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May 2024 Newsletter

May 31, 2024

May 2024 Updates for Design Engineers 

Read the latest semiconductor and electronics news and updates. 

In this edition:

  1. Quantum Computing x Automotive Applications

  2. ROHM Showcases EcoGaN™ at PCIM Europe 2024

  3. Future-Proofing with FPGAs

Quantum Computing x Automotive Applications

Driven by the rise of electric vehicles (EVs) and autonomous driving, the automotive industry is on the verge of a major transformation all thanks to Quantum computing.

In the automotive sector, quantum computing is promising massive advancements across various applications:

Battery: Ford x Quantinuum - Quantum simulations aid in designing next-gen batteries, which will hold higher capacity and ensure safety even more.

Materials: Stellantis x Google - Quantum computing facilitates the design of lighter and stronger materials, resulting in more sustainable and durable EVs. 

Supply chain: Volkswagen Group x Honeywell - Quantum algorithms are streamlining the automotive supply chains, reducing costs and disruptions and expediting time to market. 

Autonomous vehicle development: Daimler x Zapata Computing - Quantum computing will enable faster sensor data processing, thus enhancing decision-making for autonomous vehicles. This will significantly enhance driver safety and comfort. 

Traffic management: Toyota - Quantum simulations predict traffic patterns accurately, leading to intelligent transportation systems, while also aiding in bigger endeavors like smart cities and smart highways. 

Unlike classical computers, Quantum computers leverage qubits based on quantum mechanics principles, enabling exponentially faster calculations. Key players like IBM, Rigetti Computing, and IonQ are advancing hardware capabilities, while companies like Xanadu and Honeywell are refining quantum algorithms and developing user-friendly software platforms. Cloud service providers such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft are also democratizing access to quantum computing resources.

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ROHM Showcases EcoGaN™ at PCIM Europe 2024

Power electronics pioneer, ROHM unveiled on May 15th its participation in PCIM Europe 2024 - Nuremberg, Germany from June 11th to 13th. The company will showcase its latest power semiconductor solutions with a special emphasis on wide bandgap devices. 

With a portfolio encompassing SiC, Si and GaN technologies, ROHM showcased its commitment to meeting the diverse needs of various sectors, particularly in e-mobility and power supply applications. Under the banner of "Empowering Growth, Inspiring Innovation," the company demonstrated how its technologies address social and ecological challenges, contributing to sustainability.

ROHM had previously premiered new SiC power modules tailored for automotive applications and highlighted its transition to 8-inch SiC wafers, providing insights into its ongoing SiC product development. The 4th Generation SiC MOSFETs presented by the company boast industry-leading low ON resistance, minimizing switching losses while supporting 15V and 18V gate-source voltage requirements.

The highlight of ROHM’s participation in PCIM will be showcasing its EcoGaN™ family, featuring 150V and 650V class GaN HEMTs, available in various Evaluation Kits. The power stage IC BM3GxxMUV-LB series, integrating 650V GaN HEMTs and gate drivers, was expanded to include higher integrated PFC and QR flyback converters, offering optimal solutions for high power density and efficiency requirements across diverse electronic systems. Over 10 boards from the EcoGaN™ family are displayed, illustrating their contributions to industrial solutions.

ROHM's power experts actively engaged in panel discussions, conference presentations and poster sessions throughout the early stages of the fair, fostering knowledge exchange and collaboration within the industry.

Furthermore, ROHM's EcoGaN™ technology made significant strides in energy conservation and miniaturization. Its adoption in the C4 Duo, a 45W output USB-C charger from Innergie, a brand of Delta, exemplified its contribution to enhanced application performance, reliability and miniaturization in power supply systems. This collaboration underscored ROHM's commitment to partnering with global leaders like Delta to realize a decarbonized and digital society, aligning with shared visions for innovation and sustainability.

Yuhei Yamaguchi, General Manager of Power Stage Product Development Dept. at ROHM, expressed delight in the company’s collaboration with Delta, recognizing the synergy between both companies in maximizing power semiconductor performance and advancing topologies for high-energy power supplies.

Jason Chen, General Manager of Innergie, lauded the strategic partnership with ROHM, emphasizing their joint efforts in developing next-generation power semiconductors. The adoption of ROHM's advanced 650V GaN devices in Innergie's products marked a significant milestone, with expectations of further integration across their product lines to enhance power efficiency and size reduction.

Contact McKinsey Electronics for the latest power supply novelties and technologies from ROHM

EcoGaN™ is a registered trademark of ROHM Co., Ltd.

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Future-Proofing with FPGAs

FPGAs, or Field-Programmable Gate Arrays, are versatile integrated circuits that can be configured after manufacturing, offering adaptability and customization. They consist of configurable logic blocks (CLBs), flip-flops, lookup tables (LUTs), DSP slices, block RAM (BRAM), transceivers and IO blocks, enabling a wide range of digital circuit designs.

In comparison to GPUs and CPUs, FPGAs excel in low-latency processing, customization and power efficiency, making them ideal for real-time applications, especially in AI and machine vision. Despite their higher upfront costs and programming complexity, FPGAs offer deep customization and significant advantages in specific scenarios.

FPGAs find applications across a multitude of industries such as data centers, telecommunications, industrial automation, consumer electronics, aerospace, defense, machine learning, and healthcare.  

While the future of FPGAs looks promising, the road ahead comes with a few speed bumps. Challenges include specialized programming knowledge, integration complexities, upfront costs, rapid technological advancements and security threats. 

At McKinsey Electronics, we stay abreast of all the technological inventions and advancements when it comes to FPGAs, to better help optimize and perfect your designs. Click here to read the full blog


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