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This paper reviews data from the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors to establish where dc-dc converters are headed in the first decade of the new millennium. It focuses on the high performance computing (high current, fast response, high power density) and portable/handheld (low profile) sectors. Magnetics and power device packaging technologies needed to allow power supplies to move to operating frequencies in the 1-10 MHz region are discussed. It introduces the concept of magnetic components fully embedded (windings and core) in PCB and silicon offering low profile and low losses at high frequency. It also reviews developments in wirebond-free power packaging such as flip-chip assembly that offer low profile, reduced parasitics and increased thermal performance. Finally, consideration is given to the changes in the power electronics industry that may need to be addressed to enable these new technologies to play a strategic role.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2004