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Ferric Semiconductor -- Power ICs & IP based on Thin-Film Power Inductors  
Founded: Jan 2011
Status: Private
Source: Semiconductor Times, 8/14
155 W 121st Street
New York, NY 10027
Tel: 917.261.4387

Ferric Semiconductor was founded in 2011 to develop DC-DC power converter chips and circuit IP based on patented on-chip thin-film magnetic power inductors. In June 2013, September 2013 and March 2014, the company raised Series A funding from New Science Ventures, received funding via NSF SBIR Phase I, II and IIB contracts; and also via DOE SBIR Phase I and II contracts.

Ferric is commercializing integrated DC-DC converters based on its thin-film magnetic power inductor technology. Integration of patented thin-film magnetic inductors with CMOS technology improves both energy efficiency and integration density of voltage regulators and power supplies. Ferric’s technology can be applied across a broad spectrum of power electronics ranging from full-scale servers to the chip level.

Ferric’s magnetic core topologies provide >5A/mm2 current density and utilization factor near 100%. Its patented magnetic core inductor process and designs are integrated on top of the chip or interposer, providing flexibility in integration and implementation. Its integrated voltage regulator (IVR) products utilize buck converters that can be integrated directly onto the package or IC. For microprocessors, for example, the use of IVRs can deliver up to a 20% improvement in overall system power efficiency with an 80% reduction in board-level footprints.

Competitors include Intel, Enpirion (now Altera), and others such as Maxim, Dialog, Linear and TI. Ferric argues that it is the only company with on-chip integrated inductors, enabling the converters to be integrated on package, on chip, or on 2.5D / 3D stacks.

In partnership with TSMC, Ferric offers high-density inductor libraries, integrated voltage regulator chips and licensable circuit IP for a broad range of current, voltage and density requirements. The layouts are optimized for high inductance, high current density, and low inductor series resistance (RSL). By integrating Ferric inductors with TSMC’s CMOS “back-end-of-line” (BEOL), Ferric enables efficient, high-density on-chip/on-package power conversion at any process node. Ferric offers flexible integration options including package integration, 3D stack integration, and monolithic integration.

Dr. Maurizio Arienzo, CEO & Founder (previously President and CEO of SMaL Camera Technologies, which was acquired by Cypress, and VP & GM of ATI Technology)

Dr. Noah Sturcken, CTO & Founder (lead inventor stemming from his work with Columbia and Ferric. Previously a research intern for the AMD R&D Lab and Analog Design team)

Prof. Kenneth Shepard, Founder, Technical Advisor & Chairman (Professor of Electrical Engineering at Columbia University)

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