the popularity of power conversion

It seems that power conversion is a popular topic. One of the more popular articles on the ned matters blog in 2013 was the second one I wrote about Arctic Sand.

While written some 11 months ago it still regularly receives interest.  Why bring this up now?  I bring it up because it touches on another interesting thread in the power conversion space that has recently gained some press; FINsix and D.Perreault.

In the last week or so I have read a few articles on FINsix and their laptop power converter.  The first of these was in MIT’s Technology Review, while a more recent one just appeared in VentureBeat.  At the moment I am going to pass on a more detailed discussion of FINsix technology, other than to highlight US 8,542,509, which issued in the fall of 2013.  I do though want to look at the possibly common roots of Arctic Sand and FINsix.

Both articles on FINsix mention roots in research at MIT.  That is fair enough.  The Technology Review article also commented; “The power adapter is the first commercial application of a novel circuit design developed by David Perreault, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT …”.  Now, D. Perreault came up in the second article on Arctic Sand.  In that article it was indicated that he was listed as an inventor on US 8,212,541.  While it was mentioned at the time that there was no direct link from ’541 to Arctic Sand, a co-inventor on ‘541 i.e.  David Giuliano is listed as an inventor on US 8,619,445 and 8,503,203 which are both assigned to Arctic Sand.

As far as this article goes the only thing missing is a figure.  Every article needs one.  So Figure 1 presents a hypothetical schematic of the roots of these two companies.  One can speculate that there are numerous concepts or ideas within the area of power conversion within Perreault’s lab at MIT.  Two of these ideas appear to have directly or indirectly gone on to commercialization. It is an interesting tale.

14_jan power fig_1