Adding to its arsenal of proprietary intellectual property, Amber Solutions, the young Silicon Valley company that is making the digital control of electricity in solid-state architecture a commercial reality, today announced it secured four new patents for core technology applications that deliver digitally powered and enhanced GFCI, AFCI and overcurrent inrush current protection in solid-state circuit breakers and other electrical products.
Of Amber’s portfolio of 10 secured patents, the four new patents, plus two prior patents, support the company’s breakthrough architecture in solid-state circuit breakers and therefore by default in less complex, downstream electrical product applications like outlets, standalone GFCI outlets and other receptible based products in building electrical grids.
Amber is releasing a video demonstration of some of its patented technologies, in which a circuit breaker built with its groundbreaking IP effectively handles and survives 460 separate inductive surges, over a 15-minute period, at 260 volts each. The video is available here.
The announcement of new patents comes on the heels of the company’s strategic alliance with global leader Infineon to collaborate on next generation silicon solutions that provide digital control of electricity with embedded intelligence across a range of product applications.
Amber CEO Thar Casey views the consistent growth of the company’s patented IP and its recent alliance with Infineon as compelling milestones in the transformation of our building electrical landscape from today’s standard, 1950’s era, electro-mechanical architectures to modern solid-state electrification with embedded intelligence powered by Amber.
“The world needs safer, smarter and more reliable technologies to manage and deliver power in increasingly complex building implementations and energy requirements, and Amber’s newly secured solid-state patents are the strongest statement yet that the time has come to retire the mechanical control of electricity,” he said today. “Through intelligent digital detection and more rapid interruption of electrical faults and overcurrent/inrush current issues, we are enabling the creation of unique electrical products that are safer, faster, and provide far more capabilities than any existing solutions. Using silicon chip architecture and Amber’s intelligent digital technologies, these specific life and fire safety enhancements make possible simpler, more reliable, more robust implementations in circuit breakers, outlets, switches and other electrical endpoints, providing the potential for multiple layers of protection within the building electrical grid beyond the circuit breaker.”
The new patents extend coverage of Amber’s IP more deeply over its core technologies for digital control of electricity in silicon architecture – specifically for DC extraction directly from AC mains, and indestructible AC switching. They also expand new IP coverage to the company’s digitally intelligent electrical fault detection and interruption, along with intelligent overcurrent/inrush current protections. Amber’s patented technologies are aligned with the UL 489i solid-state circuit breaker standard and will align with IEC specifications for circuit breakers slated to be published in 2025.
Infineon, the leader in power semiconductors, is collaborating with Amber to commercialize these innovative technologies. The latest patent grants punctate the technology’s disruptive and expansive market potential in fire and life safety areas specifically, but also in the broader connected intelligence and control infrastructure for buildings in general.
“Circuit breakers, specifically, are an enormous and important part of global building electrical infrastructure, and Amber’s solid-state innovations enable development of true 21st century solutions that deliver safer, faster and more intelligent control of electricity,” said Steve Bakos, Senior Director, Switching Power at Infineon Technologies. “More broadly, the downstream implementations of these technologies into outlets and switches will be transformative based on the value that can be added to these applications and have implications across the full building electrical grid.”
Combined with Amber’s existing and forthcoming patented technologies, the company’s innovations enable major reduction of false AFCI and GFCI circuit breaker trips, power interruption 3,000 times faster compared to traditional circuit breakers, truly arc-free switching, and dramatically reduced size of power management technologies for inclusion in circuit breaker and other electrical endpoint solutions.
Casey concluded, “The implications of Amber’s technology portfolio goes beyond the siliconization of power management in electrical products. Our innovations enable the integration of advanced digital intelligence and more robust feature sets in electrical products that today are not built nor installed — or not even possible in many cases. Amber essentially opens the opportunity to put robust computing power directly into electrical endpoints throughout the building electrical grid, enabling the transformation of building electrical to modern solid-state architecture, which in turns transforms true whole building intelligence, awareness and control. It’s a true second electrical revolution.”