iWatt and ICE Components Enter Agreement to Promote Coupled Inductor Technology

July 23, 2007 by Jeff Shepard

iWatt Inc. and ICE Components Inc. announced that they will be working together to bring high-efficiency coupled inductor solutions to high performance computing and office automation applications. It is claimed that the combination of iWatt’s propriety coupled inductor technology and ICE’s inductor design expertise and high volume manufacturing capability will provide high-performance power solutions that save space, reduce cost and maximize efficiency while still meeting tough CPU voltage regulation requirements.

"IKOR Coupled inductor technology promises to bring the next level of cost and space savings to voltage regulators for CPU and other high-performance point-of-load applications," said Doyle Slack, Vice-President of Marketing at iWatt. "We are very pleased with the work ICE is doing to help us bring this technology to market."

"ICE is very excited to add the IKOR licensed technology to our inductor product offering." said George Stokes, President of ICE. "Our new ICL product line will further solidify our already strong position in the CPU inductor market by providing our customers with another innovative solution for their VR applications."

As part of the agreement, iWatt and ICE will work together on reference designs and provide design-in support to customers for their VR designs. ICE will sell inductors to customers worldwide. The purchase of these inductors will grant end-users a per-use license to use the patented IKOR technology in their end products.

The IKOR coupled inductor technology is claimed to be able to solve the most pressing problems facing low voltage, high current VRM and VRD designs by removing the first order limit on output inductance. IKOR coupled inductor technology makes it possible to radically reduce VRM output inductance without increasing switching frequency. Operating at this lower frequency is said to keep efficiency high while still allowing for the use of a small amount of MLCC-only output capacitance. This is said to eliminate the need for expensive and unreliable bulk electrolytic capacitors. According to the company, another feature of this technology is that it is equivalent in transient response performance to higher frequency solutions due to the coupling between phases.