Tech Talk Blog

What Power Supply Trends Exist in the Semiconductor Market?

April 14, 2021 | Topics: Bidirectional Power Supplies

As the semiconductor industry begins to heat up in 2021, at least according to Semiconductor Industry Association’s optimistic forecasts device demand, test engineers are going to need to find new ways to cool down their power supplies. While in the past water-cooled power supplies were only available as part of a custom-designed solution, now companies such as EA Elektro-Automatik (EA) are offering advanced water-cooled power solutions as part of a standard COTS product offering.

EA Elektro-Automatik, with North American headquarters based in San Diego, has been driving power supply innovation for over 40 years with a complete line of lab-grade and industrial DC programmable power supplies, bidirectional regenerative power units, electronic loads and COTS multi-channel rack systems up to 2 megawatts.

The semiconductor industry enters 2021 with more uncertainty in global economics than usual, but still facing macro-drivers that form the foundation of increasing device demand for many years to come. While our company is seeing strong growth in automotive electronics test, particularly tied to electric vehicle development, our products are finding their way into test labs and production environments throughout the semiconductor industry, driven by growth in data centers, 5G deployment, gaming and artificial intelligence sector increases.

Even chips used in mobile devices are driving interest in EA’s power supplies. While the growth in unit shipments for mobile cell phones is not growing as fast as in the past, consumer demand for new data-consuming features continues at a seemingly insatiable rate.

All of this is pushing the test and production engineers to find more powerful and innovative power supplies as part of their design and manufacturing processes. EA Elektro-Automatik’s water-cooled PSB Bidirectional DC Power Supplies and Loads, including the 15kW 9000 Series in 3U and just-released 30kW 10000 Series in 4U, are finding applications in a wide range of semi manufacturing and test applications. Particularly for clean rooms that need a water-cooled solution, the PSB’s internal water-cooled design provides far more efficiency and flexibility as a COTS solution than custom-designed products.

All cooling is done via water, so no air movement around the device is necessary. This is ideal for clean rooms where power supplies need to be sealed. By replacing standard fan cooling, the PSB Series can provide increased cooling efficiency even at higher ambient temperatures.