UK Design: CamSemi profile
Cambridge-based CamSemi is a privately-held, fabless power management IC company that is focused on low-cost, energy-efficient off-line power conversion.
The company was spun out of the Univeristy of Cambridge engineering department by professors Florin Udrea and Gehan Amaratunga - both Royal Academy of Engineering silver medal winners - to commercialise an intellectual property portfolio that includes control architectures, and an as-yet-unused micro-electromechanical system (MEMS)-based etching technique for producing mains voltage transistors on low-voltage CMOS substrates.
CamSemi works with OEMs and power supply manufacturers to develop small, light and energy-efficient mains-powered products, including mains adapters and phone chargers. Help is available towards meeting end-product energy-efficiency requirements such as EC 1275/2008 tier 2 (the EU eco-design requirement).
Products have been designed into office and home networking products, as well as mobile consumer items including cordless phones, mobiles and cameras.
The firm is also aiming at tablets and solid-state lighting – it has 4W, 8W and 12W LED driver ICs with more to come soon.
Products are based on two major topologies:
? ‘Resonant discontinuous forward converter’ offers a fixed voltage ratio like a transformer is low cost, very high efficiency, and single output with soft switching and low EMI – suiting it to audio and other sensitive applications.
? ‘Primary-side sensing’ offers tight voltage and current regulation, allowing fixed output voltages to be produced from any worldwide mains voltage from the same circuit.
All IC design work is carried out in the UK, although CamSemi also has application design centres in Taipei, Shenzhen and Seoul.
The company’s operations hub is based in Hong Kong and works with a network of foundry and sub-contractor partners in Southeast Asia, Taiwan and China.
(Photo credit: Sylvaine Poitau)