Celebrating Earth Day with Sustainable Solutions
Earth Day is annually celebrated on April 22 to support and raise awareness of various environmental activities. It was established in 1970, a time when many felt that being a responsible company meant forfeiting profits. This is where Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) comes to play. In reality, CSR initiatives rely on profitability like any other part of the organization. The more successful our company is, the greater our capacity to "do good"; the more opportunities we have to expand our reach and amplify our commitments and actions.
Doing more good in the communities where we live and work, allows our company to develop our influence and boost credibility. This type of business environment fosters innovation, bringing value to all stakeholders. We also operate a world-class reclamation center that processes all scrap manufacturing materials from our global factories to limit our environmental waste and impact. Our global reclaim objectives reflect our commitment to environmental sustainability and resource conversation while optimizing our network, protecting our intellectual property and maximizing and recapturing profits. ON Semiconductor recouped more than $29 million USD from this operation in 2018 alone.
Not only do we seek to give back to our communities, but we are proud to provide industry-leading, energy-efficient, sustainable semiconductor-based solutions and technologies in various industries including our three target markets: internet of things (IoT), industrial cloud power and automotive.
For IoT manufacturers, concerns have risen in recent years for alternative energy sources for greater ease of implementation and power consumption. A new approach is to harvest dynamic energy from the movement and force applied to a button, such as an ON/OFF switch. We provide an energy harvesting switch that can be used in smart homes and building automation, which offers unparalleled flexibility for deployment within buildings as they do not require any hardwiring. It also removes the hassles of maintenance and the environmental impact of battery replacement and disposal.
A key factor in making this battery-free application a reality is ensuring that the wireless protocol used is incredibly low power. Using the Green Power™ protocol offered by the Zigbee Alliance™, we launched our Strata-enabled Zigbee® Green Power Kit. The kit is based on the NCS36510 SoC and consists of one Zigbee coordinator USB device, which interfaces with Strata and two energy harvesting nodes, which act as Zigbee® Green Power Devices.
Figure 1. Strata-enabled Zigbee® Green Power Kit
Learn more about our energy harvesting switch using the below resources:
- Strata Enabled Zigbee Green Power Energy Harvesting Kit User Guide
- Creating an Energy Harvesting Zigbee® Green Power™ Switch for Smart Homes and Buildings
Lighting and heating account for almost 50 percent of energy consumption costs within industrial buildings. As energy costs and concerns about environmental impact continue to rise, solutions for optimal lighting functionalities with reducing power consumption are in high demand.
Intelligent, connected lighting can have a significant impact on energy consumption, from offering basic lighting controls like turning lights on or off all the way up to complete autonomous systems complete with smart sensors that allow industrial manufacturers to collect insight about the building’s environment (temperature, humidity levels, occupancy, etc.) and optimize as needed.
Our Connected Lighting Platform is a complete, optimized kit that combines the technologies needed for industrial LED lighting applications. It’s a highly energy-efficient platform, providing up to 70 Watts of power and up to 7000 Lumens of light from an Ethernet or AC/DC power supply. The system supports up to four LED strings and each LED driver board has two FL7760 drivers for each LED string, delivering 27 W per string. Providing multiple connectivity options, the platform supports Bluetooth® Low Energy and Power over Ethernet (PoE). See our Connected Lighting Platform user guide.
Figure 2. Connected Lighting Platform
Electric motors especially account for 45 percent of the total global electric power consumption. The reliability and efficiency of motor drive electronics have an impact on comfort, convenience and the environment in every region of the world as they are used in various applications like climate control, appliances, automobiles, factories and more. To improve the efficiency of motor drive systems is to replace a single-speed motor driven with a variable speed drive, which allows for electronic speed control of the motor and higher drive efficiency.
