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New emerging applications in the areas of portable power generation, small turbocompressors and spindles require the development of ultrahigh-speed, low power electrical drives. A 500 000 r/min, 100 W electrical drive system is presented. Because of the ultrahigh-speed requirements, standard machine design and power electronic topology choices no longer apply and the complete drive system has to be considered. A permanent magnet machine with a slotless litz-wire winding is used, which results in a low motor inductance and a high fundamental machine frequency. Three different combinations of power electronic topologies and commutation strategies have been experimentally investigated. A voltage source inverter with block commutation and an additional dc-dc converter is selected as the most optimal choice for the power electronics interface as it results in the lowest volume of the entire drive system due to lower switching losses, no heat sink cooling required, a small number of semiconductor devices, and relatively simple control implementation in a low cost digital signal processor.