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Empower Semiconductor Starts IVR Production

March 23, 2023 by Shannon Cuthrell

Empower Semiconductor recently launched volume production on its latest generation of Integrated Voltage Regulators for data centers and other applications. 

California-based Empower Semiconductor recently started volume production on its latest Integrated Voltage Regulators (IVRs) for data centers, telecommunications, and other data-heavy applications. The company is showcasing its EP71xx lineup of power management integrated circuits at this week’s Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC) in Orlando. 

 

Empower Semiconductor recently announced volume production on its EP71xx series of power management ICs. Image used courtesy of Empower Semiconductor 
 

Empower’s EP71xx series, available with a lead time of six to eight weeks, comprises quad-output step-down converters featuring high power density and fast transient response. According to the company’s announcement, EP71xx is designed to pack as much performance into the most compact space, providing eight different products in single- to quad-output channel configurations and multiple power levels per output. It can be used on various field-programmable gate arrays, digital signal processors, and multiple power domains. 

In addition to data centers and telecommunications, the product can also serve home/factory automation and ferromagnetic-sensitive medical applications. 

Measuring 5-by-7 millimeters (mm) and 0.7 mm in height, EP71xx offers 12 amps (A) of continuous current and operates from a 3.3-volt (V) input power rail. It also features an inter-integrated circuit interface for dynamic configuration, an onboard sequencer for controlled power-up/down, and a remote diagnostic suite. The devices can be placed on either side of a PCB and near the load for higher performance. 

 

More About Empower Semiconductor’s Technology

Empower is targeting a market starving for integrated solutions, as traditional power systems require dozens of discrete components with varying levels of efficiency and response times. The company’s IVR (which EE Power previously covered here) packs all those components into a single chip, increasing efficiency and yielding a tenfold reduction in energy footprints. This could be useful in several applications, from mobile devices and wearables to 5G and data centers to artificial intelligence technologies. 

 

Empower Semiconductor’s integrated voltage regulators can serve multiple power management functions in a data center. Image used courtesy of Empower Semiconductor

 

In 2020, Empower introduced its high-performing “E-CAP” capacitor for IoT, wearable, mobile device, and system-on-a-chip applications, designed to provide higher performance than multilayer ceramic capacitors. 

The company’s latest EP71xx family marks a step up from its previous EP70xx series, which was announced in 2020 and entered mass production in July 2021 after nearly six years of development. EP70xx launched as a 5-by-5 mm package offering up to 10 times higher current density, three times tighter accuracy in transients, and 1,000 times faster dynamic voltage scaling than competing products. 

The company unveiled its new EP71xx series at the APEC 2022 event last March, marking its first quad-output series. EP71xx offers up to 12A of continuous current, an output voltage of up to 2.5V and an input voltage of 3.3V, and fully programmable power sequencing. 

 

A demo of Empower’s IVR technology at last year’s APEC. Video used courtesy of Empower Semiconductor 

 

Empower has raised over $75 million to date. Its latest round closed earlier this month, with an undisclosed group of international “strategic and institutional investors” providing $30 million in equity financing—doubling the company’s previous valuation. In 2021, it raised a $45 million series C1 equity financing round led by Taiwan-based venture capital firm Mesh Ventures, with additional participation from existing investors, including the Samsung Catalyst Fund, Hallador, and Regal I. 

The company also received a $985,978 award from the United States Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy for a project running from 2018 to 2020.