Helix MuxCapacitor IC used in kilowatt power converter

July 11, 2018 // By Nick Flaherty
Agility Power Systems is to use a bidirectional switched capacitor chip from Helix Semiconductors (Irvine, CA) for a 1kW high-efficiency 48V to 12V power converter for data centres.

The MxCTM 200 power conversion chip will also be used in systems for the solar energy conversion and electric vehicle markets that Agility develops.

The technology company has had a rocky road to market and is part of a web of companies. The original patents for the MuxCapacitor technology were developed by Smart Prong Technologies from 2012 to 2015 before changing its name to Semitrex Power and then to Helix Semiconductors in February 2017.

Last year Agility acquired exclusive rights to Helix Semiconductors' patents for all applications of MuxCapacitor technology with power ratings of 1kW or greater. Both Smart Prong and MuxCapacitor are trademarks owned in the US by yet another company, Advanced Charging Technologies Inc, which makes battery systemsfor forklift trucks. 

The resulting MxC 200 is a configurable 15W DC-DC power chip that takes voltage input ranging from 12-48V and converts it to selectable lower voltages. The switched capacitor architecture provides peak efficiency over 97 percent and greater than 90 percent efficiency at full load when configured as a 48V input to 12V output.

Agility has used the MxC 200 in a modular, scalable configuration that targets a range of power conversion applications. “The unique features of the MxC 200 allowed us to create a 48V to 12V DC to DC power converter that achieves industry-leading efficiency in a very compact and cost-effective package," said Jason Young, president and CEO for Agility Power Systems. "The bidirectional nature of the MuxCapacitor technology also enabled a design configuration that provides the same high efficiency for both voltage reduction and inversion applications. This project is an exciting development for both Agility and Helix Semiconductors, as it will allow us to demonstrate a broad range of the MxC 200’s game-changing features and benefits in large power applications.”


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