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Vicor Corp  (VICR)
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    Sector  Capital Goods    Industry Industrial Machinery and Components

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Vicor Corp Segments


Business Segments I. Quarter
(in millions $)
(Mar 31 2017)
(of total Revenues)
I. Quarter
(in millions $)
(Mar 31 2017)
(Profit Margin)
54.46 100 % -0.95 -

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Growth rates by Segment I. Quarter
Y/Y Revenue
(Mar 31 2017)
Q/Q Revenue
I. Quarter
Y/Y Income
(Mar 31 2017)
Q/Q Income
11.91 % 2.32 % - -

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Business Segments Description

Legacy Products
The following product groups include those that historically generated the majority of our revenue. Some of our brick product lines have been in production for over a decade, reflecting the long-established relationships we have with many customers and the long-standing suitability of our products to their demanding applications. Their generally long lifecycles and well-established share of targeted market segments provide the competitive foundation and organizational resources for our transitional go-to-market strategy.

• Bricks (Modular DC-DC Converters and Complementary Components)
We offer brick modules as DC-DC converters, as well as complementary components providing AC line rectification, input filtering, power factor correction, and transient protection. All of our brick modules are encapsulated with a dielectric, thermally-conductive material, thereby providing electrical insulation, thermal conductivity, and environmental protection of the electronic circuitry. These products are well-established as important, reliable elements of conventional power systems architectures.
The BBU currently offers seven families of high power density, component-level DC-DC converters, representing the broadest selection of DC-DC converter modules in the industry: the VI-200™, VI-J00™, MI-200™, MI-J00™, and the FasTrak™ module line, our highest volume products, made up of the Maxi, Mini, and Micro product families. All of our DC-DC converters are based on our proprietary approach to resonant soft switching, enabling high efficiencies and power densities. Wide ranges of input voltage (from nine to 425 volts), output voltages (from two to 54 volts), and output power (up to 600 watts) are offered, allowing end users to select components appropriate to their individual applications. The products differ in temperature grades, maximum power ratings, performance characteristics, pin configuration, and, in certain cases, characteristics specific to the targeted market. Brick DC-DC converters are offered in sizes, depending on family, ranging from 116.9 x 61.0 x 12.7 mm (full brick), to 57.9 x 61.0 x 12.7 mm (half brick), to 57.9 x 36.8 x 12.7 mm (quarter brick).

Products from our broad line of complementary components are used to condition and/or filter the input and output voltages of the brick DC-DC converter. Generally, these components address customer requirements at the AC current source, upstream from our DC-DC converters, providing rectification of the AC current, input filtering, inrush limiting, and transient protection. An example of such a complementary product is our HAM™ (Harmonic Attenuator Module), a front end providing power factor correction. The HAM utilizes a proprietary zero current switching boost converter, allowing it to provide output power of up to 675 watts and DC output voltage of 365 volts.
We also offer numerous accessories (for example, base plates and heat sinks) to meet customer requirements.
These products are generally targeted at applications requiring high performance and reliability in the following market segments: aerospace and aviation; defense electronics; industrial automation, instrumentation, and test equipment; medical diagnostics; telecommunications infrastructure; and vehicles and transportation infrastructure.

• Open-Frame Intermediate Bus Converters
We offer an extensive line of open-frame (i.e., not encapsulated) intermediate bus converters (“IBCs”) for implementation of multi-stage power conversion. These devices utilize the same Sine Amplitude Converter switching topology utilized in our VTM and BCM modules in the VI Chip and ChiP formats. These low profile, isolated, fixed-ratio IBCs conform to industry standard quarter-brick and eighth-brick sizes, but offer increased capabilities and exceptional performance.
These devices typically are used in telecommunications and networking equipment applications. Because our IBCs represent pin compatible upgrades for existing designs, a customer, for example, can replace a competitor’s quarter-brick unit with our eighth-brick converter, using half the available space, while meaningfully improving system performance.

