Power Electronics

DATA POINTS

UIC Receives Procter and Gamble Donation

Users of cellular phones, pagers, cameras, and other next generation portable electronic devices may see vast improvements in the products they use as a result of a donation made by Procter & Gamble to the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).

P&G has donated the patents and accompanying intellectual property of its proprietary Smart Power Management (SPM) Technology to UIC and has turned the project over to electrical and computer engineering Professor Krishna Shenai.

The donation also includes research funding, three years coverage of patent maintenance fees, and semiconductor equipment for research use. Shenai will license all patents to a start-up company, Empower Systems.

SPM technology enables the development of a “charge pump”; a power management microchip that assists batteries in delivering required power in a sustained manner.

“P&G computer models showed it can work,” said Shenai. “Now we have to take up the process and deliver the goods. Charge pumps can now double battery life — but sometimes at twice the cost of a typical battery. We have to double the life at half the cost.”

Shenai will continue to teach as a full-time UIC faculty member. For more information visit www.uic.edu.

Dynex and Ecostar Join to Fabricate Prototype Semiconductor Modules

Dynex Semiconductor, Lincoln, U.K., and Ecostar Electric Drive Systems, Dearborn, Mich., joined to fabricate prototype power semiconductor modules for potential use in electric vehicles and power conversion systems. Ecostar will design the power module, while Dynex provides power module process and manufacturing expertise and IGBT knowledge to optimize the design and fabricate prototypes.

The project focuses on prototype power modules, incorporating the latest IGBT technology to provide efficient power conversion and inverter motor drives.

“This represents another milestone in our power product development,” said Dr. Paul Taylor, chief technology office for Dynex. “Ecostar's selection of Dynex for this project demonstrates the strength of our technology in the power electronics market.”

To learn more, visit the Web at www.dynex.com and www.ecostar.com.

Software Fueling Battery Charger Markets

A pressing challenge for many manufacturers in the battery market is to develop chargers that avoid overheating miniaturized batteries. To meet this fast-rising demand, manufacturers are using software to optimize charging. According to new analysis by San Antonio-based Frost & Sullivan, an international marketing consulting and training firm, the U.S. Battery Charger Market rose to $1.66 billion in 2000 and is expected to increase through 2007, with a projected industry revenue reaching $3.10 billion.

“Environmental concerns will help ignite demand for automotive battery chargers,” says Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Sara Bradford. “Concern over carbon emissions has resulted in numerous governmental incentives to transform carbon fuel to electric fuel applications, such as electric vehicles.”

To learn more, visit www.frost.com.

Intersil and Primarion To Codevelop Digital Power Management Solutions

Intersil Corporation, Irvine, Calif., and Primarion, Tempe, Ariz., will form an alliance to codevelop digital power management solutions for high-end desktop PCs, servers, and notebook PCs.

“Primarion understands high-performance power delivery and the dynamic power demands of the next generation microprocessors,” said Rick Furtney, vice president and general manager of Intersil's Analog Business Unit. “The combination of Intersil and Primarion's engineering and technical proficiencies coupled with our global leadership in PC/server power management and channels to market will help accelerate the development of multi-GHz power management solutions.”

Intersil will license key aspects of Primarion's new power architecture and codevelop digital controller and Megahertz regulation ICs for server, desktop and mobile applications. The architecture includes four elements: Gigahertz regulation technology (developed by Primarion), Megahertz and digital control technologies (codeveloped by Intersil and Primarion), and a communication bus.

For additional information, visit the Web at www.intersil.com and www.primarion.com

Gowanda Electronics Opens Global Facility

Gowanda Electronics, manufacturer and supplier of RF and Power Inductors, recently celebrated the opening of its Global Facility in Gowanda, N.Y. The 40,000-sq-ft facility houses the company's headquarters, manufacturing, engineering, sales, and product development, replacing three small facilities in the Gowanda, N.Y. area.

“Construction of this new facility demonstrates our commitment to the local community and global electronics marketplace,” says David Schaack, President of Gowanda Electronics. “By having all of our operation under one roof in this state-of-the-art facility, we will benefit from enhanced work flow and improved communication throughout our organization.”

Since the firm's inception in 1963, Gowanda Electronics has experienced rapid growth, meeting the demand for electronic components.

Gowanda Electronics recently received an award for “Manufacturing Excellence” from the Western New York Technology Development Center. This award recognizes the company's advancements with respect to the implementation of lean business practices.

Fuji Electric Acquires Collmer Semiconductor Distribution Business

Fuji Electric of Japan, a major producer of power semiconductor and other semiconductor devices, has acquired the distribution business of Collmer Semiconductor, naming it Fuji Semiconductor Inc. (FSI). The manufacturing division of Collmer Semiconductor, Dallas, will continue under the name of High Voltage Power Systems, Inc.

Mr. Ishibashi, executive vice president of Fuji Electric said, “We expect to make continuing progress in the U.S. market with uninterrupted customer service as we move forward.” The business transition planning has been underway for the last year, and many of the Collmer management and sales team have become part of the new company.

Mr. Collmer, president of Collmer Semiconductor, will serve as advisor to Fuji Semiconductor for two years.

For more information, visit www.fujisemiconductor.com or www.collmer.com.

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