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  Date: 01/03/2015

AC/DC power supply adapter consuming zero power when not loaded

The problem with most of the AC/DC power supply adapters used in charging mobile phones and tablets is that they consume some amount of power when they're not charging or powering the device. The user is forced to switch off the mains supply or remove the adapter from the mains port to save power. But now you have a solution where the power supply adapters can be designed to consume zero power when it is not powering any device.

STMicroelectronics and Flextronics have jointly developed a plug-in charging platform based on ST multi-mode power-management controller IC STCH01. This design uses an innovative power-management architecture to achieve zero no-load power consumption and high dynamic load regulation.

Due to billions of AC/DC adapters used worldover, the power wasted by keeping the power supply adapters unplugged from the wall is estimated at 300 MW or an annual waste of more than 2.5 billion kWh. This solution is essential for prevention of such wastage of power. STCH01 uses an architecture that minimizes transformer size and the number of external components required.

“We're happy to have partnered with the ST team in jointly developing this revolutionary charger platform with zero no-load power consumption,” said Nate Vince, president of Flextronics Power. “Flextronics is focused on driving innovation and delivering high-quality and energy efficient power for our customers as they compete in a highly dynamic market.”

“The STCH01-based solution brings unprecedented efficiency and lowers standby power to a whole different level, demonstrating the combination of Flextronics’ innovative architecture ideas and ST’s undisputed leadership in power-semiconductor technology,” said Matteo Lo Presti, Group Vice President and General Manager, Industrial and Power Conversion Division, STMicroelectronics. “This collaboration highlights ST’s ability to work closely with partners to solve important problems and, with the new plug-in charging platform, to develop products perfectly in line with our strategic growth driver in Energy Conservation and Smart Power.”

Further details as provided by STMicroelectronics:

Housed in a compact SO16N package, ST’s STCH01 embeds a controller and two embedded Power FETs in a unique fully integrated solution that is complemented by the proprietary no-load wake-up controller STWK01 . Together these ICs allow the lowest power consumption in the market during no load with excellent dynamic load transition response.

The STCH01 implements an innovative power conversion topology that maximizes efficiency, reducing the size of the power transformer by 30% over industry-standard flyback solutions with low electromagnetic emissions that are further reduced using the IC’s intelligent jitter function.

The STCH01 is equipped with a full set of protections to ensure high reliability designs of plug-in chargers with minimal external components, reducing bill-of-material and production costs and improving manufacturing.

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