Efficient and reliable electric motor drives that meet all these requirements are complex and time-consuming to develop, but our new Motor Development Kit (MDK), is a comprehensive prototyping platform that reduces time and energy spent in the design process. The MDK connects to power boards to create a quick-start platform to run your motor, allowing rapid testing, evaluation and optimization of your system before designing any hardware. Sporting the powerful Xilinx Zynq®-7000 FPGA/ARM SoC, the UCB is suited for high-end control and AI-based applications. The power boards feature ON Semiconductor’s leading power devices and modules together with all other necessary components and devices from our broad portfolio to develop complete motor driver solutions. We offer both 1 kW 600 V based on Compact IPM and Universal Controller Board Kit and 4 kW 650 V based on SPM31 and Universal Controller Board Kit. Driving down industrial energy consumption by trying the MDK and design faster to the market!
Today, data has become one of the most valuable commodities. Trends such as the forthcoming rollout of 5G mean that large amounts of data will be able to move quickly, supporting the growth of data-hungry formats such as video content needed for virtual and augmented reality. Data centers are facing increased energy costs and operators are looking to use less power and reduce their footprint.
In order to achieve higher performance and reliability, the power systems of data centers need to operate at greater levels of integration, especially in the area of the power switching MOSFETs and their associated drivers. Additional functionality is being incorporated to ensure the highest levels of operational uptime, including the ability to hot-swap devices such as fans and disc drives.
At the next level of power density are Smart Power Stage (SPS) solutions that integrate MOSFETs, drivers and sensing devices for current and temperature. This approach allows the constituent parts to be matched and optimized to each other, achieving performance levels that are not possible in discrete solutions.
Although the cost of SiC MOSFETs remains above their silicon counterparts, costs have dropped and the associated savings in inductors and capacitors, where values are lower than with silicon designs, means that the bill of materials cost of a SiC based power solution is now lower than for a silicon design. This is expected to be a tipping point that will lead to faster adoption of wide bandgap technology, further reducing costs. These SPS semiconductor-based solutions are not only improving efficiency and reducing costs, but they are ultimately benefiting the environment and society.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that motors are responsible for more than 45 percent of the world’s total electricity. Thus, finding ways to maximize their operational efficiency is paramount. Higher efficiency drives can be smaller and moved closer to the motor, which reduces challenges arising from long cables. This will have relevance from an overall cost and ongoing reliability perspective. The advent of wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductor technology is expected to play a major role in enabling new motor efficiency and form factor benchmarks to be achieved.
The use of WBG materials, such as Silicon Carbide (SiC), means that devices can be fabricated and are able to outperform their Silicon (Si) equivalents. Though there are various key opportunities for this technology, industrial motor drives are receiving the greatest interest and attention.
ON Semiconductor now offers engineers IGBTs that are co-packaged with SiC diodes. In addition, the company has 650V, 900V and 1200V rated SiC MOSFETs. Through such products, it will be possible to revolutionize motor drives - raising efficiency parameters and making implementations more streamlined. See all of our offerings in our SiC portfolio!
ON Semiconductor is paving the future of the automotive industry by providing cutting-edge solutions to meet the current challenges and demands of the industry. We provide key technologies for vehicle electrification, reducing carbon emission, increasing vehicle efficiency and reducing society’s dependency on petroleum.
As a whole, the automotive industry is focused on increasing sustainability and eliminating emissions, such as producing electric vehicles (EVs) with 100 percent recyclable batteries and building EV charging infrastructure. Implementing power integrated modules and WBG devices from ON Semiconductor comes with the technology, reliability and application knowledge to enable the sustainability of our energy infrastructure. Using ON Semiconductors products and technology to create and distribute clean renewable energy, with incredible efficiency and in large quantities will allow the future generation of EV drivers to spend more time on the road and less time at the charger and, at the same time, keeping our planet clean.
The Future of Electric Vehicles
Learn more about our EV on-board charging system design and simulation using power modules.
So join us in celebrating, not only Earth Day, but also our global workforce who help us provide energy-efficient solutions that enable a greener, more sustainable future. Together, we are ON Semiconductor.
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