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The IITuC8K1612 Chip: Power-saving microchip developed by MSU Iligan will be commercialized

The IITuC8K1612 Chip

A microchip developed at the Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology, under the “μC-Integrated Circuit (IC)” program, is supported by the Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development. The power-saving microchip is currently undergoing pre-commercialization and negotiation before it will be available for industrial markets. (MSU-IIT Microelectronics Lab)


Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) researchers have created a power-saving microprocessor that can gather, store, and use light energy for its operations while also extending battery life for smarter power management. DOST Secretary Fortunato "Boy" T. de la Pea confirmed this.

“The customized microchip is capable of harvesting, storing, and using light energy for its operations, as well as prolonging battery life for smarter power management,” he said in a report. He said currently, conventional ICs available in the market consume power whether it transmits data or not. “The MSU-IIT developed microchip increases power consumption when transmitting data but only consumes low power when idle,” the DOST chief said.

Dr. Reynaldo M. Vequizo, director of MSU-IIT's Knowledge and Technology Transfer Office (KTTO), said Friday the microchip underwent intellectual property or IP-related research and patent searches, along with its IP-related analysis for patentability, and novelty searches, landscapes, licensing, and infringement, among others.

"Pre-commercialization and negotiation initiatives on 'μC-Integrated Circuit (IC)' with industry for commercialization are ongoing. This negotiation is dependent now on the degree of patent protection," he said in an interview.

The microchip is a 3.5-year project sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology's Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) as part of the IC program, with a PHP34 million budget.

The goal of the project was to fully equip MSU-IIT's Microelectronics Laboratory in Digital Integrated Circuit Design, produce final research on a System-on-a-Chip (SoC) Microcontroller with Energy Harvesting and Power Management Unit, and apply the designed chip to a working IoT Device prototype.

Once the patent process is complete, Vequizo said the power-saving microchip would be presented to the newly launched Innovation through Leveraging, Industry, Government, Academe Networks and inclusive Community Engagements (ILIGANiCE), a collaborative program that aims to enhance the productivity and competitiveness of local enterprises through the adoption of scientifically developed technologies.

"KTTO is one of three clusters in the implementation of ILIGANiCE. Once this technology is commercialized, this will be presented by ILIGANiCE," he said.

The launch of ILIGANiCE was held online on June 30 through the signing of a memorandum of understanding by the DOST 10 (Northern Mindanao), Department of Trade and Industry 10, and MSU-IIT; together with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation of Iligan, Inc., and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Science, Technology, Research, and Innovation for Development (Stride) program.

MSU-IIT Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension and ILIGANiCE project leader Dr. Jinky Bornales said the program would help micro, small, and medium businesses improve and enhance their goods and services, particularly in the areas of research and development, technology upgrades, and other innovation-related needs.

She went on to say that the initiative intends to help startups and prospective entrepreneurs by establishing innovative policies that encourage more dynamic economic activity and fostering a long-term innovation system through community involvement and collaborations.

“It’s a program that is based on the principle of collaboration between the academe and the community because we believe that the greater the scope of collaboration, the bigger the impact it will have to the entire community. Through ILIGANiCE, we will strategically connect and engage the academe and the community through our various activities,” Bornales said.

DOST Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña commended MSU-IIT and its partners from the government and private sector for setting up ILIGANiCE, saying the program is timely, necessary, and would benefit not just Iligan City but also Northern Mindanao and the whole country.

“There are now two innovation hubs in Northern Mindanao, the OroBest in Cagayan de Oro, and we have now ILIGANiCE that is trying to create an ecosystem that will generate the innovations for economic and social benefits not only for the people in this region but for the whole country,” he said. (PNA)


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