Arctic Sand Nabs Funding to Commercialize Switched-Capacitance Power Conversion Technology

January 16, 2013 by Jeff Shepard

MIT spin-off Arctic Sand Technologies has raised funding to develop more efficient circuitry for computers and mobile devices. The Cambridge-based company secured $9.6 million in series A funding from venture investors Arsenal Venture Partners, Dialog Semiconductor, Energy Technology Ventures, Northwater Capital, and Analog Devices co-founder Ray Stata. Energy Technology Ventures is an investment vehicle created by ConocoPhilips, GE, and utility NRG Energy.

Arctic Sand says its semiconductor technology reduces power conversion loss in dc-dc power converters, which are used in power management integrated circuits, by 50 percent. Its patented TIPS™ (Transformative Integrated Power Solutions) technology uses a unique approach for conversion, based on switch capacitive techniques. The technology facilitates the use of smaller inductive components, resulting in increased efficiency and an overall higher power density factor over and above today's competing technologies, delivering significant advantages in portable and data center applications.

Dr Nadia Shalaby, CEO and Co-Founder, Arctic Sand Technologies, commented, "We are very pleased to have attracted investment and support of Dialog, which already provides power management technology to some of the world's biggest smartphone and portable device vendors. This strategic investment will help us accelerate the commercialization of our technology."

Mark Tyndall, Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy at Dialog Semiconductor, said, "As part of our advanced technology development strategy, we support innovative start-up companies for emerging technologies. Arctic Sand's TIPS power management technology, together with their MIT relationship, perfectly complements our technology portfolio and Dialog's support of such technologies will help us maintain leadership at the forefront of power management innovation."

The company says its technology is done using a standard CMOS process on silicon, avoiding higher-cost materials and processes. Its approach is different than existing products in that energy is stored electrically during power conversion, rather than with magnetic devices, and there is a constant, rather than impulse, current, according to the company.