Laptop Luggers Rejoice: Richardson-Based TI Helps Shrink Power Adapters By 50%

Texas Instruments announced the expansion of its low-power gallium nitride portfolio, "designed to help improve power density, maximize system efficiency, and shrink the size of AC/DC consumer power electronics and industrial systems." Laptop-lugging shoulders everywhere will soon get relief.

Most of us have wrestled with getting our laptops packed for jaunts to Starbucks or trips across the country. Now Richardson-based Texas Instruments has stepped up to make our load just a little bit lighter—helping to reduce the size of a typical 67-watt power adapter by as much as 50%.

TI announced the expansion of its low-power gallium nitride (GaN) portfolio, “designed to help improve power density, maximize system efficiency, and shrink the size of AC/DC consumer power electronics and industrial systems.” The company’s overall portfolio of GaN field-effect transistors (FETs) with integrated gate drivers addresses common thermal design challenges, “keeping adapters cooler while pushing more power in a smaller footprint.”

Reading between the lines of the technical stuff above, we can all agree on one thing: for laptop luggers, smaller is better and lighter means a little less pinch on our bag-slung shoulders.

Kannan Soundarapandian, general manager of High Voltage Power at TI, knows where we’re coming from.

‘Smaller, lighter, and more portable’

“Today’s consumers want smaller, lighter and more portable power adapters that also provide fast, energy-efficient charging,” Soundarapandian said in a statement. “With the expansion of our portfolio, designers can bring the power-density benefits of low-power GaN technology to more applications that consumers use every day, such as mobile phone and laptop adapters, TV power-supply units, and USB wall outlets.”

“Additionally, TI’s portfolio also addresses the growing demand for high efficiency and compact designs in industrial systems such as power tools and server auxiliary power supplies,” Soundarapandian added.

The expanded portfolio eliminates the need for an external shunt resistor and reduces associated power losses by as much as 94% when compared to traditional current-sensing circuits used with discrete GaN and silicon FETs, TI said.

The portfolio is also optimized for the most common topologies in AC/DC power conversion, such as “quasi-resonant flyback, asymmetrical half bridge flyback, inductor-inductor-converter, totem-pole power factor correction, and active clamp flyback.”

 Like us, you may not know what all that means. But crunching the engineering is what TI is here in North Texas for.

Smaller and lighter? That we get.

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