Empower Promises Speed and Energy Savings with new Line of Integrated Voltage RegulatorsJune 23, 2020 by Antonio Anzaldua Jr.
Empower Semiconductor’s integrated voltage regulators (IVR) eliminate the use of external discrete components to target challenges in power delivery for data-intensive applications.
The semiconductor manufacturer out of Milpitas, California, has produced a family of power management ICs that will positively impact the energy-saving capabilities of data centers.
The EP70XX IVR product line, which will have single, dual, and triple outputs, giving the user full integration of multiple voltage rails in this integrated circuit.
Empower’s high-performance IVRs have densities nearly 10 times reduced in the power management area. Image courtesy of Empower Semiconductor.
Integrated voltage regulators (IVR) are high performing switching regulators that integrate all discrete components into a single device. Thus eliminating the need for external discrete components typically used in power management ICs such as resistors, capacitors, and inductors.
Empower’s IVR Technology
Empower’s patented IVR technology integrates several components into a single IC while increasing overall efficiency and decreasing the footprint.
The EP70XX product line is a family of power management ICs that will provide a fast transient response at a small footprint, according to Empower.
Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Empower Semiconductor, Time Phillips said, “The combination of density, speed, and efficiency is allowing designers to utilize our products in groundbreaking ways, enabling breakthrough levels of system performance.”
Empower IVR products to exhibit ultra-fast dynamic voltage scaling and enable processor power state changes in nanoseconds. Image used courtesy of Empower Semiconductor.
Traditional DC/DC converters must operate at low frequencies to achieve high efficiency. The EP70XX family displays peak efficiencies of up to 91% with a nearly flat efficiency curve up through 10A of output current.
The low operating frequency makes low bandwidth with large output and input filtering to achieve a reasonable transient response. According to Empower, the IVR devices showcase faster dynamic voltage scaling than competing products, enabling fast and lossless processor state changes that can save 30% or more of processor power.
The EP70XX family showcases extensive programmability for a wide range of current and output configurations and cut down on needing external discrete components. Power designers can proliferate the EP70XX across nearly all designs and platforms.
Empower Semiconductor was founded in 2014. The group’s goal is to design one all-encompassing device while eliminating the need for external discrete components.
The company will launch 8 EP70XX products in the family this year that will improve vision and graphic processors, optical transceivers, and other networking hardware found in data centers said Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Empower.
"We could add many more devices. But as a smaller startup company, you really have to focus. So that's why we've narrowed it down to these," Shultis said. "It's also why I say we could extend it further. It's unlike anything you see in the industry."
The footprint of traditional power solutions compared to Empower’s Semiconductor. Image courtesy of Empower Semiconductor.
Expanding the IVR Market
It is clear what Empower’s IVR technology will do for data centers but what other markets can we expect to see them tackle? AI applications are driving massive bandwidth growth in data centers with exponential growth in power consumption.
The AI industry faces many challenges but one of the lingering challenges is power management. The IVR technology presented by Empower will simplify AI processors by providing tight voltage accuracy and real-time performance monitoring, reporting, and configuring.
Empower Semiconductor intends on gaining momentum toward the end of this year by hitting full production in December of 2020. The manufacturer plans on using its IVR technology to address a six billion dollar opportunity in applications that include mobile devices, 5G, AI, and data centers.
As remote work becomes the new norm and daily life relies heavily on powerful data centers and bandwidth infrastructures, Shultis said the challenge of enhancing power management capabilities is a welcome one.
"Working from home is the model now, and it's a new challenge but it's here to stay," Shultis said. "That has driven network needs from our partners and customers in power management and performance to increase bandwidth — increase the data. That's ideal for us."