Recap: APEC 2018 Conference

The 2018 APEC Conference in March was a success, and we are pleased that our return to APEC was met with enthusiasm from longtime customers and market commentators alike.

The high traffic to our booth during each session included customers, educators, and students, as well as members of the industry press. We look forward to increasing our engagement with the PSMA, PELS, and IEEE teams for the 2019 APEC conference in Anaheim, California, next March.

If you didn’t have a chance to attend APEC 2018, here is a recap of the highlights from the conference.

APEC 2018 Key Findings & Highlights

The APEC Conference has long been a place to address topics and happenings of interest to practicing power electronics engineers throughout the industry.

Here are a few of our personal highlights from the last APEC Conference:

  • APEC 2018 included spice models of high-frequency transformers and inductors, as well as displays regarding fringing effects in transformer and inductors. These models provided an interesting demonstration of how the AC of winding modeling can be built into Spice models.
  • The conference showcased several papers on core loss measurements and behaviors at a very high frequency, >2MHz, which is somewhat groundbreaking for the industry.
  • Conference speakers brought along new high-frequency magnetics circuit models for attendees to consider.
  • Plenty of discussion revolved about maximizing GaN FET and IC Performance, not just a drop in replacement of MOSFETs.
  • One of the speakers delivered a presentation titled “Designing Reliable GaN Devices,” which highlighted that magnetics now make up 75% of the volume of a power supply; companies that want to keep up must focus on product innovation and improvements.
  • Eaton delivered an outstanding lecture on the modeling inductance roll-off in SPICE.
  • “Powering Servers and Datacenters,” an excellent talk by HP/MPS on the 2-stage VR supply, and a talk by Google on the Switched Tank Converter Technology, riveted attendees from all backgrounds.
  • MIT presented a discussion titled “Low Loss Inductor Structures and Design Guidelines,” which focused on the issues of magnetic fringing at 3MHz.

Quotes from APEC 2018

“It is exciting that there is a lot of work to do in magnetics. From engaging with customers at the Booth, it’s very clear that efficiency of the magnetics is their #1 concern. As we develop new product lines, such as integrated inductors, great emphasis has to be spent in optimizing the efficiency.” —David

“GaN Mosfet is a hot topic at APEC. The advantage of GaN Mosfet is no recovery loss, which is helpful to reduce the total switching loss. The switching frequencies can now be increased to the MHz range due to low switching loss from on Mosfets in a switched power supply. For example, TI has developed a 2MHz LLC converter by using GaN Mosfet; it is now necessary to reduce the size of magnetic components compared to a traditional 100KHz design. At these new switching frequencies, the AC loss of windings will be very important, and it is the challenge for us to build a loss model (winding loss plus core loss) for high-frequency applications.” —Kevin

“Repeated at almost every lecture I attended was the ‘need for better magnetics, more detailed datasheets and component level test capability,’ and that the GaN development highlights more and more this need.” —John


APEC continues to be the premier conference for professionals and engineers in the power electronics industry. We look forward to attending APEC 2019 and are grateful to have attended this year in San Antonio, Texas.