Bulky and heavy power supply connectors, such as coils and condensers, are prerequisites to electrical appliances. And they need large space and consume much power. What if a tiny chip was developed for that purpose Then you can save energy and use it for much smaller appliances and gadgets. Everything will turn out to be more convenient and efficient. This sounds just great, doesn't it
This kind of dream was fulfilled by ACE Electronics (www.aceet.co.kr), a non-memory semiconductor design company located in Ochang, North Chungcheong Province, as a result of its development of a tiny semiconductor IC chip which is smaller than a fingernail. ACE R&D staff developed PoC (Power Supply on a Chip) with their own technology. It has integrated functions of transistors or capacitors which used to be essential components of existing electrical appliances or lighting equipment. ACE's PoC is a new ultralight, tiny-sized model.
When connected to an inverter or charger, PoC can save power by 20 to 30 percent, compared to existing power supply devices, using a new power conversion system. The new product also helps electronics appliances such as TVs, washing machines, refrigerators and air-conditioners, reduce standby power by more than 10 times from 1.0W down to 0.1W.
Especially, PoC prolongs the lifespan of all electronics appliances and regulates the intensity of electricity, thereby making it possible to regulate the brightness and strength of fluorescent lamps and electric fans. Patent applications for it have been filed in a total of 12 countries, including the United States, the UK, Japan, China, Taiwan and Brazil. PoC has a 50,000-hour lifespan, five times as long as the existing LED power supplier with a mere 10,000-hour lifespan.
ACE President Cho Young-chang said, "Indeed, ACE's PoC is a new product that can revolutionize the electronics industry. It's really a wonder product that anybody finds it hard to believe. Experts as well as industrialists who have engaged in the industry for decades, even say they can't believe it before they take a first-hand look at it."
ACE's Technology Wins Recognition from Goldman Sachs
The process of ACE developing PoC was not so smooth. ACE was already a promising enterprise with communication technologies receiving various prestigious awards such as the Chang Young-sil Award, a presidential award for innovations, and a medal of industrial merit. Since it was founded as a small lab in 1986, ACE has taken part in major government projects and won recognition for its technological prowess.
In this process, Cho focused R&D efforts on developing an ultralight power supply device. "I saw the possibility in such an idea. But it was not easy to find an investor, either at home or abroad," he said with a grin. "When I tried to persuade potential investors that it was possible to turn on a fluorescent lamp without any coil or transformer, they used to regard me nearly as a fraud."
Finally, a flash of hope was shown when the world-renowned investment bank Goldman Sachs decided to invest in ACE. ACE staff were filing a patent application for PoC, when Goldman Sachs' counselor readily decided to invest US$10 million by taking over a 25 percent stake of the company, paying W125,000 (US$106.79) per ACE share, 25 times the face value of the W5,000 (US$4.27) share. It really was a godsent rain on the parched land of ACE, which even had difficulty giving monthly pays to its employees. Goldman Sachs did not even ask for a haggling negotiation, but just made such a decision only after a technical review of the company.
Also teaching as a professor of electronics engineering at Chungbuk National University, Cho is not yet ready to relax, but still bent on developing more technologies. His staffers are hurrying around the world to find new markets that would take interest in their company's technologies.
"Just as most computers are installed with Intel chips, ACE's products will serve as a new technological paradigm for all electrical appliances in the future. PoC products are best adaptable to global issues such as Green IT and energy saving. Our initial goal is to grab a 30 to 40 percent share of the global market worth W100 trillion (US$85.43 billion) a year, and our ultimate goal is to have all electronics goods in the world use ACE's products," Cho added.