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Making Electronics More Efficient

Have you ever wondered why laptops need the “charging brick”?  Laptops have had these for as long as I can remember.  In laptops, high-voltage AC power is converted to low-voltage DC power.  Apple helped to make them a little less unsightly by making them a bit smaller.  However they are still cumbersome at best.  Fret no more.  A Google Ventures backed company called Transphorm has created a technology that will eliminate the charging brick.

Not only will this technology eliminate the bulky bricks.  The technology could make servers, laptops, and electric vehicles more efficient.  Energy is wasted when converting between AC and DC power in the form of heat.

Transphorm’s new technology is based on gallium nitride rather than silicon.  Gallium nitride is a semiconductor that wastes far less energy than silicon.  Because they are so much more efficient, no bulky heat sinks or fans are needed.  They hope to eliminate wasted electicity by up to 90%.

Transform will test its new technologies in data centers first where heat sinks, fans, and massive cooling systems could benefit greatly from the gallium nitride technology.  They also hope to help in the efficiency of solar panels and project they could improve light conversion from 2-4 percentage points.  That doesn’t seem like a lot, but this is in an industry when .5% improvement is considered very good.

via technology review

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