• Cool-Power High Density ZVS DC-DC Converters
We offer a family of isolated DC-DC converters delivering up to 60 watts in a very small (22 x 16.5 x 6.7 mm ) surface-mount package. Because these small devices are packaged in the VI Chip over-molded package, they are able to withstand harsh environments in applications for which space is limited and light weight is advantageous (e.g., aerospace, aviation, and defense electronics). These high density converter modules are offered in three input voltages: 48 volt nominal for communication applications; 28 volt nominal for rugged high temperature or military applications; and 24 volt nominal for industrial applications.
Cool-Power converters utilize our proprietary zero voltage soft switching topology (“ZVS”) to achieve high-switching frequencies enabling best-in-class power density, while reducing input and output filtering requirements.

• Configurable Products
Utilizing our modular brick components to drive system function, we offer numerous configurable product families that provide complete power solutions configured to a customer’s specific needs, often with multiple voltage outputs. These near-custom products exploit the benefits and flexibility of our modular approach to offer higher performance, higher power densities, lower costs, and faster delivery than many competitive offerings. These AC-DC and DC-DC configurable products are designed, developed, and manufactured by the BBU and, for the Japanese market, VJCL.
Our highest volume configurable product, the FlatPAC™, is representative of our approach to integrating our power components to create high-performance solutions. FlatPACs, available in thousands of configurations in three package variants based on the number of DC output voltages, are complete, conductively-cooled AC-DC conversion solutions comprised of our VI-200 DC-DC converter modules and our complementary components, described above, providing rectification and filtering of the AC input voltage.
Our configurable products typically are used in a range of CPA and distributed power architecture implementations in industrial and transportation applications, as well as medical instrumentation.

• Custom Power Systems
Certain customers rely on us to design, develop, and manufacture custom power systems to meet performance and/or form factor requirements that cannot be met with off-the-shelf system solutions. These low-volume, high value-add products frequently are designed to function reliably in the harsh environments associated with aerospace, aviation, and defense applications, but also are used in applications ranging from industrial equipment to medical instrumentation. By utilizing our modular components to drive system function, we have been able to meet such customers’ needs with reliable, high power density, turnkey solutions.

Advanced Products
The following product groups include those that reflect our vision of the direction of the market segments we serve with our Power Component Design Methodology. Many of these products are targeted toward FPA implementations, but our more recently introduced products are suitable for other distributed architectures.

• ChiPs (Modular Power Components)
In 2013, our VI Chip Corporation subsidiary introduced the ChiP platform, designed to be a scalable, leveragable module format with lower manufacturing costs. We believe the ChiP platform establishes best-in-class standards for a new generation of scalable power modules, while expanding our capability range and, in turn, our addressable market opportunity. Combining advanced magnetic structures, proprietary power semiconductors, and proprietary microcontrollers in a high density interconnect substrate, the ChiP delivers superior thermal management characteristics, allowing customers to achieve low cost power system solutions with previously unattainable system efficiency, size, and weight. ChiP modules also have lower manufacturing costs than our original VI Chips, thereby allowing us to offer highly differentiated products, not only with superior total cost of ownership over time, but at attractive initial price points. Our goal is to offer ChiP modules and solutions on a cents per watt basis near or equivalent to the prices of competitive product offerings, thereby presenting customers with a compelling value proposition.
ChiPs are produced in the same functional families as our earlier VI Chip FPA modules (i.e., PRM, BCM, and VTM), but today we offer five package sizes ranging from 13 by 23 mm to 61 by 23 mm. We currently offer over 100 specific ChiP module variants, reflecting the multiple configurations, based on dimensions, lead formats, and performance specifications, enabled by the flexible module format. During 2015, we accelerated our introduction of ChiP modules, adding new products and additional variants within the product families.

