Capacitive Isolation Concept Board from Helix Passes UL Testing

June 19, 2018 by Paul Shepard

Fabless power semiconductor company Helix Semiconductors today announced that its patent-pending approach to capacitive isolation, implemented in the company's capacitive isolation concept board, has passed UL testing required under the IEC 60950-1:2005 standard. The successful completion of UL testing furthers Helix Semiconductors' mission to enable industry-leading power density power solutions by replacing transformers with capacitors in ac-dc power supplies.

According to Bud Courville, Helix Semiconductors VP of business development, "This represents a critical step in making transformerless chipsets a reality."

As an ever-growing number of electronic devices demand more power, new solutions are needed that offer higher power density, higher efficiency and significantly smaller form factors. Traditional power conversion approaches, such as transformer-based voltage reduction, just don't cut it and a different approach is needed.

By eliminating transformers and transferring power across a capacitive isolation barrier, transformerless ac-dc power supply products can be created that result in more than 10x power density improvement with average efficiencies greater than 94 percent. These products will also have a significantly smaller footprint, making them suited for potentially eliminating that bulky "brick" and integrating the power module into the appliance being powered.

UL standards are recognized as some of the highest safety benchmarks in the world, and Helix Semiconductors' concept board was reviewed for everything from SELV to touch current, overcurrent, overvoltage, and electric strength. The concept board uses chips based on Helix Semiconductors' core energy-efficiency technology, MuxCapacitor™, on the primary and secondary sides.

"Getting more power in less space is the industry mantra behind all mobile and IoT devices and is the key to further mobility enablement in a future with less energy waste," noted Helix Semiconductors  President and CEO Harold A. Blomquist.

"Helix Semiconductors is committed to this vision, and we are leading the demand for more energy-efficient power supplies in the burgeoning ac-dc and dc-dc markets. Passing UL testing is an important step for the future release of transformerless chipsets, such as our MxC 300, and assures customers that the path to transformer replacement is free of roadblocks," concluded Blomquist.