News

UL researchers get EUR346k to develop software tool for chip industry

25th June 2012

University of Limerick (UL) researchers have secured EUR346,600 in funding to develop a software tool suite for Irish-based power semiconductor companies.

Power management is a fast-growing area in the chip market, expected to reach USD45 billion worldwide by 2014, according to iSuppli. Some examples of Irish power companies are Ikon Semiconductor, Chip Sensors (recently acquired by Silicon Labs) and Powervation.

Dr Mark Halton (pictured below) from the Department of Electronics and Computer Engineering  (ECE) at UL explains the software project: "With the drive to find lighter, greener and more cost-effective energy-efficient power supplies, power semiconductor companies need capability that will support rapid innovation and growth. At UL, we are developing a unique software tool suite that will allow companies to design, test and validate new power supply designs faster and more reliably."

The specific application for this technology is to provide software design tools to any Irish-based power semiconductor company that develops digitally controlled switch mode power supplies for commercial electronic products. Examples of commercial products include smartphones, servers, tablets, laptops, desktop PCs, automotive applications and LED lighting solutions.

Dr Halton says the research, which is facilitated by a Commercialisation Fund award from Enterprise Ireland, aims to improve competitiveness in the tech industry. "This [software suite] will assist Irish and Irish-based companies in maintaining a competitive edge in highly competitive global markets. Ultimately, it’s about doing this better and faster than the competition and in an industry which is an important provider of high-skilled and sustainable jobs in the Mid-West." 

Pictured below is Dr Mark Halton, Senior Research Fellow with the Department of Electronics and Computer Engineering at University of Limerick

Dr Mark Halton, Senior Research Fellow with the Department of Electronics and Computer Engineering at University of Limerick