Notably, in 2015, we introduced more than two dozen new DCM® (Direct Current Module) variants in ChiP format, in commercial and military grades. We currently offer the ChiP DCM in approximately 45 commercial and military variants in either a 4623 (i.e., 46 x 23 mm) package, capable of up to 600 watts, or a 3623 package, capable of up to 320 watts. ChiP DCMs are offered with nominal input voltages of 24, 28, 48, 270, 290, and 300 volts and nominal output voltages of 48, 36, 28, 24, 15, 12, and 5 volts.
These isolated DC-DC converters are an important element of our competitive positioning. Given their function and form factor, ChiP DCMs should be very familiar to customers currently purchasing our brick DC-DC converters. In addition, the DCM, utilizing our most recent advances in ZVS soft switching and thermal management, offers enhanced performance compared to our legacy bricks. Reflecting our Power Component Design Methodology, DCMs can be integrated easily into complete power management solutions using our complementary components. The flexibility of the ChiP DCM design also allows a designer to array up to eight modules in parallel, without performance derating or the need for additional circuitry. When configured in this manner, a designer can implement a highly efficient conversion solution of up to 4.8 kilowatts, optimized for size and weight.

Also in 2015, we expanded our ChiP BCM family of isolated, fixed ratio bus converters. We offer a low voltage family of ChiP BCMs for board-level IBA implementations and a high voltage family for voltage conversion, either individually or in arrays, in HVDC micro-grid applications (e.g., datacenters). Both families are configured in our 6123 ChiP package and provide peak conversion efficiencies up to 97.9%. The low voltage family accepts input voltages from 36 to 60 volts and generates output voltages from 2.4 to 55 volts, with power up to 1.95 kilowatts. The high voltage family accepts input voltages from 330 to 365 volts (or alternatively, 260 to 410 volts) and generates output voltages from 8.1 to 51.3 volts, with power up to 1.75 kilowatts. We believe ChiP BCMs, with power densities of up to 2,750 W/in3, deliver the highest efficiency and highest density of any bus converters available. All of our bus converters utilize our Sine Amplitude Converter switching topology, which delivers unmatched conversion efficiency and power density, with low noise and fast speed (i.e., transient response). In addition, the low AC impedance of our bus converter designs enables bulk capacitance, normally located at the input of a point-of-load regulator, to be placed at the high voltage input to our BCM, thereby reducing the bulk capacitance required, while saving board area and system cost. With the wide range of ChiP BCMs we offer, complemented by our expanding offerings of ChiP and SiP point-of-load regulators, we believe we are well-positioned to expand our share of market segments in which IBA implementations are preferred. We also believe we are well-positioned with these products to establish a leadership position in the emerging HVDC market segment.
Our family of NBM™ bidirectional bus converter modules, a non-isolated BCM derivative introduced in 2015, is representative of the platform leverage afforded by the ChiP concept. Bidirectional power transfer capability is attractive in applications employing batteries and battery chargers, as it allows for less circuitry and management overhead. NBMs enable more efficient transmission of power from low voltage sources to remote, low voltage loads by means of a higher voltage intermediate bus, providing voltage boost (i.e., step-up) and voltage buck (i.e., step-down) at each end of the bus. We are targeting emerging applications in hybrid vehicles, as our 6123 NBM provides up 2.4 kilowatts of power, up to 98.3% operating efficiency, and market-leading power density of up to 3,532 W/in3, making it ideal for space constrained applications in which isolation is managed at the system level (as is the case in hybrid vehicles). Given our expertise in 48 volt applications, we believe our NBM family is extremely well suited for the requirements of the proposed LV148 standard, which has been advanced by major European automotive OEMs in support of industry adoption of the higher efficiency 48 volt bus.

