Sustainability: Product stewardship:
Sustainable design

Our product stewardship philosophy is evident in everything we do. But before we begin any design, we ask our customers what they hope to achieve: Longer battery life? Higher performance? Real-time connectivity? Built-in intelligence? Energy efficiency? Security? Product safety? Wireless communication? Reduced power consumption? A smaller system footprint? Greater system integration?

We then set out to deliver integrated system solutions that meet their requirements – as well as features they may never have considered. We do this by:

  • Investing significantly in R&D that will help us create innovative devices and inspire advancements in nanotechnology that will reduce environmental impacts.
  • Taking a holistic approach to producing optimal solutions.
  • Pushing technological limits, as our customers demand products with ever-increasing features and functionality.
  • Improving efficiencies of power-hungry systems to reduce the earth’s energy footprint and provide a cleaner, greener future for generations to come.
  • Simplifying how technology connects and communicates on the Internet of Things.
  • Reducing the total cost of ownership across products’ lifetimes.
  • Strategically partnering, developing and integrating technologies in niche markets to enhance and expedite our product offerings.

Marketability is important. So is environmental and social responsibility. We see these as complementary values and a competitive advantage.

Design strategy

Technology springs from imagination, and TI wants to create an environment where people can both imagine a better world and help build it. When we design technology, we ask our customers what they are trying to provide for their clients -- performance, size, reliability and efficiency.

We then set out to deliver technological solutions by:

  • Investing in R&D that will help us take advantage of key sustainability opportunities and anticipate our customers' needs.
  • Taking a holistic look at how a technology will benefit an entire system and optimize overall performance.
  • Pushing technological limits, as our customers demand products with ever-increasing features and functionality.
  • Improving efficiencies of power-hungry systems to reduce the globe's energy footprint and provide a cleaner, greener future for generations to come.
  • Designing products that optimize personal protection.
  • Reducing the total cost of ownership across our products' lifetime.
  • Strategically acquiring and integrating technologies in niche markets to enhance and expedite our product offerings.

Solutions for today and tomorrow

Few companies can match the record of innovations from the inventive minds at TI. These advances include world-changing technology such as the first commercial silicon transistors, the first integrated circuits and the first electronic handheld calculator.

Today, we are addressing some of the world’s most pressing needs with innovations in energy and infrastructure, power management, solar energy, automotive, health tech and many other applications.

Energy and infrastructure applications

TI is passionate about solving global energy problems, which have been at the core of the company's innovations since the 1930s. Current worldwide attention to energy efficiency provides us with a great opportunity to shape energy technology design, reduce power consumption, and boost product longevity.

Smart energy technologies, including smart grid, sensors and electric transportation, make renewable energy more cost-effective and efficient. That is why we are developing products that improve the performance of uncommon energy sources – wind, solar, vibration and even body heat. This will reduce the world's reliance on fossil fuels and promote the use of alternative, efficient resources.

Our ultimate goal is to reduce energy consumption while increasing energy output, making technology more powerful yet more efficient. These efforts will lead to new business opportunities for TI, particularly as global markets take action on climate change and demand energy-reduction measures.

Smart grid

More efficient and reliable power infrastructure is needed to support the world's increasing demand for energy. This demand also creates some unwanted challenges:

  • In India alone, up to 60 percent of the power generated is lost before it ever reaches the consumer.
  • Utilities cannot always identify how energy is being used and where power outages exist.
  • Outdated power infrastructures are overtaxed as energy consumption increases.

To address these challenges, utility providers are fine-tuning and deploying smart grids globally. This market is expected to grow from 130 million in 2011 to 1.5 billion by 2020. These intelligent electrical systems are clean, efficient, reliable, resilient and responsive – and offer considerable societal and environmental benefits.

TI is the global systems provider for innovative, secure, economical solutions for the worldwide smart grid. Our Smart Grid team is unique in that it uses devices from various product groups across the company and assembles industry-leading system solutions for smart electrical meters (e-meters), power line communications and wireless network processors.

We also collaborate with regional and global standards-setting bodies to ensure consistent and universal adoption of smart grids worldwide.

The intelligence our technologies provide helps utilities reduce costs and power consumption, and improve how energy demand is monitored and managed. Smart e-meters are the first step to making smart grids more efficient, as they connect to multiple power devices and networks, and communicate consumption data back to a utility or homeowner.

