Technology Development for an Integrated Microelectromechanical DC to DC Power Converter

Period of Performance: 03/03/1995 - 09/16/1995

$69.6K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

TMS Technologies, Inc.
22 Thornwood Drive
Ithaca, NY 14850
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The proliferation of portable electronic devices (cellular phones, laptop computers, personal digital assistants, and the like), in both military an civilian applications, provides a strong incentive to develop more efficient DC to DC power conversion technologies. Power dissipation in switching transistors and conduction losses in parasitic elements continue to limit conversion efficiencies. Although presently available DC power supplies are substantially superior to their predecessors, a new approach is required to satisfy ever more demanding system requirements. Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) is an emerging technology in which conventional semiconductor processing techniques are utilized to fabricate mechanical components on the scale of microelectronics. MEMS offers the opportunity for a novel approach to high-efficiency DC to DC converters. Using this new technology, one ought to be able to realize converters of very high efficiency, extremely small size and weight, and low cost in volume production. A MEMS-based power converter will also enable a level of integration and automated manufacturing not possible with present generation power supply technologies.