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Events

  

Thursday, April 09, 2015
International Workshop on Wide Band Gap Power Electronics 2015 (IWWPE)
Location: Hsinchu, Taiwan

“GaN-Trends and Applications”
Speaker: Alex Lidow, Ph.D., CEO and Co-Founder, Efficient Power Conversion

Enhancement-mode gallium nitride transistors have been commercially available for over five years. Commercially available gallium nitride (GaN) FETs are designed to be both higher performance and lower cost than state-of-the-art silicon-based power MOSFETs. This achievement marks the first time in 60 years that any technology rivals silicon both in terms of performance and cost, and signals the ultimate displacement of the venerable, but aging power MOSFET.

Over these past five years the number of applications utilizing GaN FETs has increased exponentially. Originally designed to improve the efficiency of isolated and non-isolated DC-DC converters, surprising new applications have surfaced that are enabled by the GaN FET’s ultra-fast switching speed. Examples of new applications enabled by GaN technology include, high-resolution LiDAR for autonomous vehicles as well as enhanced human-machine interfaces, RF envelope tracking for wireless networks such as 4G/LTE, wireless power transfer that eliminate the need for power cords, and high resolution MRI systems that more precisely isolate tissue irregularities in humans. GaN FETs have also demonstrated an ability to operate in extreme radiation environments which opens many new possibilities for satellite power systems.

In addition to these completely new applications, GaN transistors have made great progress in high-efficiency DC-DC converters. Typically outperforming silicon-based systems by a wide margin, GaN FET-based systems are always smaller in size, more efficient, and have proven to be extremely reliable.

As an example of the rapid development of gallium nitride technology, in September 2014, Efficient Power Conversion Corporation (EPC) introduced the first enhancement-mode GaN integrated circuits; a family of monolithic half-bridge devices that further improve system speed and power density. More complex ICs will follow. Progress in the development and applications of GaN technology has been very rapid and reminiscent of Moore’s Law in silicon-based digital ICs.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015
2015 International Reliability Physics Symposium (IRPS)
Location: Monterey, California

“Enhancement Mode Gallium Nitride Transistor Reliability”
Speaker: Alex Lidow, Ph.D., CEO and Co-Founder, Efficient Power Conversion

The industry’s understanding of the reliability of GaN transistors has continued to grow with positive results. In addition to the publication of several reliability reports [1-6] showing excellent performance across a wide set of operating conditions. In this presentation we develop a more general understanding of commercially available enhancement mode gallium nitride transistors’ primary failure modes under voltage and temperature stress. Large populations were tested from multiple device lots in both high temperature gate bias (HTGB) and high temperature reverse bias (HTRB). The first section of this presentation reports on the results from a wide spectrum of reliability qualification testing undergone by EPC’s eGaN® FETs. The second section reports on the failure rate predictions using acceleration factors derived by stressing devices outside of normal operating conditions. Comparisons with reported failure rates in silicon MOSFETs and SiC MOSFETs will also be shown. In the last section, we discuss the reliability advantages of wafer level chipscale (WLCS) packaging compared to conventional MOSFET packages.

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Sunday, May 03, 2015 - Wednesday, May 06, 2015
IEEE International Workshop On Integrated Power Packaging (IWIPP 2015)
Location: Chicago, IL

“A New Generation of Semiconductor Packaging Paves the Way for Higher Efficiency Power Conversion”
Speakers: Alex Lidow, Ph.D., CEO and Co-Founder, Efficient Power Conversion; David Reusch, Ph.D., Director of Applications

Semiconductor packaging has been saddled with five key complaints since the advent of the solid state transistor; (1) packages have too much resistance, (2) they have too much inductance, (3) they take up too much space, (4) they have poor thermal properties that limit heat extraction, and (5) they cost too much. In 2010 enhancement mode gallium nitride power transistors were introduced without a surrounding plastic package. The unique characteristics of the lateral GaN-on-silicon transistors enable the active devices to be protected from the normal environmental abuses without a cumbersome molded plastic package. These chipscale packages, with a Land Grid Array (LGA) format, eliminate the parasitic inductance and resistance of the semiconductor package as well as the space occupied a conventional package. In this talk we quantify the advantages of chipscale packaging in these five areas of complaint and show how system performance benefits in high frequency DC-DC conversion.

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Monday, May 11, 2015
ISPSD 2015
Location: Hong Kong

Plenary Session: “GaN Transistors – Giving New Life to Moore’s Law”
Plenary Speaker: Alex Lidow, Ph.D., CEO, Efficient Power Conversion

Enhancement-mode gallium nitride transistors have been commercially available for over five years and have infiltrated many applications previously monopolized by the aging silicon power MOSFET. In this presentation, we will discuss the state-of-the-art and the expected progress of GaN technology over the next few years, showing that Moore’s Law is alive and well in the world of power semiconductor technology. We will also enumerate the advantages of GaN over silicon in terms of performance, cost, and reliability.

Author/Presenter

Alex Lidow is CEO of Efficient Power Conversion Corporation (EPC). Prior to founding EPC, Dr. Lidow was CEO of International Rectifier Corporation. A co-inventor of the HEXFET power MOSFET, Dr. Lidow holds many patents in power semiconductor technology and has authored numerous publications on related subjects. He most recently co-authored, GaN Transistors for Efficient Power Conversion, the first textbook on GaN FET technology and applications. Lidow earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Caltech in 1975 and his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1977.

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