ChiP modules are targeted at applications, regardless of the power distribution architecture, for which their high level of differentiation is appropriate. Across distributed power system architectures, ChiPs are targeted at aerospace and aviation (e.g., for use in unmanned aerial vehicles, due to their small form factor and light weight); defense electronics (e.g., for use in airborne, seaborne, or field radar, due to their high power capabilities, conversion efficiencies, ruggedness, and reliability); industrial automation, instrumentation, and test equipment (e.g., for use in semiconductor testing, due to their power density and tight regulation); telecommunications and networking infrastructure (e.g., for use in pole-mounted small-cell base stations in urban environments, due to their form factor, reliability, and cost/performance profile); and vehicles (e.g., in hybrid electric vehicles, due to their form factor, light weight, differentiated performance, and cost/performance profile). As stated, we also are pursuing applications with OEMs and their contract manufacturers in market segments for which the advantages of ChiPs are most compelling. In particular, we are marketing FPA, enabled by our new products, as an alternative to IBA and other distributed architectures, primarily in enterprise computing (notably large-scale datacenters, for which we believe our PRM and VTM combination represents the smallest, most efficient 48 volt to microprocessor solution available).

Our extensive product roadmap for ChiP modules includes the further expansion of product families, in terms of power levels, performance, and dimensions, military grade versions of several products, and the addition of various approaches to chassis and board mounting, all targeted at increasing our addressable market opportunity.

• VIAs (Vicor Integrated Adapter Package)
In 2014, we introduced the VIA platform, a rugged, double-sided, copper-alloy package for ChiP modules, integrating complementary components, circuitry, and superior thermal management through conductive cooling. In 2015, we released to production our first VIA-based products and currently offer over 70 VIA packages for ChiP DCMs, BCMs, and PFMs.

We consider the VIA platform to be important to our transitional go-to-market strategy, as it has been designed to enable the use of ChiP modules across the widest range of power system architectures and applications. It is an easy-to-use power management solution, providing customers an advanced, turn-key solution for their demanding power needs, cost-effectively accelerating design cycles and time-to-market, while providing superior power density. The VIA platform is particularly differentiated by the flexibility it provides designers, as it offers substantial thermal advantages and its form factor allows a broad range of installation options. In numerous applications, the package simplifies thermal design considerations and, in some instances, eliminates the need for a fan for convection cooling, improving overall system reliability and further minimizing the power system footprint. Offered in board and chassis mount configurations, all VIA packages have a vertical dimension of 9.3 mm and a width of 35.5 mm, and, depending on the packaged ChiP module and its functionality, range in length from 72.0 to 141.4 mm.

The VIA platform facilitates our latest AC front-end solution, based on the ChiP PFM® (Power Factor Module). The VIA PFM represents a significant improvement over our legacy front-end solutions, thereby enhancing our positioning as a supplier of highly-differentiated power management solutions from the AC source to the point(s) of load. The VIA PFM achieves a market-leading power density of 127 W/in³, supplying an isolated DC output of either 24 or 48 volts, at up to 400 watts, from a universal AC input. It operates with active power factor correction at 93% peak conversion efficiency, which is an unprecedented level for an AC-DC converter of this size and power density. Combining the VIA PFM with our small AIM™ (“AC Input Module”), which provides AC rectification, filtering, transient protection, and inrush limiting capabilities, creates a high-performance AC-DC front-end solution with an unmatched size profile. This solution is especially well-suited for emerging applications with size constraints, including small-cell base stations and commercial LED lighting.

The VIA platform also facilitates the VIA DCM, which is an important product for executing our strategic transition. We currently offer seven variants of the VIA DCM. The product family integrates filtering, output voltage regulation, circuitry protection, and a control interface, giving the VIA DCM the function of a conventional brick DC-DC converter, while offering higher conversion efficiency, superior power density, and the design flexibility described above. As such, we are positioning the VIA DCM as a successor to our legacy brick DC-DC converters, notably in advanced, challenging applications. However, the VIA DCM also is positioned as an innovative, high-performance element of our Power Component Design Methodology, as it has been designed to be integrated with our other products to facilitate design of comprehensive power system solutions.

In 2015, we introduced a High Voltage VIA BCM, for use in HVDC distribution applications. As with the VIA PFM, this product is differentiated by its small size, very low profile, and thermal advantages, which provide substantial design flexibility.

