AT&S fights energy losses in microelectronics

9th June 2020
Alex Lynn

Energy plays a crucial role in microelectronics. As electronic components are becoming increasingly more powerful, they also require more energy. Scientists and technology companies therefore aim to develop methods and technologies to generate more energy and/or reduce energy requirements. AT&S is joining the fight against energy losses in microelectronics 

AT&S has announced that it is now a member of one of the world’s leading research centres for power electronics and has joined the ‘Centre for Power Electronics Systems’ of Virginia Tech (Blacksburg/Virginia). CPES comprises the ‘Who is Who’ of the American and in part also the Asian power electronics market and focuses its research activities on improving the processing and distribution of electric energy. 

The fields of research range from microelectronics and battery-powered vehicles to regional and national electricity distribution systems. Among other things, CPES developed, together with five universities and many industrial companies, the IPEM (Integrated Power Electronics Module), a standard module that has revolutionised power electronics.

Energy consumption is one of the main challenges in the digital world. Hannes Voraberger, Head of R&D at AT&S said: “The loss of energy in the form of heat is one of the greatest inefficiencies in technology. CPES enjoys a good reputation worldwide for the progress in its research activities and has worked successfully with industry for many years.”

Together with CPES and the know-how of numerous partners, the aim is to find solutions to overcome these challenges and develop new technologies to reduce the energy consumption and electricity required by microelectronics.

An example of this is the so-called IC substrate core, the heart of IC substrates, which act as a ‘translator’ between the microstructures of the circuit board and the nanostructures of microchips and which are used, for example, in high-performance computers. The IC substrate cores manufactured in Leoben are designed in such a way that the energy consumption in the chip can be reduced or less energy is required for the entire data transmission.

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