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Advanced Planar magnetics

State-of-the-art Magnetics for State-of-the-art Power

Due to their precision, reliability, and superior electro-thermo-mechanical performance, planar magnetics are the technical choice for high density and high frequency power conversion. The benefits of planar magnetics can be further capitalized through on-board integration, reducing assembly complexity, and improving reliability. Together with novel thermal management solutions, embedded planar magnetics can unlock additional capacity and performance without the technical overhead of traditional wire-wound magnetics.

Embedded planar magnetics, like their predecessors, are necessary for the galvanic, as well as to adapt the output voltage to the proper level. In such units, size is directly related to switching frequency, higher frequencies translating into smaller volume, and also into higher efficiency. With frequencies well above 200kHz, the major obstacles to ongoing performance improvements in power supplies are the limitations inherent in conventional "wire-wound-on-a-bobbin" transformers and companion inductors. Transformers made of the planar principle eliminate virtually all the shortcomings of old-fashioned wire wound types. In a planar design, the windings are made out of copper-foil lead frames, printed circuit boards, or even flat wire assemblies. These windings are then sandwiched, along with appropriate insulators, between large area, yet thin, state-of-the-art ferrite cores. This construction technique yields a host of benefits that can include low profile structure, high power density, improved heat dissipation, low leakage inductance, and highly controllable transformer parasitics.

The Challenges of Advanced Planar Magnetics for High Power Applications

While planar magnetics offer evolutionary benefits to high power and high density power conversion solutions, these benefits require additional focus to specific engineering and integration factors. At higher operating frequencies, ferrite material and core geometry selection and implementation are critical. Sourcing itself can be problematic given that the supply chains for high permeability materials are still growing and developing. Along these lines, high power densities equate to higher core flux densities as well. Avoiding core saturation while maintaining high densities can prove to be quite challenging. As with all technologies that seek to push physics to its edge, planar magnetics require tighter and tighter tolerance in design, assembly, and operation. With use cases such as Zero Voltage Switching (ZVS), poor tolerance bands can negate all topology benefits.

The SET Group Difference

Engineering and integration factors present new and complex challenges to any power conversion technology that seeks to leverage planar magnetics. This is why SET group has developed experience, tools, and even IP over the years.  

  • We have a deep understanding of electromagnetic components design. Our knowledge in RF and wireless power, has provided us with the tools to understand high frequency operation of magnetics (materials, designs). 
  • We use high-end software such as Maxwell and provide us with a deep understanding on how our magnetics designs interact at all levels of integration.
  • We have developed proprietary tools to quickly develop high power magnetics, optimizing core material, geometry, construction, and cost to maximize power density. 
  • We have designed novel geometries and design architectures including coreless transformers, and additive-manufactured ferrite cores for novel power solutions.

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Precise and Robust Magnetics Today!