New Industry Products

Chip Set for Transformerless 65W AC-DCs Co-Developed by Helix Semi and Murata

August 28, 2018 by Paul Shepard

Fabless power semiconductor company Helix Semiconductors today announced Murata Group represented by Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. as the first to co-develop the new MxC™ 300 transformerless chipset for their ac-dc converter modules. Helix Semiconductors' MxC 300 is a two-chip solution that offers the highest power density in the industry - up to 20x higher than transformer-based solutions - for 65W transformerless ac-dc power supply products.

The MxC300 chipset consists of a primary-side Power Controller IC and a secondary-side MuxCapacitor IC which uses Helix's patented MuxCapacitor technology for voltage reduction. The chipset supports USB-C PD3.0 output voltages with load currents of up to 3.25A at 20V.

The MxC300 also enables the management of no-load conditions to meet or exceed a Zero Power requirement of <5mW. Proprietary Helix technology is used to effectively manage the no-load power dissipation while still maintaining the output voltage at the specified value.

Compared with today's transformer-based topologies, Helix Semiconductors' core energy-efficiency technology (MuxCapacitor™) takes a different approach. Using switching capacitors for power conversion, and by transferring power across a capacitive isolation barrier, the new MxC 300 chipset enables the replacement of traditional transformers, which are bulky and less efficient.

(click on diagram to enlarge)

As a result, ac-dc power supplies can realize up to 20x power density improvement over traditional transformer-based architectures - with average efficiencies of greater than 94 percent. Features of the MxC 300 chipset include:

  • Up to 10x Increase in Power Density
  • 85- to 264-Vac Input Voltage
  • UL™ Approved Reference Design
  • Soft-Start
  • 20V, 65W Output
  • 5V, 9V, 15V, 20V Output Voltages
  • ±5% Output Voltage Regulation
  • 95% Average Efficiency
    • 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%
  • < 5mW Zero-Power Mode Consumption
  • I2C Configuration Interface

Typical applications are expected to include:

  • USB-C Compatible Output Voltages
  • Smart Outlets
  • IoT and IIoT Gateways
  • Remote Sensors
  • Smoke and CO Detectors

Murata, a market-leading supplier of dc-dc converters, ac-dc front-end power solutions, and power supplies for lighting, ionizers and active oxygen modules, has partnered with Helix Semiconductors for the development of ac-dc converter modules. The Murata solution with Helix Semiconductors technology will bring maximum power density to Murata's various power solutions and power supplies.

UL™ Approved 65W Transformer-less Reference Design

"When it comes to realizing an energy-efficient future in which not a milliwatt of power is wasted, and a world in which power "bricks" are all but eliminated, it's all about power density," noted Helix Semiconductors President and CEO Harold A. Blomquist.

"Getting the maximum amount of power in the smallest space possible is the key, and Murata's best-in-class, innovative power products will help achieve this. Partnering with a company as highly respected and influential as Murata will maximize market adoption - and bring us closer to that vision of the future than ever before," Blomquist observed.

"In Helix Semiconductors, we have found a technology partner that we truly see eye to eye with," noted Tatsuo Bizen, director of Murata's power modules division. "Helix's core value proposition of efficiency, maximum power density and scalability very closely aligns with our own design approach.

"Eventually, these core elements will be extended to all electronics and forever change the way power is delivered. The technology that Helix provides truly sets us apart from competitors, and we see Helix as an important part of our continued technology leadership and innovation," concluded Bizen.