Contributing to a Sustainable Society through Products and Services
Many of ABLIC semiconductor products were first created through the quartz wristwatch development process, later being spun-off and deployed. Wristwatch components must fit in extremely confined spaces, and, being battery-driven, must be able to operate for long periods of time off of limited amounts of power. Compactness and low energy consumption are therefore fundamental aspects of their product development. Semiconductor products are now used in a wide variety of applications, such as smartphones, appliances, and automobiles, but we continue to develop and supply semiconductor products which are compact and consume little energy, contributing to reduced energy usage and completed product energy savings. Furthermore, we are actively engaged in the development and use of “energy harvesting,” collecting the tiny amounts of power produced by light, vibration, body heat, and the like, through technologies such as our unique voltage-boosting integrated circuits (ICs)*1.
※1 Integrated circuits are electronic circuits composed of transistors, diodes, resistors, capacitors, and other components amassed on a single semiconductor chip or substrate and connected via thin metal film.
Examples of Products That Contribute to the Sustainable Development of Society
Here are some of the products and services our group offers to help resolve the problems faced by society.
Ultra-low Energy Consumption, Low-voltage Operation
We provide a wide lineup of ultra-low energy consumption ICs. Our S-1318 series of LDO regulators*2 have an ultra-low current consumption of 95 nA compared to that of conventional products (350 nA). They contribute to longer battery life for devices such as wearable and IoT devices. We also develop and supply S-85S Series DC-DC converters and voltage detectors with industry top-class low quiescent consumption current (260 nA). This lowers resource usage amounts by decreasing the frequency of battery replacement, helping reduce the environmental impact of products.
As mobile devices become smaller and more advanced, they require even smaller ICs. We have developed the HSNT-4, an ultra-compact IC product measuring 0.8 mm by 0.8 mm. This contributes to lower environmental impacts by greatly reducing the amount of resin used for the IC product itself, as well as contributing to the miniaturization of the substrates of the devices in which it is used.
CLEAN-Boost® technology uses unique SII Group power storage and current boosting technologies to use small amounts of power generated by body heat, vibration, microbes in the soil, reactions between metal and water, and the like. In the past, the power generated was too small to use, but we have carried out research aimed at leveraging this energy for uses such as wireless transmission. The power generated has tremendous promise for use as a power source for sensors and other devices used in locations in which other power sources would not be feasible. Devices powered by this technology would not require batteries, so they have great potential for expanding the range of fields in which sensors could be used and for reducing environmental impact.
<Awards received for CLEAN-Boost® technology>
(1)In October 2019, a technical paper regarding CLEAN-Boost® technology was presented at the IEEE S3S Conference held in the United States at San Jose, California. Titled “150-nW*2 FD-SOI Intermittent Startup Circuit for Micropower Energy Harvesting Sensor,” the paper received the Best Paper Award at the conference.
*2 A nanowatt (nW) is a billionth of a watt (W).
* For details, please refer to the news release dated November 13, 2019.
(2) In May 2020, “T-iAlert® WD” (*3), a battery-less/wireless water leakage detection system that was developed in collaboration with Taisei Corporation and Inoue Ribbon Industry, received an Award of Excellence at the 18th Environmental and Equipment Design Awards held by the Association of Building Engineering and Equipment. The award was received due to focusing on elements related to “sensibility” such as esthetics, as well as the three other items of functional, economic and social aspects, taking environmental issues into account.
(*3) “T-iAlert® WD”
T-iAlert® is a general term for auto-alert technology being promoted by Taisei Corporation as a tool to secure safety and peace of mind and prevent disasters based on measurement, prediction, and evaluation. Here, WD stands for water detection.
＊ See Topics for May 26, 2020 for details.
https://www.ablic.com/jp/semicon/news/2020/05/26/tialert_award/ (In Japanese)
Preparing Green Product Standards and Creating Green Products
Taking our various environmental initiatives into account, we have established green product standards that have been screened by the Life Cycle (LC) Design Committee. These standards incorporate absolute evaluation or relative evaluation with competitor products. Upon the completion of development, each product also undergoes screening by the same LC Design Committee and products that meet the standards are certified as green products.