Utilities are beginning to replace antiquated electrical meters with smart technology, which can curtail energy use by 5 to 15 percent. It also allows them to adjust (with permission) thermostats; appliance usage; and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) settings in homes and businesses to avoid rolling blackouts or having to charge peak rates.

Our company also develops power line communication technology. This added functionality, which can also take the form of wireless connectivity, allows real-time monitoring of smart grids and reduces their operating costs, and relieves strain on the grid.

Additionally, our technologies support smart devices that are connected to the smart grid. They can wirelessly measure, communicate and control power consumption. With increasing use of such technologies, we expect homes and buildings will soon be able to generate, use and store much of the energy they require to operate. This will help greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

Sensors

TI semiconductor devices working in sensors are creating a new era of ecological, environmental and biological insight by enabling operators, scientists and researchers to monitor and analyze:

  • Highway conditions so traffic-control infrastructure can be adjusted, thus reducing the chance of accidents.
  • Industrial equipment to promote energy savings and notify managers when equipment is becoming faulty.
  • Soil conditions to help farmers save water and use only the amount and type of fertilizer that they need.
  • Gases and liquids to alert oil and natural-gas drillers of unwanted conditions.
  • Energy use to help manage smart grids.
  • The movement of bridges to alert managers of dangerous stresses.
  • Carbon dioxide levels in dense metropolitan areas to help reroute traffic and reduce unhealthy conditions.
  • Critical environmental information about the atmosphere and oceans to mitigate climate change.
  • Touch, light and voice to identify the context and environmental conditions of consumer electronics.
  • Motion to provide accuracy and resolution of global positioning systems and stability for robots.
  • Wind conditions to help wind farms operate more efficiently.
  • Chemical contaminants to improve potable water quality.

In the future, wireless networks embedded with our power-efficient technologies will continue to play a major role in monitoring and improving the condition and performance of factories, vehicles, homes, buildings, consumer devices, data centers and human bodies.

Electric transportation

Given today's growing environmental sensitivities, long-term fuel supply and cost concerns, TI is at the forefront of helping the electric transportation industry optimize their systems to be more efficient.

In Europe, government regulators have imposed emission limits for carbon dioxide and other gases on car manufacturers, which led to the introduction of more hybrid and electric transportation alternatives. TI developed a battery-management system for hybrid electric cars that optimizes stored energy so people can drive longer distances and maintain battery performance.

Additionally, global interest in light electric vehicles, including bicycles and scooters, is growing. In China, for example, electric bicycle sales eclipsed sales of any other form of transportation, with 25 million e-bikes purchased in 2012 alone. In Holland, the first electric freeway specially built for commuters riding electric bikes and scooters will open next year.

Our motor-control and battery-management systems ensure that light electric vehicles are energy-efficient and dependable. For example, our technologies help:

  • Electric power steering systems eliminate traditional hoses and pumps, which improves overall fuel economy by an average of 5 percent.
  • Integrated starter alternators cut fuel consumption and lower emissions by 30 percent – and start vehicles noiselessly.
  • Tire-pressure gauges warn of improper tire pressure that can diminish fuel efficiency.

With energy for charging electric transportation expected to come from renewable sources, such as wind-, solar- or water-powered plants, TI is helping to bring safer, affordable and more efficient electric transportation solutions to this market. We also provide technologies that efficiently power home and public charging stations, including stations that harvest power from renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.

Power management

TI’s products control the power usage within electronic devices, making them more energy efficient.  We focus on key areas where the opportunity to save electricity is greatest – electric motor efficiency, battery management and lighting/LED. 

Electric motor efficiency

Because roughly 60 percent of the world's electricity is used to power motors, motor control is a high-growth market. TI chips decrease motor energy consumption as much as 60 percent by enabling, for example, variable speed drives and properly sized motors for a variety of applications, including heat and air-conditioning systems, appliances, fans, blowers, e-bikes, pumps and compressors. Aside from the tremendous energy savings, these motor drives extend product life spans, reduce noise, and improve reliability. 

To improve our understanding of motor control and design new technology to improve efficiencies, we operate a Motor Lab within Kilby Labs. We have several product lines for advanced motor-control and motor-drive solutions, as about 10 billion motors are shipped globally each year and developing countries are beginning to use more.

