AmberSemi Enables Solid-State Digital Control of Electricity

Article By : Maurizio Di Paolo Emilio

Amber Solutions' move to Amber Semiconductor reflects the company’s intention to showcase its key technological function more clearly, which includes productizing its patented breakthrough technology for AC direct digital control of energy into silicon chips.

Amber Solutions has changed its name to Amber Semiconductor (AmberSemi), effective immediately. The move to AmberSemi reflects the company’s intention to showcase its key technological function more clearly, which includes productizing its patented breakthrough technology for AC direct digital control of energy into silicon chips. This achievement paves the way for major semiconductor and electrical goods firms to overhaul the global electrical grid and modernize electrical products.

Intelligent systems, smart security systems, and other automation solutions are ripe for both residential and commercial buildings, but antiquated electrical infrastructure may often get in the way. Amber Semiconductor has developed a number of solid–state electrical solutions for smart outlets, circuit breakers, and other applications. Built–in software management offers a sophisticated control basis for third–party security and automation providers, as well as electricians/electrical contractors to employ within the electrical wire terminals of buildings.

Solid-state Mission

AmberSemi’s main mission is to transform the architecture of electrical products from outdated technologies dating back to the 1950s — but standard today — to smaller, safer, and smarter silicon chips, representing a second electrical revolution based on silicon, arc–free electricity management and modern artificial intelligent (AI) sensing. In an interview with Thar Casey, CEO of AmberSemi, he explained both the power electronics and semiconductor sectors are evolving and very attractive markets.

“Very early on, we knew we were a technology solutions company and that our breakthroughs would come to market in silicon chips. But what was still to be decided was the exact business models and go–to–market paths we would pursue — like pure technology licensing or building full physical products around our chips, as examples. Today, we are clearly a fabless semiconductor company with breakthrough technologies that will be in our own chips and will disrupt the semiconductor market, as well as the electrical products markets. Therefore, it was imperative for us to convey that message to the world with our name change,” Casey said.

McKinsey recently published a paper estimating that the semiconductor business will continue to develop at a breakneck pace over the next decade, doubling in size to a trillion–dollar sector by 2030. AmberSemi’s technologies offer direct synergies, with 75% of the growth areas highlighted in the research, including consumer electronics, industrial electronics, wireless communications, and information technology — putting AmberSemi in a strong position for long–term success.

Thar Casey (Source: AmberSemi)

The legal change of the company’s name to Amber Semiconductor, according to Casey, is in accordance with the company’s business (mostly partnership) ambitions for 2022 and beyond. The partnerships will provide the company’s core technologies, such as electricity digitization for revolutionary power delivery (AC Direct DC Enabler), power control and protection (AC Direct Indestructible Switch Controller), and continuous real–time sensing of the state or change in grid electricity (AC Direct Sensing), all of which will be implemented using solid–state silicon chips. AmberSemi’s name change is a crucial strategic move in the company’s efforts to define its core market positioning and broaden its presence in both the semiconductor and electrical products sector.

“We have done a series of technical evaluations with several companies to validate our solutions,” Casey said. “These are big–name companies — also in the semiconductor market — that produce products such as dimmers, sockets, switches, circuit breakers, and essentially the full range of electrical products for buildings. So, the name change clarifies our identity in a key and important way: we are a fabless semiconductor company that will provide breakthrough energy technologies to both the semiconductor providers and to electrical products companies.”

Semiconductors and energy efficiency

Advances in digital energy management and silicon chips have enabled many companies to position themselves in their own market. AmberSemi believes it marks an important step in its industrial identity.

“Our name change reflects our true nature as a factory–less semiconductor technology provider with breakthrough semiconductor technologies and represents the direction we are taking as a company,” Casey said. Electrical endpoints in all of the world’s buildings are critical; they are based on archaic technologies and need to be upgraded by replacing these outdated components with modern silicon technology.

“In the coming quarters, we will offer to the market our technologies, in silicon chips, which will be the most effective method to upgrade these old tech–based products with modern solid–state, intelligent architecture,” he said. “We hold the cards for the globalization of intelligent digital power management in silicon chips, which has the ability to revolutionize building intelligence and the very nature of electricity in our current world.”

Electricity has been primarily supplied by huge power plants for almost a century via fossil fuels, nuclear energy, or hydroelectric power, accounting for 40% of world CO2 emissions. These power plants deliver massive amounts of electricity to consumers on a continual basis and are largely based on these old tech architectures, all while maintaining centralized control and a consistent flow. Energy consumption is rapidly rising around the world, creating a great demand for alternative energy sources such as solar, wind, and even types of electrical storage — or more efficient management of the energy that is already delivered daily.

AmberSemi (Source: AmberSemi)

Environmental awareness has grown, bringing governments and private persons closer to renewable energies, such as solar for powering buildings, resulting in more photovoltaic systems being installed, which have a variable output by nature. Because of the tremendous increase in renewable energy, power grids must incorporate digital communication technologies that can give customers and utilities the required flexibility. The need to save money is also a major driver of interest in alternative energy sources.

Consumers can control varied peaks in demand while also reselling energy in low–load conditions thanks to the interplay between diverse energy sources. At both the micro and macro levels, the interaction between these diverse energy sources and the home is critical for regulating energy demand and usage. A customer will employ alternative types of energy to power his or her house on a micro–level. At the macro–level under a smart–grid scenario, a customer will employ alternative types of energy to feed energy into the system.

Today’s power networks must be flexible enough to absorb any peaks in renewable generation (for example, in the midst of the summer months) while also preventing the entire electrical system from collapsing during periods of lower generation.

The alternative is to make better use of the existing grid’s capacity by making it more efficient and smarter. New ways of managing, controlling, and protecting the electricity grid, such as AmberSemi’s digital control of electricity in silicon chips, are introduced as a result of this new approach, ensuring better capacity for integrating large amounts of electricity, improving the overall system’s security and reliability, and implementing procedures for load control and active customer involvement.

AmberSemi has formed strategic alliances with industry partners such as Infineon Technologies. The objective is to keep forging partnerships with semiconductor businesses, and Infineon has openly stated its support for AmberSemi’s efforts.

Advancing the siliconization phase will enable AmberSemi to seize an important opportunity in the market and accelerate the replacement of mechanical–based electrical components. AmberSemi’s technology has attracted substantial interest from the financial community, in addition to capturing the attention of major worldwide electrical and semiconductor firms. Amber has raised two large Series A and Series B fundraising rounds since 2020, exhibiting extensive interest from the Silicon Valley investment community and strong support of the technology’s potential through its investor group.

This article was originally published on EE Times.

Maurizio Di Paolo Emilio holds a Ph.D. in Physics and is a telecommunication engineer and journalist. He has worked on various international projects in the field of gravitational wave research. He collaborates with research institutions to design data acquisition and control systems for space applications. He is the author of several books published by Springer, as well as numerous scientific and technical publications on electronics design.


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