RapidCharge™ and GaN Stand Out as APEC 2018 Highlights

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RapidCharge™ and GaN Stand Out as APEC 2018 Highlights

The last few months have been a whirlwind of events for us at Dialog. After a week in Las Vegas for CES at the beginning of the year, followed by Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and Embedded World in Nuremburg, at the end of February. Ending our tour in San Antonio for APEC 2018, where we had the chance to showcase some of our exciting innovations, while also touching base with the rest of the semiconductor world to get a look at where our industry is heading.

Between our booth demos and educational sessions, we had plenty of things we wanted other attendees to see. Here were our biggest highlights of APEC 2018:

Consumers are eyeing fast charging over long battery lives

For years, battery life has been the biggest thorn in consumers’ sides when buying a new mobile device – or now, virtually any IoT device. Concerns about battery life have long been top of mind for customers and outweighs most other questions they may have about a new phone, tablet or wearable.

But, that trend has been moving in a different direction in recent years.

One of the messages we really wanted to get across in our conversations at APEC – and what we found so many were on board with – was that customers aren’t really prizing long battery lives the way they used to. Instead, they’re satisfied with shorter battery lives as long as it means they can charge their devices faster. Users have become so accustomed to needing to plug their phones into a wall socket multiple times a day that they don’t necessarily mind needing to continue doing that, just as long as the charge happens quickly.

Given the shift, it was no surprise that our RapidCharge™ demos and travel adapters were some of the most highly trafficked parts of the Dialog booth at APEC. Smartphone and device manufacturers know that the priority must no longer be trying to fit more battery into the same, or less, space. Now, the focus is on reducing the size of the adapter and increasing the speed of charging. Customers want fast charging, and they want it in adapters that are easy to take on the go with them – and Dialog is already a step ahead.

GaN holds the key to more cost-efficient data centers

GaN has been a frequent hot topic of discussion at our shows this year, with our SmartGaN™ DA8801 chip being a major part of our presentations at Embedded World and APEC – specifically, the role of GaN in data centers.

We regularly emphasize how SmartGaN empowers manufacturers to physically shrink their power supplies to half their previous size, thanks to a more efficient power-generation design. But, that’s only half of the equation. The other major focus of the DA8801, and GaN as a whole, is its capacity to cut down on power losses and make energy generation more efficient, too.

As we discussed at APEC this year, this has enormous implications for data centers, where GaN implementation can reduce both wasted power and heat consumption. These both present significant opportunities for major cost reductions at data centers – exactly the kind of feature that drew APEC attendees to check out Dialog’s GaN offerings at the show.

Industry Session Paper Presentations

Dialog presented two Industry session papers at APEC: The Emerging Application of USB PD for Rapid Charging in Mobile Devices and Solutions for Fast Charging.

The first was regarding the trends in AC/DC power adaptors for mobile devices, from the traditional low-power, fixed-output power supplies to today’s higher power level, higher power density, variable-output travel adaptors supporting multiple communication protocols including USB PD.

The second one focused on fast charging solutions for smartphones as their battery capacities continue to increase and charging time needs to be reduced. It highlighted the benefits of master-slave charging configuration and capacitive divider-based direct charging solution, including Dialog ICs. A teardown analysis of two high-end smartphones was included, which confirmed the use of direct charging to reduce power dissipation and achieve cooler case temperature even during fast charging.

Catch up on everything Dialog saw, did and brought to the show floor so far this year with our recaps of CES, Mobile World Congress and Embedded World. And, stay tuned to our blog as we continue to dive into the present capabilities, and future opportunities, of innovations like GaN and fast charging.