News and Events
Lunchtime Seminar 15th March
Tyndall Making MagIC - getting the Silicon Chip to use less energy
Date: Tuesday 15th March 1pm - 2pm
Venue: MS Teams (Online)
Speaker: Prof. Cian O’Mathuna
Minimising energy consumption in electronics (from smartphones to data-centre servers and network infrastructure) has been a major, long-standing, technological challenge, in both science and engineering communities. Discrete, bulky, wire-wound, magnetic components used for power delivery in electronic systems are a road-block to the power efficiency improvements required to address increasingly demanding environmental concerns, including the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Responding to this challenge, the Integrated Magnetics team at UCC's Tyndall National Institute, led by Prof. Cian Ó Mathúna, has developed “MagIC” (Magnetics on Silicon), a disruptive magnetic inductor component technology which will enable significant reductions in energy consumption in future battery-critical and power-intensive applications. When in high-volume production, MagIC will create its magic by dramatically reducing system energy consumption, extending battery life and reducing the overall size, weight and cost of future electronic systems. The power of Tyndall’s MagIC technology is that it enables the making of tiny magnetic components that can be built directly on silicon chips. Tyndall’s MagIC effectively does for magnetics what the silicon chip has done for transistors over the last 50 years – “MagIC makes magnetics disappear onto silicon chips”. With research supported by Enterprise Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland, Cian and his team have collaborated with world-leading industry players in Europe, USA and to establish a global supply-chain that can deliver high-volume production of magnetics-on-silicon for use in commercial product within the next three to five years. Total value of these contracts is over €10million, the largest industry funding for a single technology in Tyndall.
Tyndall National Institute is a leading European research centre in integrated ICT (Information and Communications Technology) hardware and systems. We specialise in both electronics and photonics and have a network of over 200 industry partners worldwide. We are focused on delivering real impact from our excellent research. The institute employs 600 researchers, engineers and support staff, including 120 full-time graduate students. Together we generate over 270 peer-reviewed publications annually.
Tyndall operates under a unique agreement between the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science and University College Cork (UCC). The Agreement defines the primary role of Tyndall as providing a national focal point for excellence in deep-tech research, development and graduate training at the convergence of micro & nano-electronics, photonics, materials and software, with the objective of having a significant impact on economic development and societal challenges in Ireland.
Cian O’Mathuna is currently Head of the MicroNano Systems Centre at Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork, Ireland and a Research Professor at UCC School of Engineering. He graduated from UCC with a B.E. (Elec) and received MEngScience and PhD for his research at UCC's National Microelectronics Research Centre (NMRC), which evolved into Tyndall National Institute.
His research is focused on the convergence of microelectronics and microsystems to “make and power smart things for the future 1 trillion sensor economy”. He is co-founder of Irish industry-academic research clusters in surface mount technology (Smart Group Ireland), wireless sensor networks (WiSEN) and power electronics (PEIG). In 2010, he was an Irish Government appointee on the National Innovation Task Force Implementation Group. Prof. Ó Mathúna’s research, over two decades, into the miniaturisation and integration of magnetics-on-silicon, has played a key role in disruptive developments in integrated power management for applications in portable electronics and high performance computing. Using semiconductor processing of thin-film magnetics, Ó Mathúna’s team have made bulky power magnetic components disappear onto silicon chips. In 2008, Prof. Ó Mathúna founded the International Workshop on Power Supply on Chip (PwrSoC) which has become the highly-influential flagship workshop for the IEEE Power Electronics Society and the US-based Power Sources Manufacturers Association (PSMA).
Through his leadership in PwrSoC, and his extensive collaborations with world-leading industry players, in Europe, USA and Asia, Ó Mathúna has had a significant influence on the emergence of a global supply-chain that can deliver high-volume production of magnetics-on-silicon for use in commercial product.
Prof. Ó Mathúna and the Tyndall team have also won UCC Awards for Leadership, Research Team of the Year and Invention of the Year. In 2013, Cian was elevated to IEEE Fellow, the highest global accolade in Electrical and Electronic Engineering with the citation “for leadership in the development of power supply using micromagnetics on silicon”. In 2021, the Prof. Ó Mathúna and the team at Tyndall received two awards recognising their research and global impact in MagIC technology. These awards were the IEEE Power Electronics Society Technical Achievement Award for Integration and Miniaturisation of Switching Power Converters from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and an EARTO Innovation Award for Impact Expected from the European Association of Research and Technology Organisations.