Amber Semi New 6412219830432

AmberSemi’s Newly Taped-Out IC Extracts DC From AC Mains

March 15, 2023
The company’s manufacturing milestone represents the start of commercialization and technology integration with key product and semiconductor partners.

Check out our APEC 2023 digital magazine for more show coverage.

In Booth #131 at APEC 2023, Amber Semiconductor will feature the first tapeout of one of its three core technologies: The company’s AC Direct DC Enabler has entered the manufacturing and integration phase. The fabless house’s chip extracts dc directly from ac mains without the use of transformers, rectifier bridges, or filtering.

The AC Direct DC Enabler silicon chip enables dynamic delivery of dc power on demand while requiring only half the components of today’s standard, comparable systems. By pairing dynamic power capabilities with a much smaller system size, AmberSemi hopes to enable significantly more capabilities and features to be added into electrical endpoints without altering the standard footprints of products. Such products include smoke detectors, doorbell cameras, thermostats, smart products, appliances, intelligent HVACR, and more.

The technology can be paired with key semiconductor devices like microcontrollers and wireless radios to create AC Direct semiconductor systems. These would enable both housekeeping power plus outside sensor power provisioning from the single AC Direct system.

Configurable Converter

The AC Direct DC Enabler operates as a configurable power converter, without the need for rectifier bridges, input filtering, or transformers. The device converts a wide supply voltage range of 25 to 277 V ac, 50/60 Hz input to a regulated 1.8 V to 24 V dc, with a capability of up to 5 W of power across all voltages. In addition, two auxiliary regulated dc outputs providing 5.0 V and 3.3 V, respectively, are available.

The architecture enables a minimum 66% size reduction in footprint, or even further reduction depending on the specific power requirements. Additional flexibility for system developers is afforded by the integrated SPI port, allowing for programmability of default values and accessibility to status bits within a control register file. Configuration of voltages, load current, and status monitoring of protection thresholds for current, voltage, and temperature operating parameters are determined by control bits within the register file, held in non-volatile memory. 

AmberSemi’s silicon-chip engineering samples will be available for customer demo testing later in 2023 into the start of 2024. The company is currently working with strategic customers to conduct ongoing evaluations of its AC Direct DC Enabler technology under non-disclosure agreements.

In addition to showcasing its AC Direct DC Enabler technology and other technologies at APEC, AmberSemi CEO Thar Casey will conduct an education seminar titled, “AC Direct Digitization of Electricity – The NEW Emerging Solid-State Standard for Power Management” on Tuesday, March 21, from 3:45 to 4:15 pm in Session Room W203A.

Check out our APEC 2023 digital magazine for more show coverage.

About the Author

David Maliniak | Executive Editor, Microwaves & RF

I am Executive Editor of Microwaves & RF, an all-digital publication that broadly covers all aspects of wireless communications. More particularly, we're keeping a close eye on technologies in the consumer-oriented 5G, 6G, IoT, M2M, and V2X markets, in which much of the wireless market's growth will occur in this decade and beyond. I work with a great team of editors to provide engineers, developers, and technical managers with interesting and useful articles and videos on a regular basis. Check out our free newsletters to see the latest content.

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About me:

In his long career in the B2B electronics-industry media, David Maliniak has held editorial roles as both generalist and specialist. As Components Editor and, later, as Editor in Chief of EE Product News, David gained breadth of experience in covering the industry at large. In serving as EDA/Test and Measurement Technology Editor at Electronic Design, he developed deep insight into those complex areas of technology. Most recently, David worked in technical marketing communications at Teledyne LeCroy, leaving to rejoin the EOEM B2B publishing world in January 2020. David earned a B.A. in journalism at New York University.

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