Energetic Idea

According to research from datacenter Hawk, Phoenix is home to 1.97 million square feet of commissioned
data center space, representing 295 megawatts of power at the end of 2020. That makes it the fifth-largest
market for data center capacity in the nation.

Don’t expect the ranking to stop at No. 5. In June, Microsoft opened a data center in El Mirage, with plans
for at least two more facilities. In August, Facebook announced it intends to build a 960,000 square-foot
data center in Arizona—the company’s first here.

With this rise in data center capacity comes the rise in energy usage, making energy efficiency critical to
data center operators for both controlling costs and being responsible environmental citizens. After the
initial investment to build a data center, powering it is the largest operating expense. According to the
U.S. Chamber of Commerce, that can range between 40% and 80% of total annual expenditures.

Classic power transistor devices capable of controlling the flow of large amounts of electric current without a
significant drop in electric potential along the current path are essential in power electronics. Today’s high-
power switching devices are dominated by solid state transistor technologies, which include the metal-
oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET). For cloud computing systems, these devices are employed in almost every stage of power distribution, from AC-DC conversion through DC-DC down conversion to the point of load.

Addressing energy efficiency issues is Paradise Valley- based IceMOS Technology Corporation, which is
developing a new class of semiconductor power MOSFETs. The current IceMOS portfolio of devices
meet the needs of today’s data center requirement.
However, as the Internet of Things IoT, autonomous vehicles and data centers continue to increase, the path
to greater energy efficiency in the future is by improving the high-voltage distributed power systems
for voltage and current distribution.

IceMOS made the decision to investigate a new manufacturing process that merges available silicon
semiconductor fabrication technologies with other material types. The company’s engineers concluded that
wide bandgap materials such as silicon-carbide and diamond offered the greatest potential when combined
with silicon power semiconductor technologies for both improved device performance and improved thermal
performance to address the needs of the high-voltage market, which includes data centers.

The company is so uniquely positioned for making these improvements. In March IceMOS was awarded an
SBIR project by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center for its Moon to Mars campaign.

The innovation of semiconductor companies such as IceMOS will keep the Phoenix market competitive at a
global scale and on the list of primary markets with the greatest number of data centers. The improvements that
can be made using this merger of technologies is beneficial to the high-voltage power management in data cen-
ter power supplies but also critical to charging stations for electric vehicles and many more applications.

Raymond Wiley is general manager, Power MOSFET
Business, at IceMOS Technology.

TechConnect | FALL 2021 | 11


scroll up