15 January, 2013 – Cork, Ireland: Prof. Cian Ó Mathúna from Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork, Ireland has been named a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for his outstanding contribution to the field of power electronics with the citation “leadership in the development of power supply using micromagnetics on silicon”. The IEEE Grade of Fellow is conferred by the IEEE Board of Directors upon a person with an outstanding record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest. IEEE Fellow is the highest grade of membership and is recognized by the global technical community as a prestigious, internationally recognized, honour and an important career achievement.
IEEE has 400,000 members globally and the total number of Fellows selected in any one year cannot exceed one-tenth of one percent of the total voting membership. 298 individuals have been elevated to IEEE Fellow for 2013. Prof Ó Mathuna is the only award recipient in Ireland in 2013 and now joins eight IEEE Fellows in Ireland to date. Tyndall is honoured to have three more IEEE Fellows: Prof. Peter Kennedy, Prof Jim Merz (Tyndall Board member) and Tyndall Chairman, Dr. Alastair Glass. Prof. Gerard Wrixon, former UCC President and founder of the National Microelectronics Research Centre, now the Tyndall National Institute, is also an IEEE Fellow.
Alastair Glass, Chairman of Tyndall National Institute said: “This is an important achievement for Tyndall National Institute and for the Irish scientific and engineering community. Over the last decade, with funding from Enterprise Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland, Cian has led a multi-disciplinary team at Tyndall in undertaking leading research into a major roadblock to realizing the Power Supply on Chip concept through the development of high efficiency, small footprint, thin-film, power micro-magnetics on silicon. The term “Power Supply on Chip” or “PwrSoC”, originally proposed by Prof. Ó Mathúna, has now become a globally-used semiconductor industry term to describe this emerging technology. We congratulate Cian for his achievements and for his recognition as IEEE Fellow.”
All electronic products, from smart phones and tablets to household appliances and cars require power supplies to convert electricity, from the power grid or from batteries, to the correct voltage needed to drive the sensitive electronic components they contain. With an increasing global emphasis on energy, a key challenge is to maximise the efficiency of the power supply components. Prof. Ó Mathúna’s research on “magnetics on silicon for power supply on chip” is a key innovation which will enable the “holy grail” – the incorporation of very small, highly efficient power supplies into every silicon chip in every electronic product. This technology has the potential to dramatically reduce energy usage in electronics products and, in the case of portable products such as smart phones and tablets, will help deliver extended battery life. Prof. Ó Mathúna’s IEEE Fellowship award acknowledges the importance of this technology to the microelectonics sector globally.
Over the last decade, Prof. Ó Mathúna and his research team have delivered key technical innovations in power magnetics on silicon including the highest reported micro-inductor efficiency and micro-transformer gain/efficiency, as well as demonstrating the technical and commercial feasibility of the technology. Many key industry and academic players are now applying this research to evaluate and address the technical and commercial challenges and opportunities for PwrSoC.
Prof. John Shen, Vice President of the IEEE Power Electronics Society (PELS), an IEEE Fellow and a visiting SFI Walton Fellow at Tyndall said “Cian’s pioneering leadership in establishing the highly successful series of International Workshops on Power Supply on Chip (PwrSoC), recently held in San Francisco, has brought together the global power electronics and semiconductor communities to elucidate the technical and commercial challenges to be addressed in delivering the PwrSoC vision. This is now the flagship IEEE conference in this space.”
Commenting on Prof. Ó Mathúna’s elevation to IEEE Fellow, Prof. Seth Sanders, University of California at Berkeley, IEEE Fellow and General Chair of the PowerSoC2012 Workshop said “By leading the development and articulation of a vision for the research challenges in the PwrSoC space, Cian has convinced the microelectronics industry that the technology can deliver significant value in addressing global trends towards green and portable electronics.”
Carl Blake, Chair of the US-based Power Sources Manufacturers Association (PSMA), co-sponsors of the PowerSoC2012 Workshop with the IEEE, stated: "Cian’s elevation to IEEE Fellow is well deserved. His extensive contributions to the power and microelectronics industries, over two decades, have been outstanding. During his tenure as a member of thePSMA Board of Directors (www.psma.com), he led the first internationally-funded study on emerging trends in power supply on chip (PSiP2PwrSoC) which has been highly influential in informing the research agenda in this emerging space.”

Categories: 2013News