Power electronics are a key element in all kinds of systems and are important for addressing the world's energy challenges. This talk describes emerging approaches in the design of power electronics that seek to address the twin challenges of miniaturization and improved performance. Through architectures and topologies that minimize magnetic energy storage, the scaling limitations of magnetic components can be offset, leading to smaller, higher-performance power converters. One such approach is the use of hybrid switched-capacitor/magnetic conversion. To illustrate this, the talk describes a hybrid "multi-track" converter for telecom applications that provides a 5:1 input voltage range while achieving a power density of > 450 W/in3, over 3 times that of the best comparable commercial design. The use of greatly increased switching frequencies to provide miniaturization is also explored. We demonstrate this in the context of ac-dc converters for supplying low voltage from the grid, and show a prototype design operating in the 3-10 MHz range that achieves greatly improved power density as compared to conventional converters.
David Perreault received the B.S. degree from Boston University and the S.M. and Ph.D. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, all in Electrical Engineering. He is presently Professor and Associate Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research interests include design, manufacturing, and control techniques for power electronic systems and components, and in their use in a wide range of applications. Dr. Perreault is a Fellow of the IEEE and is the recipient of awards including the IEEE R. David Middlebrook Achievement Award for his work in power electronics. He has co-authored seven IEEE prize papers in the area, and co-founded startup companies Eta Devices (acquired by Nokia in 2016) and Eta Wireless, Inc.