Interview with Steffen Wollek
At ZMDI, sustainability is all about providing customers with products that ease the demand for energy; i.e., electricity and fuel. To reach this goal, ZMDI’s product designers develop semiconductors that will become part of innovative energy-efficient systems.
Our global society’s aspirations towards more comfortable life styles, emerging markets and increasing human populations will continue to encounter limited resources and increasing climate protection requirements. These facts will be major challenges for the next 20 years.
To reverse this trend toward increasing world energy consumption and therefore increasing CO2 emissions, an extraordinary effort for energy reduction, including a path to “green” energy generation, is needed.
World Wide Energy Consumption 1990 – 2035 Energy is the Key Challenge of our Future
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration Source IEA2010 & IPPC 2010
Report DOE/EIA-0484(2011) (Public Domain)
In addition to enabling “active” energy savings by using special technologies and design methodologies, ZMDI products also lead to “passive” energy savings. An example of a “passive” energy saving device is ZMDI’s battery monitoring IC, which enables the “stop-start” functionality in vehicles and therefore indirect (passive) energy/fuel saving.
ZMDI’s energy-saving technologies address almost all market segments; e.g., automotive and transportation, lighting, industry and infrastructure, and mobile consumer applications.
Smart sensors enable smart control mechanisms for modern automotive power trains. Advances in transmission, engine and steering systems deliver greater power density and fuel efficiency so that today’s lighter and smaller power trains ...more
Approximately 21% of the world’s electrical energy is used for illumination; i.e., a whopping 12 billion kWH per day. Lighting for streets, plazas and bridges ...more
In mobile systems, the need for sensing and energy-efficiency can have a synergistic impact on the entire product design. Increasingly, smart mobile systems feature ...more
Industry & Infrastructure
High-speed system electronics in telecom switches, network routers, base stations, servers and storage equipment draw higher current while computing power ...more
Smart sensors enable smart control mechanisms for modern automotive power trains. Advances in transmission, engine and steering systems deliver greater power density and fuel efficiency so that today’s lighter and smaller power trains can provide significantly more output power and fuel economy than traditional designs.
The Euro 5 and Euro 6 emission standards call for lower CO2 and NOx emissions from passenger cars. Meeting these new requirements for NOx is especially important, given that these emissions must be reduced by a factor of 10 between 2000 and 2014.
ZMDI is providing automobile manufacturers with IC solutions that help fulfill the new emission standards.
Here are some examples:
Battery monitoring: Monitoring the status of the car battery with our smart battery sensor solutions enables automatic start-stop features in cars, which can reduce fuel consumption up to 8%.
Ethanol sensing: ZMDI’s IC solution enables optimization of fuel injection based on the real ethanol value and therefore helps reduce emissions.
Electronic steering: ZMDI’s IC solution enables using magneto-resistive sensors, which can enable an electronically controlled motor in the steering mechanism instead of using an hydraulic servo steering mechanism.
The graph above shows the fuel savings and greenhouse gas (CO2) reduction achieved through ZMDI products in the automotive segment per year. Because the number of new energy-efficiency products introduced each year has increased, the savings in fuel could be significantly raised each year.
The fuel savings achieved in 2012, approximately 4500 M liters of fuel, corresponds to the loads of approximately 20 supertankers.
The accumulated annual savings since 2004 is approximately 18,000 M liters of fuel, which corresponds to the loads of approximately 80 supertankers.
(Please note that the 2013 figure above is our forecast.)
Approximately 21% of the world’s electrical energy is used for illumination; i.e., a whopping 12 billion kWH per day. Lighting for streets, plazas and bridges alone makes up roughly 10% of Germany’s overall power consumption.
Driven by regulations and higher energy costs, as well as a desire to reduce energy consumption, more and more con-sumers are switching to LEDs for illumination. Energy-efficient LEDs are definitely the future of street lighting.
The positive impact of energy-efficient LED technology on global energy consumption is also due to its high usage in new and retrofit home and office lighting.
In 2010, ZMDI introduced its new LED driver product line. ZMDI LED driver families are part of the solution for efficient streetlights and household/office light fixtures. To meet customer needs, ZMDI offers several LED driver series with different characteristics, such as the ZLED7xx0 LED driver families with integrated switches to drive single or multiple LEDs from a supply voltage in the range of 6V to 40V using continuous-mode inductive step-down (buck) converters and the ZLED7015, which is used for applications driving strings of multiple high brightness (HB) LEDs from a low voltage source.
In mobile systems, the need for sensing and energy-efficiency can have a synergistic impact on the entire product design. Increasingly, smart mobile systems feature embedded personal devices allowing data capture and the capability to adapt to the user’s personal activity and physical environment. The proliferation of mobile systems means that highly energy-efficient designs can have a significant impact on energy consumption. Sensing energy characteristics, fine-tuning power usage, minimizing the scale of mobile products, and smart battery management can extend battery life and improve the mobile product consumer’s experience. These new capabilities are creating new markets for products that serve consumer needs while conserving energy.
ZMDI’s solutions for battery-based mobile sensing applications have all been developed with a focus on ultra-low power consumption, which enables our customers to create the most energy-efficient products; e.g., consumer products such as shavers (our customer Braun received the “Energy Star” certificate for their shaver charging unit); sensing applications in mobile handsets (e.g., barometric sensing, proximity sensing); and applications in portable medical devices (e.g., glucose measurement).
High-speed system electronics in telecom switches, network routers, base stations, servers and storage equipment draw higher current as computing power continues to increase. This development drives the need for energy-efficient power supplies that utilize more sophisticated control techniques.
ZMDI’s Smart Power Management (SPM) technology enables customers to achieve higher energy efficiency across all output loading conditions as needed to meet the latest energy standards. ZMDI’s SPM also improves on traditional analog solutions by simplifying monitoring for system power and thermal management in point-of-load (POL) power supplies
ZMDI offers a complete chipset or single-chip solutions for advanced POL applications. The chipset, consisting of an advanced POL controller IC and a DrMOS integrated driver and power MOSFET, offers high efficiency from light load to steady state with our best-in-class transient performance.