by Trevor Smith
Laguna Beach-based technology startup Semitrex launched in February 2015, highlighting new power supply technology which aims to dramatically increase energy efficiency. (Energy Industry Today 2015). Semitrex’s innovation revolves around replacing the complex, multi-part power supply used in devices that require AC/DC conversion, including everything from televisions to washers and dryers, with microchips embedded with power supply circuits. The power supplies that can be replaced by the chips, aptly named Power Supply System on a Chip, currently require more than 50 discrete components from 14 different manufacturers (Semitrex 2015). By streamlining this process, Semitrex was able to fully redesign the way these power supplies work, creating a new chip that promises to increase energy efficiency and all but eliminate the phantom load ‘always-on’ devices drain from the grid.
The power supply chips produced by Semitrex work fundamentally differently than the power supplies currently in use for devices requiring AC/DC conversion. The conventional system reduces power supplied by the grid using inductive power transformers which use energy and dissipate heat even when the unit they are intended to supply power to is not on. By looking to capacitors in order to reduce voltage for use by devices, Semitrex was able to design a chip which does not require magnetic fields and loses very little energy as heat. (Semitrex 2015)
In addition to being more energy efficient, the chips will reduce the phantom load drained by devices which are always plugged in. This problem is further compounded by devices which require a constant internet connection even in standby mode; last year Forbes estimated $80 billion was wasted to supply phantom power to these devices. (Clancy 2014) Semitrex promises that the increased efficiency of their chips will allow devices to essentially use no power (Semitrex 2015) while idling, dramatically cutting down on the phantom load that costs consumers significant amounts of money and places a burden on the power grid.
Clancy, Heather. “IEA: $80 Billion In Power Wasted By Connected ‘Things’”. 7/24/2014. http://www.forbes.com/sites/heatherclancy/2014/07/24/iea-80-billion-in-power-wasted-by-connected-things/
Energy Industry Today. “Semitrex Addresses Global Energy Crisis with Game-Changing Technology for More Efficient Power Consumption.” 2/24/2015. http://energy.einnews.com/pr_news/251574134/semitrex-addresses-global-energy-crisis-with-game-changing-technology-for-more-efficient-power-consumption
Semitrex. “Semitrex Technologies”, 2015. http://www.semitrex.com/semitrex-technologies.html