Image: A sectional side view of a portion of a stacked Printed Circuit Board (PCB) capacitor array structure / Tesla patent
Tesla filed a 'Stacked component array structure' patent that relates to electronics, and more specifically to passive and/or active components in the format of arrays of electronic devices.
Tesla constantly strives to ensure that its cars have the highest performance while costing significantly less than competitors, and so far has been successful in this. To this day, no one else can deliver the perfect price-performance ratio that Tesla does, and its charging network is an additional huge benefit, making its EVs the obvious choice. However, behind all this is the huge work of the Tesla team, which is constantly working on all the improvements.
While in vehicles with internal combustion engines the engine is the most important part, in electric vehicles it is the battery and the manufacturer's ability to efficiently use its charge to reap the high performance. Thus, if the manufacturer can efficiently use the battery power, then it will be successful. Tesla has already made significant progress in this area, yet continues to improve.
Tesla filed a 'Stacked component array structure' patent on December 14, 2021, which was published on June 23, 2022. The invention described therein relates to electronics, and more specifically to passive (such as capacitors, inductors, resistors and their combination) and/or active (such as integrated circuit chips) components in the format of arrays of electronic devices.
Like many other companies, Tesla uses switching power supplies in its cars, as they perform their functions perfectly, while not taking up much space, without adding more weight, and saving the metals used to manufacture them, compared to a linear power supply. One application of a switching power supply is to convert an input voltage, e.g., input DC voltage to a lower DC voltage to drive an Integrated Circuit (IC). A Voltage Regulator Module (VRM) may be used to convert a voltage received from a battery or other DC source to a lower voltage for use by the IC. The requirement of high power for the ICs, e.g., in excess of 500 watts, at relatively low voltages, e.g., less than one volt, creates problems for the VRM. The VRM must supply a relatively low DC voltage at many hundreds of amperes. Typically, VRMs are space constrained but still include components (such as LC filter) to produce clean power at a low voltage and with high current.
The VRMs typically require substantial capacitance to condition their output DC voltage. It is difficult to include this substantial capacitance in a small form factor device, e.g., small foot print, reads the patent. Prior capacitor arrays typically required a relatively large foot print, which limited the foot print size of the VRM. This shortcoming of prior capacitor arrays introduced similar problems with other electronics that had both a high capacitance requirement and a small footprint requirement.
In the patent, Tesla describes the invention and methods for making it. In fact, a stacked Printed Circuit Board (PCB) electronic component array structure is described, which solves the existing difficulties described above.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.