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Energy Efficiency to Fuel Next Discussion at MIT Enterprise Forum Central Coast

Transphorm's Umesh Mishra, UCSB engineering dean Rod Alferness and DFJ Frontier's Frank Foster to talk industry applications and opportunities

Transphorm, a Goleta-based startup out of UCSB, will discuss the potential impact of its energy-efficient technology and the company’s growth at the next MIT Enterprise Forum Central Coast on May 16 at the Cabrillo Pavilion Arts Center.

Transphorm develops more efficient power converters that could substantially curb power consumption in computers, electric cars, motors and other appliances.

“The amount of savings added up is more than all the electricity consumed by the West Coast in a year,” said Umesh Mishra, Transphorm’s CEO and co-founder. “That’s the scale of the impact.”

Right now, most converters are made out of silicon and are about 90 percent efficient, while the rest of the energy gets converted into waste heat. Transphorm can improve that number to the upper 90s using Gallium Nitride. GaN has been used to power white-light LEDs but has never been used in large-scale conversion, where silicon has dominated for years.

Transphorm recently announced the qualification of its first product, a variation of the 600-volt diodes powered by GaN.

“Everyone understood this material should make efficient power conversion possible, but no one knew how to do it,” Mishra said.

Rod Alferness, dean of the UCSB Engineering Department, and Frank Foster, managing director of DFJ Frontier, will join Mishra at the forum. They will discuss the energy-efficiency industry, opportunities for entrepreneurs and manufacturing in Santa Barbara. Daniel Brooks of MWH Americas Inc. will moderate the event.

The MIT Enterprise Forum Central Coast will be held May 16 at the Cabrillo Pavilion Arts Center, 1118 E. Cabrillo Blvd. in Santa Barbara. An hour of networking and a buffet dinner will begin at 5 p.m. The speaker program will begin at 6 p.m., capped off with a question-and-answer period.

Tickets cost $30 in advance, $15 for students and $40 at the door. Parking costs $3. Click here for more information.

Noozhawk staff writer Alex Kacik can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @NoozhawkBiz, @noozhawk and @NoozhawkNews. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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