The RF Energy Alliance was launched at European Microwave Week in Rome. The Alliance, which is a consortium of industry leaders, including E.G.O. Elektro-Gerätebau GmbH, Huber+Suhner, ITW, NXP Semiconductors, Rogers Corporation and Whirlpool R&D (an affiliate company of Whirlpool Corp.), intends to advance today’s power and heating solutions by equipping engineers and designers with a transformative, cost-effective and highly efficient heating and power source – solid-state radio frequency (RF) energy. To achieve this, the Alliance will drive the development of standards, education and promotion of solid-state RF energy.
By providing standards for components and modules generating solid-state RF energy, industries intending to or currently using RF will see benefits in various areas. Most importantly, the adoption and use of the technology will become significantly easier, even for engineers new to RF.
“While solid-state generation of RF by itself is not new, its use is currently limited to low volume, specialized applications. The technology has reached a tipping point where broad adoption can be realized in a variety of applications that are either driven by magnetron tubes and the likes or are even completely new,” said Adriano Scaburri, technology director advanced development at Whirlpool and chair of the RF Energy Alliance.
The well-known advantages of solid-state RF generation encompass outstanding control of all RF parameters, precise application feedback, excellent reliability and scalability, design freedom with respect to geometry and swift system integration. These advantages translate to better process control for industrial processes, enabling new applications ranging from automotive ignition for improved fuel economy to cooking appliances yielding greatly enhanced user experiences. High-volume applications like these and others will increase the cost-effectiveness of the technology.
Applications initially targeted by the RF Energy Alliance include consumer and industrial cooking, industrial lighting and heating, automotive ignition and medical devices for ablation, hyperthermia treatment and imaging.
The Alliance will define specifications for RF energy components, sub-modules, interfaces and systems necessary to support its target applications, focusing first on solid-state cooking. These specifications will be backed by roadmaps for critical elements in the application’s supply chain to aid design and implementation efforts. A comprehensive validation and certification program ensuring reliability and base performance levels of components and end-products will also be established.
The companies behind the RF Energy Alliance’s formation are global leaders driving innovation in their respective business markets, which range across the value chain from components to applications. These companies bring to the Alliance experience with conceiving, developing and successfully demonstrating solid-state RF energy technologies and products. And, they share the vision of a fast-growing, innovative marketplace built around this sustainable heating and power source.
Member companies will have the opportunity to contribute to the evolution of existing applications as well as the creation of new ones that can benefit from solid-state RF energy. Member profiles range from OEMs and suppliers to service providers and institutions dedicated to the Alliance’s mission. Such companies active in the solid-state RF generation chain or applying RF energy are encouraged to participate alongside a number of companies that have already expressed interest in joining the RF Energy Alliance. For information about membership levels and instruction on how to join, visit www.rfenergy.org/membership.