In the shrinking world of electronics, the latest SoC chips and systems occupy such a small space. To power these small but extremely integrated and power-variation sensitive VLSI chips, design engineers are looking for power supply modules and ICs which occupy even less space and offer highest power efficiency, so that the battery powered and even mains powered devices consume less overall-power. The need for high power-density and high-efficiency power converter occupying less space forcing power supply design engineers to think about new switching topologies and switching control. Andy Gales, Vice President of Vicor’s international business talk to this writer on their interesting products. Vicor is module as well as chip supplier for DC/DC converter market. Indian Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) market is very important for Vicor and many such DC/DC converter vendors for the simple reason of growing consumption of electronics in India for wide range of applications.
Andy Gales shared below points on Vicor:
On the history and legacy of company, Andy Gales says "Vicor is a 25 year old company based in Boston, USA, We are more likely a semiconductor company than a power supply company, we started as a power supply company, we Evolved into power management company."
Technology strengths of Vicor: Vicor is a brick inventor and was very active in that market earlier, but now it has become more of semiconductor like company where it is offering PCB mountable DC/DC modules and also semiconductor power ICs from its fables power IC subsidiary Picor. Vicor uses patented proprietary topologies to offer small size DC/DC converter modules with efficiencies in the range of 97-98% across wide load condition, as per Andy. This is slightly better than efficiencies of DC/DC converter ICs from leading vendors such as Texas Instruments and Linear Technology.
Andy says they are targeting $600 Million available market for DC/DC converters in India. With less than 1% share now, Vicor is aggressively targeting to increase the share significantly in the coming years. All these years they used to sell the products through local stockists and distributors, but now Vicor has a team in Bangalore targeting the local market. The market the Vicor is serving all these years is aerospace and defense with little bit of communication and little bit of industrial. Andy says "our goal over the next five years is to grow dramatically, we see growth in the defense market, our main growth going to come from communication and industrial, we see some opportunity in automotive too". "There is plenty of opportunities we believe with the new products we launching over the next few years". Vicor now has a technical support center in Bangalore and is partnering wth CoreEL Technologies to expand its sales and support in India.
Andy says "We see demand for high power density, we address that through our topologies. Our topologies are lossless switching using zero voltage and zero current switching, because of that we switch at higher operating frequencies compared to most of our competitors. Higher frequencies reduce magnetic size."
"We are hitting efficiency of 98% in some of our products. And our efficiencies are pretty flat over a range of loads"