This Week in PowerBites: Dueling Diodes, High-Side Hijinks, and Aviation Innovation
This week’s edition of PowerBites includes new products for nearly application space, our first sneak preview of APEC, and a surprise from one our favorite motor innovators.
by Lee Goldberg
This article is part of the This Week in PowerBites Library Series.
A Powerful Collaboration to Create Smarter, More Sustainable Electric Motors
As a rule, PowerBites stories tend to focus on new products and technologies and leave business-related news to other outlets. However, we’ve made an exception in the case of Infineon’s recently announced collaboration with Infinitum, one of our favorite advanced electric-motor manufacturers.
We originally reported on Infinitum’s innovative air-core architecture, which uses a printed stator and integrated variable-frequency drive to produce a family of compact, lightweight, and highly efficient industrial motors in the May 13, 2021 issue of PowerBites. The company’s motors are 50% smaller and lighter, 10% more efficient, and use 66% less copper than traditional motors.
They’re also designed and manufactured to enable a sustainable, circular lifecycle: The motor’s modular architecture allows for the housing, rotors, and stators to be reused multiple times, giving parts a second and third life to serve future generations.
Infinitum’s initial products seemed very promising, but we hadn’t heard much more from the company. That’s until it was recently recognized with three 2023 CES Innovation Award designations for outstanding design and engineering in the sustainability and embedded technologies categories.
There’s been even more exciting news since then, with the announcement of a strategic collaboration with Infineon Technologies to develop silicon-carbide (SiC)-based drive electronics solutions for its Aircore EC, smart industrial electric motor. Embedded in the motor, Infineon’s SiC solutions bring power switching of voltages at 650 V and above for a variety of applications to operate at high temperatures and in harsh environments.
“Infinitum’s groundbreaking motor controls and hardware enable next-generation solutions in industrial applications for some of the most rigorous environments,” said Michael Williams, Director of Product Marketing, Industrial Power Control Division, Infineon Technologies. “Infineon’s CoolSiC technology and motor-control expertise help Infinitum achieve improvements in energy efficiency and controllability over standard induction motors. We look forward to a long-term collaboration with Infinitum to bring next-generation energy-efficient motor controls to market with silicon carbide and other advanced materials.”
Additional details on the advantages of Infinitum printed air-core motors can be found in the downloadable whitepaper Endurance and Lifetime Assessment of PCB Stators.