First port of capacitance power converter to 0.18μm process

March 15, 2017 // By Nick Flaherty
Semitrex re-branded to Helix Semiconductors
Helix Semiconductors has ported its capacitance-based power management technology to a 0.18μm process for the first time, opening up 400V designs.

Using the 0.18μm process allows single-stage conversion efficiencies over 98 percent with lower on-resistance and significantly improved current handling characteristics. The jump in performance has increased the power rating of Helix Semiconductors' chipset from 10W at 1μm to 50W to 75W. The smaller geometry also allows for a smaller die and smaller packages, which can lead to space savings and smaller, less expensive assemblies. Additionally, by supporting high voltages of over 400V, MuxCapacitor technology provides the same high efficiency when used with any AC mains voltage worldwide.

With electricity grids around the globe burdened to the brink of failure, massive energy shortages being predicted due to all of the connected devices on the internet of things (IoT), multiple government entities enacting strict energy efficiency standards, and vampire loads wasting more than $80 billion per year, it's clear that the time is now to address the way power conversions are being made.

"The switch to a 0.18 micron process, something that has never been done before, opens the door to advancements across the entire field of power conversions," said Harold Blomquist, president and CEO of Helix Semiconductors, which recently changed its name from Semitrex. "Our competitors all employ a traditional, legacy approach to power conversion. More specifically, they base their conversions on inductance and the use of transformers. Our technology is capacitance based, which allows us to achieve [these] efficiencies."

Applications for the technology include IoT sensors and gateways as well as external power adapters and chargers, white goods user interfaces, wireless access points, VoIP phones, telecom and data centre line cards, electric vehicles and solar converters.

"From the semiconductor fabrication level on up through systems design, we are aggressively developing new technology that provides unprecedented efficiencies in normal operation, low power and no-power scenarios," said Blomquist. "These improvements will save energy, alleviate overburdened power grids and lower pollution." The company stands poised to further the advancement of its .18 micron MuxCapacitor technology, and has multiple