• Cool-Power® ZVS Modules (System-in-Package Point-of-Load Regulators)
First introduced in 2012 by our Picor Corporation subsidiary, the Cool-Power brand of non-isolated, point-of-load regulators currently consists of 31 variants of buck (i.e., the device steps down voltage) regulators, four of which were introduced in 2015, and three variants of buck-boost (i.e., the device lowers or increases voltage) regulators, all of which were introduced in 2015.

We believe Cool-Power buck regulators provide best in class conversion efficiency (up to 98%), allowing customers to deploy more efficient designs, regardless of power system architecture, based on the compatibility of these point-of-load regulators with higher, more efficient input voltages. Operating from nominal input voltages of 12, 24, or 48 volts, these regulators are optimized for applications requiring tight point-of-load regulation, such as computer and video processors, delivering the highest power density possible at an attractive cost.

The high conversion efficiency of our Cool-Power regulators is enabled by the high switching frequencies of our proprietary ZVS topology, which minimizes switching losses, while maximizing dynamic response to line and load transients. Along with ZVS control circuitry, the advanced design of Cool-Power regulators incorporates proprietary sampled feedback control and proprietary power semiconductors, all within a high-density, surface-mount package. The low noise of our ZVS approach also reduces the size of external filtering components, thereby improving overall power density.

Cool-Power regulators are competitively well-positioned to address market trends toward higher required conversion efficiencies and higher currents at the point-of-load. The recent addition of buck-boost variants expands our capabilities to include loads powered by batteries, which are subject to varying voltage delivery over their discharge cycle. We believe these products will be an important contributor to our long-term success, as they represent a meaningful element of our Power Component Design Methodology, enabling comprehensive, highly integrated solutions for FPA and other distributed architectural implementations, fulfilling our strategic commitment to offering integrated solutions all the way to the point-of-load. Our success to date with these products has frequently been when they have been part of an integrated FPA solution, delivering a tightly regulated voltage to a downstream VTM serving as a current multiplier, which in turn delivers low voltage, high amperage, regulated current to the point-of-load, typically a microprocessor.

• Power Path Management Components
Our Picor subsidiary offers a limited range of specialized components for circuit protection, all of which are characterized by small size, ease-of-use, and differentiated performance. The highest volume products are QuietPower® filters for input filtering of electro-magnetic interference and output noise (i.e., ripple attenuation). Other products include: the Cool-Switch®, a load-disconnect switch solution, which functions as a high-speed electronic circuit breaker; the Cool-Swap®, a “hot swap” circuit breaker controller enabling safe system operation during circuit card insertion; and the Cool-ORing®, a high-density, active ORing solution enabling accurate, fast detection and isolation of circuit faults, while significantly reducing power dissipation and eliminating the need for heat sinking. We also offer numerous families of discrete components, capacitors, and electronic and mechanical accessories, all compatible with our power components.

We consider these products to be a valuable complement to our Power Component Design Methodology, despite their relatively small sales volumes, as they enable customers, assisted by our application engineers, to source from Vicor their complete solution to power conversion and management.

• VI Chips (Modular Power Components)
We continue to offer the first generation of VI Chip PRM, BCM, and VTM modules, in full (32.5 by 22.0 by 6.73 mm) and half (22.0 by 16.5 by 6.73 mm) sizes, targeting FPA implementations. These products remain compelling solutions for certain applications, notably in defense electronics, medical instrumentation, and test and measurement applications.
We also offer a limited number of VI Chips in our “VI Brick” packaging, which incorporates complementary circuitry and offers superior thermal characteristics, while facilitating a range of board mounting alternatives.
With the introduction of ChiPs and VIA packaging, we anticipate our sales of the first generation of VI Chips and VI Bricks will be limited to shipments to existing customers during the life cycles of the applications into which these products have been designed. We expect the life cycles of many of these applications may continue for several years.


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