Apple (News - Alert) is on a new “power trip,” according to sleuths at the AppleInsider Web site. The Cupertino, California-based computer industry leader and cultural beacon currently seeks a “Senior DC-DC Power System Design Engineer,” which indicates to enthusiasts (known as Apple fanboys) that their next product fix will offer longer system run-time and sleeker, more compact packaging.
Electronic switch DC to DC power converters are reaching a “tipping point” in the electronics industry, as demand continues to grow for portable electronic devices, such as cellular phones, laptops, tablets, MP3 players and DVD players. Many of these devices incorporate a variety of loads – LCD display, memory, mini microprocessor, Universal Series Bus (USB), hard disk drive – each of which operates at a specific voltage level that may be higher or lower than what is available from the built-in battery (for example, the lithium-ion battery used in the MacBook, or the lithium-polymer battery used in the iPad and the iPhone (News - Alert)).
Switch-mode DC to DC converters change one DC voltage level to another by storing the input energy temporarily and then releasing that energy to the output at a different voltage. Therefore, they unilaterally recharge all loads – and save space, in comparison to using multiple batteries to achieve the same effect.
The job listing describes the role as "an excellent opportunity to work on the forefront of new power management technologies," and notes that the new hire “ will be driving innovative power circuit designs and system level partitioning from concept investigation and design [through] successful product level implementation.”
More specifically, the position “primarily involves advance[d] DC-DC power design and development for Apple’s next -generation Macintosh platforms spanning from notebook computers, desktop computers, servers and standalone displays. " The candidate will also be involved in optimizing power use with "white LED backlight drivers," related to the LCD screens found on Apple's iMac and MacBook lineups.
Candidates must hold an MSEE degree in power electronics (a PhD is preferred) and have at least eight years of direct experience, as well as deep knowledge “of IMVP DC-DC power conversion topologies, including analog and digital controls loop.” The ability to work well with cross-functional teams is also important, and the new hire must be willing to occasionally travel overseas.
Although Apple has denied any overheating concerns about the new iPad, it is possible that the electronic switch DC to DC power converters also could address that problem. The company sold three million of the new iPads during the product’s first three days on the market.
Edited by Braden Becker