Fairchild & Zilker Labs Enter Partnership To Provide Point-of-Load Digital Power Products

May 18, 2008 by Jeff Shepard

Fairchild Semiconductor and Zilker Labs announced that they have entered into an agreement to manufacture and sell digital power products, including point-of-load power devices, targeted at the server, networking, graphics and high-end desktop applications.

"We’re pleased to be able to expand our industry-leading power management product offering, particularly in the digital power area. This partnership allows Fairchild to manufacture and sell digital power products and enhances our working knowledge of the digital power market and application space, while promoting and driving its adoption. Developing close relationships with our customers, and understanding their challenges, will allow us to develop and provide next generation leading edge digital power products and solutions for a variety of applications in the power management market," said Bob Conrad, Executive Vice President of Fairchild’s Mobile, Computing, Consumer and Communications Product Group. "Zilker Labs has developed an excellent reputation, and we’re looking forward to working closely with them."

"Zilker Labs’ innovative Digital-DC™ technology enables efficient, flexible, easy-to-use digital power solutions for today’s embedded communications and computing systems," said Bob Bridge, CEO of Zilker Labs. "We’re excited about the partnership with Fairchild, and we look forward to expanding both our customer base and our product offering. The partnership between Fairchild Semiconductor and Zilker Labs will allow increased product support and supply continuity for OEMs and power supply manufacturers using digital power control products."

Zilker Labs’ states that its Digital-DC ICs are highly-integrated, high-performance digital power solutions designed to be universal building blocks that can be easily combined and adapted to address a wide variety of complex power system requirements. These products are said to implement an innovative digital power conversion architecture that dynamically optimizes efficiency as system conditions change, and integrated power management logic reduces both external component and board space requirements and simplifies the design process. It is stated that the Digital-DC devices incorporate integrated intelligence, allowing them to be easily configured through simple pin settings or by using Power Management Bus (PMBus™) commands with no software programming required.

In supplemental information provided by the companies, it is stated that the financial details of the agreement are confidential. Fairchild will have the ability to sell all Zilker products which are released prior to the end of 2008. Fairchild has a license to sell the products, and will begin accepting and shipping orders within six months. Fairchild will only manufacture Zilker’s existing IC designs using their own manufacturing flow, thus they will not provide independent IC designs of Zilker-compatible products. The agreement is limited to second source activities, however, derivatives from the defined products that both companies agree would be beneficial for future growth in the digital power area will be considered for development. The agreement for the defined products is for perpetuity. The products to be released beyond 2008 are not covered in the agreement, but the companies reserve the right to extend it.