Infineon Partners With Amber Solutions on Solid-State Electricity

July 21, 2021 by Shannon Cuthrell

German semiconductor manufacturer Infineon is partnering with California startup Amber Solutions on silicon solid-state electricity control solutions.

Last week, German chip giant Infineon announced a new partnership with Amber Solutions, a California-based startup that provides solid-state electricity control products.

Amber Solutions’ circuit breaker product. Image courtesy of Amber Solutions

The agreement will upgrade the companies’ power management architecture across several product areas, such as smart circuit breakers, light switches, and outlets, to include new silicon-based solutions in Amber’s power management silicon chips and Infineon’s power switch and control technologies. Secondly, the partnership will integrate Amber’s technologies into Infineon’s product roadmaps.

Using Amber’s patented AC/DC Enabler and Indestructible AC Switch products, the partnership will add a modern boost to more conventional power product categories.

Amber Solutions was founded in 2016 and has secured several patents for its solid-state technologies over the years. Last year, it raised an $8.5 million Series B funding round, following its first Series A round totaling $3.3 million in 2018.

The company says its silicon-based architecture boosts the reliability, performance, power delivery, and embedded intelligence capabilities of circuit breakers, wall plugs, switches, and other electrical products. This frees up space and reduces costs that would normally be constrained by standard circuit breaker panel slots and wall plug and light switch boxes.

The news comes as Infineon refines its power and sensor systems portfolio after its acquisition of Cypress Semiconductor last year. Infineon told eeNews last week that the deal initially involves using the PSoC (programmable system on a chip) microcontroller acquired from Cypress and discrete power MOSFET devices. eeNews reported that the companies aim to explore integration and module options as well as a custom version of the PSoC.

In a recent presentation to investors, Infineon’s power and sensor systems division outlined plans to accelerate development targeting high-demand markets like cloud computing, 5G telecom equipment, smartphones, and consumer electronics, battery-powered tools, and automotive and industrial segments. SiC and GaN MOSFETs accounted for most of the division’s 2020 revenue, followed by power ICs and RF and sensor devices. Its key customers include top players like Alibaba, Amazon, Google, Nokia, LG, Baidu, Boeing, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Samsung, Cisco, and Dell.

In announcing the partnership with Amber Solutions, Infineon Power and Sensor Systems Division Vice President Preet Sibia said the division sees “tremendous opportunity with Amber's breakthroughs,” as its architecture matches up with Infineon’s product offerings in the areas of power, control, compute, sensing and security.

“This combination will provide value to our end customers' products in ways previously not possible,” Sibia stated. “We believe the replacement of mechanical-based electrical components is now becoming feasible and we see the combination of Amber's breakthroughs and our superior switch technology as an important foundation for its widespread adoption.”

Amber Solutions CEO Thar Casey added that the partnership is a “strategic inflection point” for the company in its effort to transform and upgrade “every electrical end-point in all residential and commercial buildings to a modern silicon architecture with embedded intelligence.”