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STMicroelectronics Launches New Series of AC Switches For Home Appliances


Cost-saving switches offer higher voltage capability while enhancing overall system electrical performances

Geneva, September 18,2006 - STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM), a pioneer and worldwide leader in thyristors and triacs, today introduced a new generation of Alternating Current Switches (ACSTM) to control the numerous AC loads employed by appliance applications. Designed to drive pumps, fans, valves, relays, dispensers, door locks, and micro-motors in appliances such as dishwashers, air conditioners, washing machines, dryers, refrigerators, ovens, and freezers, the new ACSes provide designers with higher voltage capability while ensuring overall system reliability and efficiency.

The 600V-rated ACS family of switches is built with ST’s proprietary Application Specific Devices (ASD) process technology, which enables the integration of both over-voltage protection circuitry, and RC-snubber external components. The ACS family helps users save space within electronic boards while meeting the requirements of the latest home-appliance energy-saving and Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) standard for testing and measurement techniques such as IEC 61000-4-5.

An evolutionary advance over the previous ACS102-5Tx and ACS108-5Sx, the new ACS102-6Tx and ACS108-6Sx switches include improved static and dynamic characteristics. Among these, the latching and holding current levels have been reduced by 50%, allowing a more optimized gate pulse-control mode, especially in case of lower power rated loads, thus drastically reducing power consumption. The switching capabilities and the electrical noise immunity have been also improved by about 15% as compared to the previous version.

Other major benefit of the recently introduced ACS devices is the crowbar structure, which starts to protect the system at a higher voltage level than the previous version. As a result, the devices’ robustness has been re-qualified to enable the switches to safely sustain a higher level of energy.

Designers using the new ACSes will be able to cut the cost of their appliances by reducing component count up to 80% and by avoiding external over-voltage suppressors. Appliance design will also be simplified by enabling the ACSes to be directly driven from microcontrollers.

The ACS102 is available in both TO-92 and SO-8 ECOPACK® packages, while the ACS108 is assembled in TO-92 and SOT-223 ECOPACK® packages.

In production now, the ACS102 and ACS108 cost $0.23 and $0.25, respectively, in 10,000 unit quantities.

Further information on ST’s family of AC switches is available at:

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About STMicroelectronics
STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications. An unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and strategic partners positions the Company at the forefront of System-on-Chip (SoC) technology and its products play a key role in enabling today’s convergence markets. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2005, the Company’s net revenues were $8.88 billion and net earnings were $266 million. Further information on ST can be found at


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