These passive components also shrink in size and offer extended operating temp ranges

By Jean-Jacques DeLisle, contributing writer

An inductor, sometimes called a coil, choke,
or reactor, is a passive two-terminal electrical component that stores energy
in a magnetic field when electric current flows through it. Inductors
traditionally consist of an insulated wire wound into a coil around a core, but
that is about to change. These new inductors have surpassed their predecessors
in many unique ways. Here we will look at some of the latest products launched
in the market. 

Pulse Electronics Power BU announced the
release of the new PA434X.XXXANLT series of automotive molded inductors
as
well as the extension of its line of industrial-grade molded inductors by
adding the PA4346 and PA4349 series. 

“With the addition of our new high-temp
automotive-grade molded inductors, Pulse adds yet another dimension to our
capabilities to support the expanding array of product application needs,”
stated Geoffrey Wildman, global marketing manager of Pulse Electronics Power
Business Unit. 

The new inductor series is designed to handle
higher transient current spikes than previous models without the saturation and
thermal aging that caused problems in the past. The new inductors offer a wider
range of operating temperatures as well, making them useful for a variety of
applications that would not have been possible in the past. 

Another new inductor series targeting the
automotive industry is TT Electronics’ new SMD power
inductor
that is well-suited for use in high-efficiency DC/DC converters
using high switching frequencies up to 3 MHz as well as electromagnetic
interference (EMI) and low-pass DC filters. In the automotive industry, the
uses for this AEC-Q200-certified inductor include
powertrain, engine control, transmission control, LED driver, ABS braking
systems, EPS, radar systems, and camera control systems. The inductors are also
being looked at for use in the industrial sectors in high-powered DC
converters. 

The HA66 series has many advantages including
a low-profile, low-loss, and a ferrite-based inductor available with a wide range
of inductances and sizes. The new series comprises a range of 38 inductors with
inductance ratings from 2.5 µH all the way up to 220 µH. The inductors also
offer DC resistances from 0.018 Ω to 0.820 Ω, Irms values from
1.22 A to 11.2A, and high saturation current of up to 4.4 A. They are available in two sizes – 5.7 mm x 5.7 mm x 3 mm, and 6.7 mm x
6.7 mm x 4 mm – making them suitable for high-power-density applications with
space constraints.
These magnetically-shielded parts inductors also feature a much higher
operating temperature range of -40°C to +125°C. 

Also targeting automotive and other
harsh-environment applications is Coilcraft’s XEL50xx family of
high-performance, molded power inductors. These new inductors can provide an
exceptionally low DC resistance and ultra-low AC losses. These advances greatly
improve power converter efficiency at high frequencies up to 2 MHz to 5+ MHz
and can handle a high ripple current.

By using high switching frequencies or high ripple current, the inductors are
able to achieve a lower inductance value, which results in a much more compact
and smaller part, without sacrificing its electrical specifications. The XEL50xx
family inductors measure 5.28 mm x 5.48 mm with a maximum height of 3.2 mm,
which is smaller than previous models.

XEL50xx inductors are qualified to AEC-Q200 Grade 1 standards (-40°C to +125°C
ambient) with a maximum part temperature of +165°C, making them suitable for
automotive and other harsh-environment applications. They feature
RoHS-compliant, tin-silver-over-copper terminations and are halogen free. Their
composite construction also minimizes vibrations which can cause audible
buzzing during operation. 

Vishay Intertechnology announced a
new high current planar choke
that delivers the same performance as
wirewound devices but within a fraction of the space. The IPLA 32 measures 31
mm x 43 mm x 22.2 mm and is rated for currents all the way up to 110 A. This
advancement will allow DC/DC converters to function in only a fraction of the
space that they used to require. 

The IPLA 32 is available with standard
inductance values of 1 μH, 2 μH, 3 μH, and 4 μH. The inductors are also
magnetically shielded for low EMI, and feature high self-resonance frequency
and very stable performance versus temperature, said Vishay. 

Vishay said the IPLA 32 device’s recommended
frequency range of 100 kHz to 800 kHz IPLA 32 will enable more compact and
lightweight DC/DC circuitry in electric and hybrid cars and off-road vehicles
as well as embedded systems.