As we advance power density innovation to help engineers package more power into smaller spaces, businesses and consumers will benefit from more efficient, more durable electronics and more reliable digital connectivity.
It is expected that electronic devices can work at any time and anywhere in need. These devices are powered on day and night – opening online meetings, playing favorite TV shows, and connecting people to each other.
Cecelia Smith, vice president of Texas Instruments and general manager of boost and multi-channel / multiphase DC-DC product line, said: “our current environment is closely related to the accessibility of each other through technology. Imagine how much you rely on laptops and smartphones every day, as well as video conferencing applications implemented through cloud servers. All of this requires more efficient power delivery. “
Even before companies generally moved to work from home during the new epidemic, nearly half of the U.S. workforce was telecommuting – demand for digital services and efficient data retrieval and storage soared. The increasing market trends, including automotive electrification, the online application of 5g, and the growing demand for energy grids, have driven the growth of demand for data and power.
Higher power density – encapsulating more power into smaller spaces and increasing efficiency – is key to improving electronics, enhancing digital connectivity, improving the driving experience, etc.
How can we break the power limit by developing new technologies, packaging and circuit design technologies.
Steve lambouses, vice president of high voltage power solutions at Texas Instruments, said: “it’s critical to do more with less power because our demand for data and more connected devices will not slow down. Improving power density is a key issue in every market, such as the launch of 5g systems or the increasing popularity of electric and hybrid vehicles. People expect to see significant improvements in performance, such as data download speed or vehicle mileage per charge, but do not want to see an increase in battery size or power consumption. At the same time, we expect new technologies to be more reliable and cost-effective. “
Semiconductor technology can improve our life by making power supply work more intelligent and adapting to smaller space in three ways:
More efficient systems in the same space
Data centers that power Internet search, protect e-mail from virus attacks, and support video calls are growing to 50000 square feet and larger. Limited scalable space makes engineers face greater challenges.
Mark Gary, vice president of Texas Instruments’ buck DC / DC switching regulator, said: “with the popularity of home office mode, enterprise computing demand is surging, which also increases the demand for additional cloud space. The data center needs more and more power, but the rack size in the server room has not changed. We must get more power in a smaller space. “
At the same time, due to higher temperature will increase the operating cost, interfere with the network signal and lead to premature failure of devices, heat dissipation is also very important. After nearly a decade of continuous innovation on the same device – each improvement is based on the last improvement – the team launched the power chip. Engineers can stack them together to get more power and distribute heat.
“Since the launch of the first series in 2011, the power density in the same footprint has doubled,” Mark said. This is of great significance to the data center market and 5g base station market. We need to be able to provide more power to small radio access points on streetlights and power poles – the backbone of 5g networks – to deliver faster data without increasing their size. “
More efficient Gan, more economical and practical electronic products
Imagine thousands of 5g radio access points on poles across the United States, each with a fan to cool the power that controls the Internet connection in the neighborhood. Every time the fan stops working, the maintenance personnel must be mobilized to restore the connection and normal operation.
The main force of any power management system is an electrical switch that can quickly switch on and off the power supply. The switching frequency of Gan is much higher than that of silicon, which improves the efficiency, reduces the total space required for power supply, and eliminates the need for fan cooling.
“Gan enables smaller, more efficient, more reliable electric vehicles, industrial systems, medical devices, consumer electronics, and aerospace and defense systems at lower production costs,” Steve said. Customers can double or triple their power output without increasing cost or size. “
The reduction in space has a ripple effect: fewer physical materials, devices, and more integration of solutions will reduce costs. This will further translate into more economical, practical and efficient electronic products, and also have the opportunity to add more functions and improve the user experience.
“There’s a lot of demand for power in the market for technologies like gallium,” says Mark. In the automotive sector, gallium nitride has the potential to achieve smaller and smaller electronic products to reduce vehicle weight and cost, thereby helping automobile manufacturers meet the demand for improved fuel economy and reduced carbon dioxide emissions. “
Small chip, big plan
The need for more power to fit into smaller spaces, such as medical devices, remote sensors, or test and measurement instruments, makes integrated components essential.
For example, medical patient monitors require components that protect personnel from hazardous voltages and reduce electromagnetic interference (EMI) – a phenomenon in which signals from all electronic devices interfere with each other.
Nail sized chips can achieve dual tasks: isolating the patient from the power supply and reducing EMI without additional components, significantly reducing the size of the surrounding circuit.
“Our integrated transformer solution reduces EMI, which is a big problem that customers need to spend a lot of money to solve,” Steve said. Now, they don’t have to spend extra cost or take up more space, so they don’t have to try to deploy more intensive solutions in smaller devices. “
This means that portable and wearable health monitors will become a reality, providing greater freedom of movement for patients.
“It’s exciting to be able to help the world achieve more with less power, and this challenge is real in many applications and markets,” Cecelia said. As engineers and consumers, we all know the need for more data, more connected devices, smaller footprint and lower cost. We will provide power management solutions to meet these needs and challenges. “
Reducing the cost of power devices is an example. We are keen to reduce the cost of electronic products through semiconductor technology and make the world a better place. This passion will never die. We will always explore and innovate in the field of integrated circuits. Each generation of innovation is based on the innovation of the previous generation, making the technology smaller, more efficient, more reliable and more affordable, so as to realize the wide application of semiconductors in the field of electronic products, which is the progress of engineering. That’s what we’ve been doing for decades and even now.