Resonant IVRs Have Arrived!
The World’s Fastest and Most Accurate IVR
What we do
Empower Semiconductor develops high-frequency Integrated Voltage Regulators (IVRs) that eliminate all power management discrete components, thereby simplifying the design process and shrinking the area consumed by power management on a PCB. Empower’s products are so small and simple that they can also be integrated directly in an SoC’s package further reducing the power area and energy consumed. In comparison to today’s state-of-the-art power management ICs, Empower’s products enable:
• 10x area reduction
• 1,000x faster Dynamic Voltage Scaling
• 10 – 50% energy savings
Traditional power designs
Existing power management ICs (PMICs) require many different components in a variety of unique technologies that cannot be integrated in an area-efficient or cost-effective way. Many of the passive components can reduce in size if the switching frequency is increased, but there is a practical limit, as existing power semiconductor processes and magnetic components waste far too much energy as frequencies are increased beyond a few megahertz.
Even with switching frequencies in the low to mid-single-digit megahertz range, multi-output PMIC’s can have hundreds of passive components and can account for more than 90% of the power management area, presenting an opportunity for significant density improvements with further integration innovation.
The large size of today’s PMIC solutions force a significant distance between the SoC die and its power source (the PMIC). The power delivery network (PDN) created by this distance exhibits very high impedance along the current path, leading to tremendous voltage excursions at the core of the SoC. SoC designers have dealt with this by increasing the PMIC set-point voltage by 10% or more to compensate for the on-chip voltage transient dips. This voltage design margin (a.k.a., guard-band) produces wasted energy at a rate of the voltage increase squared (i.e., for a 10% guard-band, the energy wasted is 1.12– 1 = 21%)
The ultimate solution to this worsening problem is to bypass the PDN impedance by fully integrating the voltage regulator into the SoC silicon. The challenge is how to accomplish this at high enough frequency for full component integration without adding switching noise/EMI and while maintaining high efficiency.
A New Way
Empower’s technology eliminates all external power management components and shrinks power management area by an order of magnitude enabling voltage regulators to be located either directly outside the SoC or co-packaged inside the SoC itself. This proximity of the power source to load combined with Empower’s wide-bandwidth regulation, reduce the impedance of the PDN over frequency, enabling much higher efficiency through guard-band reduction, PDN I2R loss and 1,000x faster dynamic voltage scaling (DVS).
Voltages can be dynamically scaled up or down up to 1,000x faster than existing PMICs, enabling SoCs to optimize power/performance tradeoffs like never before, enabling additional energy savings of 30%+.