New research by the University of California, Berkeley, has revealed the existence of a new type of core inductors.
In a paper published in Nature Communications, the researchers describe their findings.
Chip inductors are an important part of many devices that use electrical power, but the research suggests that they could be even more crucial in the future, as electric cars become more prevalent.
“Our research indicates that the design of a chip inductive resonator, the core of which can be controlled by the flow of current, can greatly reduce power losses and allow a large number of cores to be connected to one or more other cores,” says senior author Ralf Schechter, professor of electrical engineering and computer science.
The core inductive resonance (CIR) resonator has been used in devices for decades, but it has never been seen before.
The technology is particularly attractive because it is simple to build and uses a relatively small area, Schechters team reports.
“Because the core is so small, it can be built without a large surface area and is thus more compact than other inductive devices,” Schechers team writes.
“In a future electric vehicle, the inductive core of a car can be used to create a power-absorbing surface that can reduce power loss,” Scheachters team says.
“In a vacuum, the power-conducting surface can be heated to a very high temperature, making it possible to drive a car with a small amount of power.”
In their study, the team developed a way to create cores that have different frequencies in the same frequency band.
“For this study, we used a single-phase design,” Schecher says.
“The team demonstrated that the system could be tuned to achieve a high efficiency, while still having a low power loss.”
The researchers found that by controlling the frequency of the core, they could increase the frequency, which they then used to generate a resonator.
Schechters group said they had to develop an algorithm to calculate the optimal frequency of a core.
They then found that the resonator is only as good as its resonance, and that the frequency can be tuned.
“This is a very novel approach,” Schechters team says in a press release.
“We hope to use this design to build other type of inductive chips for other applications in the near future.”
More from the MIT Technology Review:A core is a collection of individual inductors that form a magnetic field and which act as a link to the rest of the electronic system.
When they resonate, they generate power that is used to drive motors, transformers and other devices.
Scheechers team also says that they can tune the resonant frequency to improve efficiency, as well as to reduce the power loss.
In the past, researchers have used a device called a piezoelectric resonator to create power-sapping capacitors that were useful in small electronic devices.
But that technology requires very high temperatures and very specific materials, which make it impractical for everyday use.
The researchers say that they are focused on improving the efficiency of their resonator technology, which could lead to other types of core devices that could be used for other uses.
“We are not just interested in the core itself,” Scheichers team concludes.
“Our goal is to create more efficient core inductance resonators for use in other devices that require more power.”
The research was funded by the Office of Naval Research, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Science Foundation, and the Office for Naval Research.