Pioneering work in semiconductor technology in the Department of
Engineering has led Professor Gehan Amaratunga and Dr Florin Udrea to set up a spin-off company, Cambridge
Semiconductor, to bring a new energy saving product to the market place.
"There is a huge requirement nowadays for using energy more efficiently and intelligently, particularly
around the home in domestic consumer applications. Most consumer products involving electronics such as
washing machines, home computers or televisions can be made much more efficient," explains Professor
Amaratunga. "By merging two silicon chip technologies that are presently used independently, we have found
that we can get a significant performance advantage for the silicon chips used for power management and radio
frequency generation. This will enable us to reduce the energy consumption of electrical appliances in a cost
effective manner, simply by making them draw power optimally at all times. We have called these systems
'power integrated circuits'."
Professor Amaratunga heads the Electronics, Power and Energy Conversion research
"We decided to set up a company to bring this product to the market place as we are keen, as engineers, to
see this idea properly made use of. We aim to get this environmentally important invention in to as many
homes as possible through licensing agreements with major manufacturers.
Often our ideas are given to existing companies where they do not always get developed for one reason or
another. At the moment the climate in Cambridge is good for raising money to develop our own ideas in this
way. We approached the University's Challenge Fund with our idea, and they have provided funding of
£242,000 for us to demonstrate the technology. On completion of this initial stage we will be looking
for further funding to demonstrate an economically viable method of manufacture which will then lead to the
final stage of product development and marketing. This will all have to be accomplished within 2-3 years to
give us a market leading product."
Bill Matthews who heads up Cambridge University's Challenge Fund said, "Support for entrepreneurs and their
innovations is vital to the success of UK business and industry. Our investment with Cambridge Semiconductor
is the latest means that real progress can be made in terms of developing this exciting invention to its
For further information, please contact Professor Gehan Amaratunga.