Q: Why the choice of motion trackers for energy savings?
A: When you look at where the maximum amount of energy is used, you will see that 60% of the world’s energy is used to physically moving things. That’s where the energy goes. So, if you make something smarter in a way that they use energy more efficiently to move, it’s cleaner and smarter. That’s why we are focused on the Internet of Things. Yes, this also means that we are not focused on stuff like smart fridge or other appliances like that.
Q: What are R&D teams of semiconductor companies like yours working on to help tackle rising energy consumption?
A: While every end-market is in a different state of evolution, they are all progressing towards power system in a package. So, when you do power systems in a package, you can run switching power supply at high frequency because there’s less wasted power due to switching losses. As a result, the solution is smaller and improves your energy density. When we provide such a solution, we are able to capture more of the system. It makes it easier for the engineers to design, and that is one of the most important factors for customers. With a power system in a package, both energy density and time to market gets better.
Q: I’m sure our design engineers would want to know how unique this technology is compared to the competing components.
A: When we look at power systems, they contain controllers, drivers, low or medium voltage FETs, high voltage IGBTs, MOSFETs, sensing and isolation to ensure that these come together to form a useful and safe product. There are a lot of people who are into the business of making these individual components. However, if you look at the number of companies who can make all of these technologies understanding the system and applications, then that number is less. When you look at the number of companies who can do so using a power system in a package, you might get just two or three.
Q: What do these newer components offer the end user of a product?
A: Cleaner sources of energy will need a lot of enabling electronics, for storage and for conversion of voltage or inversion from AC to DC. Each time energy is converted, inverted or transmitted; there is an amount of energy that is lost. The newer technology, when deployed across many devices along the route of power transmission, will have a cumulative effect on power savings that will make solar, wind and other clean sources of energy price competitive with fossil fuels in the future.
Q: What do these newer components offer the manufacturer, who is trying to reduce the cost of making their product?
A: One thing you might have noticed is that the newer more efficient adaptors are smaller as well. The old big brick adaptors that you had delivered an efficiency of about 30%, while the newer ones, like the one used for the iPhone, are about 70%. Not only are these products more efficient to use, they take less energy to build. When you make the components smaller and make the energy density better, there is another benefit that comes out of it. The amount of materials that goes into this product is also reduced. For example, let’s consider that you are using a power supply. Now if you build a power supply at 50KHz, and then build another switching power supply where you can go up to 300KHz, all the components around it become smaller. If you keep the same efficiency you can reduce the size of the external components by a factor of six.