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New STMicroelectronics Chip Improves Energy Efficiency in Consumer Electronics, Could Save 100 Terawatt-Hours Worldwide Dec 28, 2022

STMicroelectronics (ST; NYSE: STM), the world's top semiconductor company serving multiple electronic applications, is enhancing the sustainability of personal computing products through its next-generation innovative technologies. The new chip, called ST-ONE, will improve the energy efficiency of a wide range of AC-DC adapters that are fully compliant with the USB-PD 3.1 standard, including laptop and smartphone chargers. The new adapter with ST-ONE reduces CO2 emissions and plastic consumption.

The new ST-ONE chips can be used in conjunction with STMicroelectronics' MasterGaN power output modules based on advanced gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductor technology. GaN chips can significantly save power and shrink device size. 

Although laptops offer optional power saving settings, each machine saves more power when equipped with a more efficient power adapter, improving environmental performance and CO2 emissions. The ST-ONE chip is optimized for power control, which can recover the electrical energy that is usually consumed in the form of heat in traditional circuits. The product also simplifies circuit design and significantly reduces the number of power supply components, making this type of power supply more robust, more economical and more widely adopted throughout the market.

Domenico Arrigo, general manager of STMicroelectronics' industrial and power conversion division, said: "If each power supply adopts the ST-ONE energy recovery circuit design, so that the energy efficiency of the power adapter can be improved by at least 1%, then the world can save about 93 trillion watt-hours. Electric energy, equivalent to the output power of 15 nuclear power plants. In addition, if 1 billion chargers around the world use our technology, 200,000 tons of plastic and raw materials can be saved. " 

The reduction in consumables such as plastics is achieved by increasing what is known as power density, which allows smaller components to handle greater power output. High power density also reduces recycling and environmental costs.

At the recent Embedded World in Nuremberg, Germany, STMicroelectronics exhibited the EVLONE65W reference design for a 65-watt USB-C laptop power adapter that is about the same size and weight as a standard 20-watt smartphone charger. The same (37 cubic centimeters, less than 70 grams), achieving an ultra-high power density of more than 1.8 watts per cubic centimeter.

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