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Transforming Power

Aug 01, 2020   |   by Catha Mayor Lamm   |   Dartmouth Engineer

Dartmouth is partnering with four leading electrical tech companies to form the first National Science Foundation-funded industry-university collaborative research center focused on integrated power management and delivery.

The new Power Management Integration Center (PMIC) will provide GE Research, Analog Devices, Empower Semiconductor, and Ampt with access to Dartmouth’s R&D expertise, facilities, and intellectual property. The output: opportunity to address a range of challenges facing next-generation power electronics.

“Power is in almost everything,” says Jason Stauth, Thayer professor and PMIC codirector. “We want to remove technology bottlenecks and help make electronics smaller, more efficient, and cheaper for both industry and consumers.”

Microelectronics and integrated circuits have revolutionized computing, communications, and information technology. However, power management hardware remains a key obstacle to further reducing systems’ size and cost in virtually all applications, from mobile communications and internet-of-things devices to electrified systems in automobiles and aircraft.

Focusing on integrated power management circuits and systems on a chip, PMIC aims to achieve extreme power density and efficiency with the potential to transform transportation, communication, and energy generation and consumption. These innovations have a range of applications, such as enhanced battery life for mobile platforms or solar and electrochemical energy storage as well as potential cuts to overall costs and carbon emissions.

“Companies want to create products that use less energy without increasing cost,” says Professor Charles Sullivan, a PMIC codirector. “Researchers here are exploring and developing the technology to help them do that. PMIC will bring Dartmouth researchers and companies together.”

Member companies will share in both the cost and benefit of cutting-edge R&D and gain a higher return on investment. Membership also comes with up to 12 votes on PMIC’s industry advisory board, which steers the center and provides input into plans for expansion.

—Catha Mayor Lamm

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