Carbon Trust Investments is taking a $4 million equity stake in CamSemi, a fables semiconductor developer. The investment will support the CamSemi’s commercialization of ICs that will allow manufacturers to introduce highly cost-efficient mains-connected converters and battery chargers that are smaller, cheaper and more efficient. The devices have the potential to deliver a ten-fold improvement in standby-energy efficiency, and to reduce operating-mode losses by a factor of three.
Energy lost as heat through inefficient power conversion or when products are in standby is a growing concern. For example, the standby usage of the U.K.’s 25 million mobile telephone chargers alone consumes enough energy to match the annual electricity needs of 16,000 homes. Other research suggests that consumer-electronic equipment will be responsible for 45% of household energy consumption by 2020, equivalent to the output of 14 power stations.