply chains in an increasingly hostile world. As global events underscore the strategic importance of semiconductor technology, Japan's endeavors not only aim for economic revitalization but also serve as a deterrent in geopolitical maneuverings. 

MORNSUN: DC-DC Converters for Renewable Energy 

MORNSUN has introduced the PV1200-29BXX series DC-DC converter, tailored for renewable energy use. This series offers an exceptionally Ultra-wide and Ultra-high Input Voltage range of 300 to 1500 V DC, withstanding transient voltages up to 1600 V DC for 10 seconds. It comes in 12V, 24V, 36V and 48V configurations, suitable for various applications in renewable energy sectors like photovoltaic power generation, energy storage BMS, high voltage inverters, industrial control and other renewable energy applications.

The PV1200-29Bxx series emphasizes high efficiency of up to 87%, low power consumption and more energy-saving capabilities. Designed for reliability and a long lifespan, this series has input under-voltage protection, avoiding frequent system restarts and ultimately ensuring system stability. This new series of DC-DC Converters offers MTBF (Mean time between failures) of over 300,000h, ensuring stable performance over a long lifespan. Operating in industrial-grade temperature ranges (-40 to 85°C) and providing high I/O isolation voltages (up to 4000 V AC), these converters are equipped with multiple protections against under and over-voltage, reverse polarity, over-temperature, short-circuit and over-current, thus ensuring safe operations even in abnormal working conditions.

The PV1200-29BXX series supports 3+1 parallel redundancy and current sharing, functions at altitudes up to 5000 m, and complies with Class I (terminal), Class II (lead type), and level 4 EFT immunity standards. The series also meets UL1741, CSA-C22,2 No.107.1, and EN62109 (pending) standards.

MORNSUN is a leading global provider of high-quality power supply products and solutions, with and extensive product range including DC-DC converters, AC-DC converters, industrial power supplies and more. With a focus on innovation and reliability, MORNSUN serves various industries such as telecommunications, industrial automation, medical equipment, as well as renewable energy. Contact McKinsey Electronics – MORNSUN Authorized Distributor in the MEA Region.

E-Textiles: The Future of Wearables

One of the most exciting developments in the semiconductor field is the emergence of printed flexible electronics, which are poised to shape the future in various ways, most notably, in electronic textiles.

Simply put, E-textiles are electronically embedded fabrics. Theoretically, any component can be embedded, however, the most used are sensors such as the Velostat® Pressure-Sensitive Conductive Sheet or Flexpoint Bend Sensors, LEDs, batteries and most recently FPCBs (Flexible Printed Circuit Boards) like Kapton® or Pyralux®.

Recently advanced functions in e-textiles include the development of organic fiber transistors, organic solar cells on fibers, and the use of materials such as shape memory alloys (SMOs), piezoelectric materials, chromic materials and nano-materials. This has significantly expanded the capabilities of e-textiles and opened new possibilities for their use in various applications, most notably, aerospace, military, sports, fashion, medical and occupational safety.

Although currently considered a niche market, smart textiles are poised for exponential growth and will project a surge in demand, expected to drive advancements in manufacturing techniques and lower costs. As forecasts suggest that by 2025* a significant portion (10%) of the population will integrate internet-connected clothing into their daily lives, we, at McKinsey Electronics, are here to witness this marvel take place.

Efficiently routing electronic circuits on flexible materials holds considerations for flexibility and performance. Advanced technologies and material selection are key in overcoming challenges and ensuring optimal performance. Read the full blog here to know more.

*According to a survey by the World Economic Forum, 92.1% of corporate leaders say that 10% of people will wear clothes connected to the internet by 2025.

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