Technology which addresses the problem of short battery life frustrating smartphone users has been identified by a research group at University of Limerick.
The research project is the first one to be completed for the group of companies involved in the MCCI Microelectronics Centre which is part of the joint Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland Technology Centres initiative. The announcement was made as part of Microelectronics Week.
Microelectronics Week which took place in November 2011 involves a series of awareness raising events to shine a light on the sector. The event was led by MIDAS Ireland (Microelectronic Industry Design Association), an industry led organisation, established to maximise the economic impact and employment potential of the microelectronics industry in Ireland.
Users of mobile devices often have to leave them plugged in constantly to recharge, particularly when heavy wireless broadband usage is required. The Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) developed by the research group facilitates ‘best-in-class’ signal reception in smart phones such as the iPhone and Android devices and would allow battery lifetime in future phones to be increased significantly.
Welcoming the announcement, Sean Sherlock, T.D. Minister for Research & Innovation said; “As this is the first completed project from the Microelectronics Technology Centre, it is encouraging to see the results have direct relevance to the microelectronics industry and the consumer. This shows that the Government funded Technology Centres - which enable industry sectors to identify their research needs, and then find solutions from Irish research institutes - are delivering tangible economic benefits”.
The DAC is a key component of all smartphones and is required to convert digital information - used to process data on the phone - into real world analogue signals for wireless data transmission. The technology is currently being evaluated by two potential licensees based in Ireland.
Speaking today, Chairman of MIDAS and Director of ON Semiconductor’s Design Centre in Limerick, John Blake said: “Today’s announcement is a great endorsement for the high calibre research being undertaken in Ireland in the microelectronics sector. This week has been focused on generating awareness of the sector in Ireland. The microelectronics sector is uniquely positioned to support Ireland’s economic recovery efforts. I congratulate the MCCI Microelectronics Centre on their continued work in this area and look forward to the introduction of today’s innovation in the future.”