For example, our electronics are bolstering the efficiency of motors used in building ventilation systems in many ways, bringing them up to speed gradually. This produces much greater efficiency than a simple on/off approach. We are also developing advanced algorithms to replace a number of mechanical parts in these motors, reducing both manufacturing costs and mechanical repairs. 

When applying our technology to motors in home-ventilation systems as well – to a typical home's refrigerator, washer, dryer, dishwasher, power tools and even children's electronic toys – the benefits of efficiency spread rapidly.

Battery management

TI has pushed advancements in low power for more than 20 years, starting with the company's early focus on battery-life requirements for calculators. This work continues today based on demand for low-power, energy-efficient solutions. Our dedicated Energy Lab is the focal point for developing intelligent energy-conversion and management systems for accessible and cost-effective power delivery. 

Our battery-management solutions can be found in hybrid and electric vehicles, e-readers, digital cameras, tablets and smartphones, power tools, smart grids, smart vehicles, cloud computing, and even medical devices. 

At data centers, our energy controllers and sensors protect and prolong battery life, maintain their charge, and balance battery cells to ensure uninterrupted power for the Internet and the transmission of significant digital data. 

Electric and hybrid vehicles use lithium-ion battery cells that depend on sophisticated TI semiconductor technologies to deliver top performance. Our solutions allow these batteries to:

  • Perform in extreme environmental conditions.
  • Operate predictably so that consumers can rely on the stored electrical energy.
  • Extend the usable battery life for a decade or more, or 150,000 miles.
  • Be compact and lightweight.

Our battery-management devices are installed in vehicles produced by a variety of American, European, Japanese and Chinese manufacturers.

Lighting/LED

With 20 percent of the world's energy used for lighting – and more than 10 billion lights purchased each year – energy-efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are critical to reducing energy use. 

Made with semiconductors, LEDs are twice as efficient as fluorescent lighting, durable, controllable and generate very little heat. Depending on usage, LED light bulbs can last as long as 20 or 30 years. Because LEDs will be widely adopted in the coming years as they become more cost-effective, our LED Lighting division is poised to unveil new technologies that will enable and accelerate mass-market acceptance.

Long-lasting, energy-efficient lighting yields environmental benefits by lowering energy requirements, while reducing the amount of mercury-containing light bulbs disposed in landfills. 

Solar energy applications

Governments, businesses and consumers are increasingly supporting the development of alternative energy sources and new technologies for electricity generation. Renewable clean energy sources such as solar and wind have emerged as practical alternatives. We have a broad family of analog, power-management and microcontroller semiconductors that address the requirements of solar photovoltaic systems used globally.

For years, we have leveraged our scientific and technological know-how to help the solar industry achieve the highest possible system efficiency and lifetime energy yield. These improvements are also optimizing the storage of renewable energy in batteries. This allows products like solar lanterns to provide lighting for billions of people in the world who lack electricity.

As an inexhaustible energy source, solar energy has significant environmental advantages and global potential. Semiconductor innovation will play a key role in making this happen. We are enabling the next generation of renewable electricity to help countries diversify their energy sources and reduce their dependence on fossil fuels. Our Solar Lab, together with our product designers, are developing breakthrough technologies to radically change the way energy is harvested, stored and delivered.

Automotive applications

TI semiconductor, sensor and software technologies enhance driver safety and comfort, while reducing the environmental impact of automobiles.

Safety

According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, wireless vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications powered by safety technology could potentially reduce 79 percent of all vehicle accidents. Many of these advancements are being supported with our semiconductors.

For years, our products have helped protect drivers by enabling anti-lock brake systems to operate more safely and effectively. Today, advanced driver assistance systems help passengers not only escape injury during an accident, but can also actually prevent the accident in the first place.

For example, our technologies can help warn drivers of lane departures, detect drowsiness, adapt cruise control to automatically adjust speed to avoid collisions, provide forward-looking radar, identify blind spots, ensure airbag control, and provide autonomous emergency braking.

Security

We are responding to a growing demand from automobile customers for greater security. Car access systems containing TI technology allow drivers to remotely unlock or lock their vehicle as well as set off the security alarm. Newer access systems allow drivers to remotely start the vehicle or roll down windows, which can establish a comfortable temperature before departure.

