Distributor Silica creates design-support programme for power

May 01, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
Avnet company Silica has announced an investment in training and customer support for power-electronics design; following the pattern it established in microcontrollers and embedded design (“Core 'n More”) the new programme is to be called Power 'n More.

A “7-figure” investment has been put in place to boost technical support for power system designs at device and system levels across every phase of the design cycle, with the objective of growing Silica's share of the market for power semiconductors sold via distribution in the European region. Power 'n More will sit alongside the MCU programme, and “ArchiTech”, which is Silica's branding for its design-tools offering.

Silica’s regional vice president of sales for Central Europe and Executive Sponsor for Power ’n More, Karlheinz Weigl, believes that, “With the continuing trend for energy saving in electronic systems, designers need more and more support to align with the relentless wave of new regulations and directives. To date, engineers have been hampered by a lack of in-depth expertise and know-how across the distribution channel.”

“Through Power ’n More we plan to establish ourselves as the ‘Power Experts’ among European customers and suppliers. To attain this goal, we have invested heavily in training and education to instil in staff at all levels a culture focused on a detailed understanding of the needs of our power customers.”

Silica says it will develop the facilities to support designers from system specification, architecture definition and topology, through to assistance on best-fit device selection, PCB layout or EMC analysis. It has set up a layered strategy; the core of the power expertise lies with 14 field-application engineers who have received a total of 1700 hours of targeted training; they will support 25 analogue FAES who have also had additional power training; and 55 of the company's digitally-oriented FAEs have been briefed with basic power knowledge, and can forward enquireies to their colleagues. Making it clear that the company will stop short of an involvement in design consultancy – or, actually executing designs – Weigl says that Silica will also develop a network of ‘Platinum’ independent consultants who will be able to contract customers' designs if needed.