By Stephen Nellis
(Reuters) - Atomera Inc on Tuesday said it has come up with a new technology that could boost the production output of power-management semiconductors, a category of chip found in nearly every electronic device that has been in short supply globally.
Los Gatos, California-based Atomera develops methods for manufacturing chips and licenses its technology to chip designers and manufacturers. Its approach involves inserting a layer of oxygen atoms into a semiconductor material to help make chips smaller and more power efficient.
The technology announced Tuesday is designed for 5-volt power management chips. Those chips sit between a power source such as a battery or electrical outlet and translate the kind of power supplied by the source into the kind of power needed by a device's computing chips.
Atomera said its new technology can shrink the size of the transistors in power management chips so that semiconductor manufacturers can get 20% more chips out of their existing techniques and tools.
Scott Bibaud, Atomera's chief executive, told Reuters in an interview that it would take about two years for chipmakers that decide to tap the technology to redesign their chips to implement it.
"On the scale of semiconductors, that's very fast," Bibaud said "Power management chips are actually the quickest chips to design."
(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Leslie Adler)