Using silicon for converting power for electronics, HVAC systems and computing has reached its limit — or so says the CEO of startup Transphorm, Umesh Mishra. Transphorm makes energy-efficient power conversion modules out of gallium nitride, that are meant to compete with less energy efficient silicon-based power conversion gear. On Tuesday the company, which is backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Google Ventures, launched a stand-alone 600-volt transistor, and back in March started selling a power diode, which manufacturing customers can combine with a transistor to make a power conversion module.
Yes, it’s a little geeky, but the important part to know is that Transphorm’s power conversion gear can eliminate up to 90 percent of electric conversion losses. Watch my video interview with Mishra, to get a more layman’s explanation of the technology. Transphorms investors clearly think it’s a valuable idea: Kleiner Perkins, Google Ventures, Foundation Capital, and Lux Capital invested $38 million into the company.