New Chip Helps to Reduce Power Demand for Lighting by up to 25 Percent
In factories, shopping malls and offices, fluorescent tubes are used virtually everywhere to provide artificial light. The LightMOS chip from Infineon is installed inside the so called electronic lamp ballast which supplies the power for the fluorescent tube. Today, around 80 percent of these lamp ballasts still work by magnetic means, using coils, capacitors and an igniter. But new electronic ballasts incorporating power chips are making these bulkier and less reliable components a thing of the past. Electronic ballasts use the power far more efficiently, thereby reducing the power consumption of lighting systems by up to 25 percent. This has the potential to significantly reduce worldwide energy consumption for artificial lighting.
Worldwide demand - around 600 million power-saving chips
The LightMOS chip incorporates a cost-efficient semiconductor technology, called TrenchStop, developed by Infineon. This makes LightMOS chips approximately 15 percent less expensive than alternative devices commonly used in electronic ballasts. Additionally, with TrenchStop technology power losses can be reduced while overall reliability increases. Infineon estimates that the worldwide demand for chips used in electronic lamp ballast by 2005 will be a total of 600 million devices, with some 240 million chips required in Europe alone. The company will begin volume shipment of its LightMOS chip as early as November 2003.
LightMOS chips will be used initially for light fixtures in offices, shopping malls and factory buildings. In the foreseeable future, Infineons engineers believe that the new chip will also be used in smaller power-saving lamps in residences, providing even more opportunity to achieve energy savings.
Infineon Technologies AG, Munich, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions for the automotive and industrial sectors, for applications in the wired communications markets, secure mobile solutions as well as memory products. With a global presence, Infineon operates in the US from San Jose, CA, in the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore and in Japan from Tokyo. In fiscal year 2002 (ending September), the company achieved sales of Euro 5.21 billion with about 30,400 employees worldwide. Infineon is listed on the DAX index of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX). Further information is available at http://www.infineon.com.