Power Electronics

Chipmaker Brands Products That Promote Energy Efficiency

National Semiconductor is expanding use of its PowerWise brand to identify the company’s analog and power management ICs that best promote energy efficiency in their end applications. The PowerWise brand is now being used to identify three categories of components:

  • Products with outstanding performance-to-power ratios
  • Products that provide an energy-efficient system design when used with other PowerWise ICs
  • National’s adaptive voltage scaling (AVS) intellectual property (IP)

Originally, the PowerWise name was applied only to the last category of AVS IP, which has been used in voltage regulators that power microprocessors in handheld products. The extension of the PowerWise Brand helps designers to address requirements for energy efficiency over a much wider range of power levels.

The company declines to specify its criteria for labeling specific products with the PowerWise brand. However, National offers some insights into how these parts are selected. For example, the company notes that products in the first category would be ones with “inherent energy efficiency” such as synchronous voltage regulators. This category also includes analog signal path ICs such as three high-speed differential amplifiers that were recently introduced. One of these is the LMH6552, a 1.5-GHz current feedback amplifier that consumes just 112 mW. Other PowerWise products include interface and data conversion ICs.

According to Gayle Bullock, Public Relations Program Manager at National Semiconductor, only about 10% of the company’s products or roughly 300 part numbers qualify as PowerWise products. “We had pretty strict criteria internally,” says Bullock, although the company has decided not to publish its criteria. However, Bullock, notes that in the future, the company may specify figures-of-merit for PowerWise products.

According to National, the company is uniquely positioned to enable energy-efficient systems with its leadership in power management products and design tools; innovation in high-performance, analog signal-path products; proprietary low-power analog process and packaging technologies; and its IP portfolio.

Going forward, National will further develop its PowerWise product families, suite of tools, online simulators and documentation to assist customers with their energy-efficient designs. In addition, National will partner with leading technology providers to provide low-power, end-to-end design solutions. For more information about the PowerWise brand, see powerwise.national.com.

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