Health care applications

We are passionate about developing innovative components to promote healthier lives. We help customers create the most innovative products for transforming health care worldwide in three primary areas: imaging, health and fitness. These advancements make health care more flexible, affordable and accessible.

Our HealthTech portfolio of high-quality analog and embedded processing technology helps ensure that health care components are more reliable, powerful and small. These innovations are helping revolutionize medical advancements. Applications in portable medical devices, for example, help patients receive care or monitor themselves at home. Other applications are making treatments less intrusive and painful.

Imaging

Medical imaging technology is continually evolving and advancing, all with the goal of improving early diagnosis, prevention and patient comfort. Our technology is bringing medical imaging to the patient, whether at an accident scene or in a military zone.

Pocket-sized ultrasound machines are now on the market, enabled by analog and digital signal processing technology, which makes diagnostics possible from almost anywhere. Health providers can avoid invasive procedures to diagnose ailments, order tests, and determine a course of treatment using ultrasound as a diagnostic tool – before a patient ever sets foot in a hospital or sonographer's office.

Our DLP® technology and near-infrared medical imaging equipment were put into a product that overlays a map of a patient's veins onto the surface of the skin. Health care professionals can clearly see the veins, which help them expedite blood draws on the elderly, children, cancer patients and others – and reduces the trauma of multiple needle sticks.

Medical imaging modalities such as ultrasound, X-ray, computed tomography scan, positron emission tomography scan and magnetic resonance imaging all have complex processing and performance needs that push the limits of what is possible. By developing innovative ways to increase integration and lower noise and power consumption, our components make high-performance medical imaging more flexible, affordable and accessible.

Health

TI innovations are helping to move professional treatments beyond the hospital and into physician offices and patient homes. Our fully integrated analog family for electrocardiogram and electroencephalography applications makes these systems smaller and more portable. By using 95 percent less board space, this technology can be easily integrated with other patient monitoring or diagnostic tools and can be carried, concealed or worn on the body.

Chronic diseases place a tremendous burden on the health care system, both in terms of costs and frequent patient visits. Bringing medical technology directly to the point of care and into the home can significantly improve patients' quality of life, reduce health care costs, and make a significant impact on how chronic diseases are managed.

For example, our technology extends the battery life in portable and noninvasive medical devices, and allows them to be wearable and accessible – without sacrificing their accuracy or reliability. As a result, physicians can discharge patients from hospitals earlier and monitor their clinical data remotely. Patients can now use equipment such as pulse oximetry and blood glucose meters, which noninvasively measure oxygen and sugar in the blood, respectively, at home.

Fitness

The consumer market is focused on personal fitness more than ever. Heart-rate monitors, fitness trackers worn on the body and body-composition scales are just a few of the options available for athletes and fitness enthusiasts to measure and monitor their performance during exercise or daily activity. By developing innovative ways to increase integration, lower power consumption, and provide smart connectivity, our components makes fitness products more flexible, affordable and accessible.

Wireless connectivity technologies such as Bluetooth® low energy, ANT+, ZigBee and WLAN enable consumers to record and monitor their fitness activities and make adjustments as needed – without an office visit. Health information can be transmitted via phone or computer, putting vital data at consumers' and fitness providers' fingertips.

Other applications

TI's low-power, energy-efficient technologies are being put to use in other industries as well. Here is a broad sampling of other applications using our products, including education, government and optical 3-D measurement.

Government

We do not sell products directly to the U.S. government for defense-related applications. However, our customers may use our products in end equipment that has defense- and national security-related applications.

Optical 3-D measurement

DLP technology allows optical measurements to be taken in three dimensions by projecting patterns of light onto an object. A typical DLP chip contains up to 8 million mirrors. Each mirror measures less than one-fifth the width of a human hair and can be tilted at a rate of 10,000 times a second to reflect light and create precise digital images on a surface. A camera or sensor detects the light distortion, and image processing is used to calculate a 3-D image.

This technology can be used:

  • In industrial settings to inspect fine-resolution device features, measure machine parts for accuracy, or ensure the quality of auto parts.
  • By dentists to optically measure the width and height of teeth, so they can diagnose dental issues without having to use unpleasant casting materials.
  • By physicians to accurately fit prosthetics on patients who have lost limbs.
  • By oil and gas companies to inspect pipe corrosion and prevent leaks.