Iisc faculty devises technology to shrink power electronic systems

A faculty at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has devised a means to make power electronic systems – circuits found in common electronic devices – significantly smaller that can create new possibilities in the field of consumer electronics.

“From a consumer point of view, the proposed scheme would reduce cost, size and weight of several power electronic systems, electrical appliances and electronic gadgets. The batteries of wireless devices would last longer and gadgets will not heat up significantly,” said Mayank Shrivastava, assistant professor, Department of Electronic Systems Engineering, IISc.

One of the most indispensable components of electronic devices – be it mobile phones or electric cars – power electronic systems control and convert electric power.

The system consists of sub-systems which perform different tasks and to shrink the whole system, Shrivastava had to find ways to shrink the sub-systems which required considerable expertise in both nanotechnology as well as power fields.

State-of-the-art methods in different branches of nano-electronics, material technology and 3D integration were used.

Typically, in most of the electronic circuits, the components are connected side by side. In 3D integration, components are connected one above the other too.

This integration scheme helps make electronic systems smaller, just as apartment blocks help save space in cities.

The idea for the project was triggered by the Little Box Challenge, an international competition to demonstrate the smallest of power electronic systems.

Shrivastava said, “I started thinking in this direction not because of the international challenge. However, an instant thought that something non-conventional and out-of-the-box needs to be done, to deliver higher power in small size and with efficiency, led to this invention.”

Shrivastava said that a working prototype of his scheme could be developed in another three years with proper funding, given the global market for low and medium range power electronic products exceeding $100 billion or Rs 6.5 lakh crore by 2020.