Chipset Enables 5mW or Lower Standby Power

March 28, 2017 by Power Pulse1595211359

This week at the Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC), fabless power semiconductor company Helix Semiconductors has launched the first in a series of products designed to eliminate energy waste worldwide. The new eMpower HS100 is a two-chip set that brings unparalleled conversion efficiency of more than 95 percent when converting ac mains voltage to 5Vdc -- especially at light load, no load or standby operating conditions. At full loads, the eMpower HS100 enables efficiency of greater than 93 percent. APEC attendees can see a demonstration of the eMpower HS100 chipset by visiting Helix Semiconductors' booth #1338 on the exhibition floor of the Tampa Convention Center.

The introduction of the eMpower HS100 chipset represents the culmination of the momentum that Helix Semiconductors has been building of late, beginning with a corporate rebranding and the introduction of a new management team. The new chipset brings to life Helix Semiconductors' efforts to address the overburdened nature of electricity grids around the globe, and offers an answer to the regulatory pressures being exerted by governments for more efficient power conversions.

Industry leaders have set an aggressive target for power consumed by electronic appliances when in an inactive, or standby, mode. Dubbed 'Zero Power,' the goal is specified as less than or equal to 5mW. At the present time, only systems implementing Helix Semiconductors' eMpower HS100 device will be able to come anywhere near achieving Zero Power.

Based on Helix Semiconductors' patented MuxCapacitor® voltage reduction technology, the eMpower HS100 converts North American (120Vac) or Japanese (90Vac) mains to 5Vdc at 10W, and European (240Vac) mains to 5Vdc at 5W.

Key features include: 85- to 264-Vac input range; Soft-start; 5V, 2A output at 120Vac; 5V, 1A output at 240Vac; ±5 percent output voltage regulation; > 93 percent efficiency at 2A; > 95 percent efficiency at 200mA.

According to Harold A. Blomquist, president and CEO of Helix Semiconductors, "Our patented technology is letting us forge a path to a future where power grids aren't incredibly overloaded, rolling blackouts and brownouts are not something we must deal with, and fundamentally unstable power from the grid is a thing of the past. At Helix Semiconductors, we envision a future where our digital electronic devices won't be wasting trillions of megawatt hours of electricity while sitting idle or waiting to be plugged in and charged. Power that is provided more efficiently will clear the way for these devices to serve their true purpose: enhancing our quality of life."

Applications that will benefit from Helix Semiconductors' eMpower HS100 chipset include smartphone chargers, smart outlets, IoT gateways, remote sensors, smoke alarms, smart LED lighting, thermostats, and more.

Helix Semiconductors' product roadmap builds on the release of the eMpower HS100 with future implementations being developed in smaller geometries. Next-generation products include a 0.18-micron chipset for higher power applications, and a 48V dc-dc device for Power over Ethernet and datacom/telecom applications -- all built on Helix Semiconductors' MuxCapacitor voltage conversion IP.

The eMpower HS100 is now in the initial stages of sampling. Production samples will be available in the May-June 2017 time frame, with fully qualified production devices being available in volume starting in the September 2017 time frame.