2016 50 Best Companies to Watch

A New Breed of Power Semiconductor Company: Semitrex

“Based out of Irvine, CA, USA, Semitrex is creating impactful, revolutionary energy-efficient power conversion products that are friendly to humans and the environment.”

Better energy efficiency is one of the most important challenges of our time. Global electrical grids are burdened to the brink. Vampire loads (electronic products which are plugged in, but are on standby and not operating) globally have reached over 400 Terawatt hours-per-year in waste, which equals over $80 billion lost annually worldwide. The energy problem is so serious that the U.S. Department of Energy recently enacted new Energy Efficiency Level VI Standards — in effect as of February 2016 — placing stringent limitations to standby current in power supplies. Many consumer electronics companies have sought exemptions from, or delays to, the new regulations because of the difficulty they are having in meeting the increased energy efficiency standards. Abroad, the Energy Division of the European Commission is considering new, more stringent energy standby specifications. However, Semitrex’s TRONIUM® Power Supply System on a Chip® (PSSoC®) efficiency beats the new Energy Efficiency Standards by between 200 and 1000 times (depending on the level of wattage used and grid type).

Founded in 2012, Semitrex is a power semiconductor company committed to reducing energy consumption through the development of radical new energy efficient digital power semiconductor solutions, which use capacitors as the primary method of voltage reduction – instead of a transformer. Semitrex innovations are a quantum shift in the power management industry – with the goal of reducing energy waste, cutting circuitry cost and part count – as well as increasing the ease of deployment of efficient power supplies globally by making one part adaptable for many applications.

Last year Semitrex was honored with the 2015 Frost & Sullivan “New Product Innovation for Powering the Internet of Things” Award. Semitrex’s technology was also recently included in the “Top Ten Must-Have Innovations” from APEC 2016 (Applied Power Electronics Conference). Semitrex was designated as number 7 in the “Top Ten” list.

Efficiently Powering All Things Electronic
Semitrex uses a unique pre-regulation voltage conversion technology called Muxcapacitor® (MXC®) capacitor-cascading technology, which permits very high voltage conversion efficiencies of over 90 percent across all load variables. These high efficiencies are seen even at low loads, down to 20 milliamps of current draw with only ½ milliwatt of standby power draw in the U.S. Semitrex’s TRONIUM PSSoC is a family of versatile chips and modules that fit the wide array of power supply needs worldwide.

Because the TRONIUM PSSoCs are digital power and produce the voltage reduction within the monolithic chip, they provide a unique “Dial-a-Voltage® technology, which permits changes in voltage and current outputs, by altering the embedded algorithms, so that one chip can be used and set by a manufacturer for multiple voltages in and multiple voltages/currents out. Another benefit to the manufacturer, TRONIUM PSSoCs instantly analyze the inrush voltage from the “mains” then automatically set to regulate from the mains grid power supplies around the world. TRONIUM PSSoCs also maintain a “deep sleep” mode on standby, which expends only ½ milliwatt of standby power in the U.S. and less than 1 milliwatt in the rest of the world, solving the dreaded “vampire load” energy-wasting problem globally.

The TRONIUM PSSoC is a multichip module that can be set to produce different voltage and current outputs from .5V to 48V. From the TRONIUM MultiPower Platform, a manufacturer can pick where to affix the input voltage – Europe, Asia, U.S. or Japan are all pin outs on the chip, reducing the complication of the differences in the world’s grids to nothing more than a pin choice.

Moreover, a manufacturer can decide whether to use a TRONIUM chip as an AC/DC or DC/DC chip. In addition, the manufacturer can select from one chipset which voltage to output, from .5V to 48V.

At TRONIUM’s core is an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) customized for a particular use, rather than intended for general-purpose. The TRONIUM ASIC uses an embedded microprocessor making TRONIUM a new kind of digital power chip. TRONIUM also employs the MXC disruptive capacitor-cascading power conversion method which produces greater than 90 percent efficiency at all loads. Additionally, because TRONIUM has a reduced BOM, it can be cost-competitive with other power solutions that do not have the efficiency of TRONIUM – making it an easy manufacturing choice.

As an option, the TRONIUM PSSoC can be used with either a Buck and/or a Forward Convertor to boost current, in specific applications, while still maintaining the ultra-high energy efficiencies.

Client Base
There are at least 30 prime applications that can be addressed by Semitrex’s power conversion technology – some of the larger ones include chargers, telecommunications and consumer electronics. Within those application categories, there are literally billions of devices sold each year that can benefit from Semitrex’s technology. There are 25-30 potential customers currently under Testing Agreements on Semitrex’s products.

Global Coverage
Semitrex is a worldwide company, with offices in the U.S. and Europe. Semitrex maintains a manufacturing presence in the U.S., Europe and Asia, with final test and assembly in the U.S. The Semitrex technology has been well received in both the U.S. and Europe – with many government agencies interested in approving the technology. Some governmental agencies are interested in TRONIUM’s ability to help drive the standby power draw limits even lower. Likewise, there are many global manufacturers eager to use the TRONIUM PSSoCs to meet the new power efficiency standards.

Plans for the Days Ahead
In the last two years, Semitrex has taken its technology from a one micron process to a .18 micron process. The first chips were all-in-one, and now the company is offering customers a one or two chip solution to maximize their specific application and further reduce costs. Semitrex will continue to make advances in both the capacitor technology and the foundry processes.

Knowing the Mastermind

Michael Freeman, J.D., CEO/CTO
Michael, an award winning inventor and entrepreneur, is the founder and principal inventor of Semitrex’s technology. Michael’s inventions and business acumen have been the foundation for numerous successful start-up tech companies over the last 25 years. He holds dozens of issued patents in the mobile video, smart grid, power supply, nanotechnology, and chemical industries – and has over 150 patents pending worldwide. In the 1990s, he led a team of inventors who developed a two-time Emmy Award-winning Mobile Video streaming technology, which became the foundation for 802.11(n) IEEE “MIMO” standards. Licensed by virtually every cell company that existed at the time, this Mobile Video Technology and patents were ultimately purchased by Samsung, and were asserted in the Apple vs. Samsung litigation, in which Michael testified – and was recognized as the first “smart phone” and “mobile video” technologies inventor. Michael also co-invented a multi-patent Mobile RFID location/navigation/asset tracking technology for people, robots and drones.

“We’re filling the need for energy-efficient power conversion in the world’s AC/DC and DC/DC market.”