IBM unveils new power management chip making technology

Darren Allan

September 18, 2010

IBM is going greener with the development of new chip producing technology for power management semiconductors.

The new process integrates wireless communications into a power management chip, to create ultra-small chips which control power usage, and can communicate with systems to monitor the likes of energy grids, transport systems and so-called “smart” buildings.

Basically, the tiny chips optimise power usage, and they could be used in a wide variety of technology, helping to improve the power efficiency of solar panels, digital TVs or indeed smartphones (which need all the battery life augmentation they can get with their increasingly sophisticated builds).

Jeff Hilbert, President of Wispry, a wireless chip manufacturer, commented: “IBM’s process pushes us closer to the holy grail of wireless – connect any where, at any time. By enabling more efficient power management in smartphones, IBM’s technology opens up the possibility of using smaller, lighter batteries or needing less recharge time to provide the same amount of ‘talk’ time, video sharing or picture-snapping.”

IBM claims that the technology, which is known as CMOS-7HV, can lower the costs of producing these chips while at the same time allowing for the integration of an unprecedented number of new functions.

The market for power management semiconductors is around the $31 billion mark this year, according to analysts iSuppli, which is up 40% on 2009. That figure is apparently on track to double by 2014.


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