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How GaN Power Transistors Drive High-Performance Lidar: Generating ultrafast pulsed power with GaN FETs

How GaN Power Transistors Drive High-Performance Lidar: Generating ultrafast pulsed power with GaN FETs
Light detection and ranging (lidar) is a versatile light-based remote sensing technology that recently has been the subject of great attention. It has shown up in a number of media venues and has even led to public debate about the engineering choices of a well-known electric car company, Tesla Motors. While this article is not going to enter the fray, it will provide some background on lidar and discuss its strong connection to power electronics technologies. Published in: IEEE Power Electronics Magazine ( Volume: 4, Issue: 1, March 2017 ) Read article Read more
Categories: Articles

EPC eGaN moves closer to the ideal capabilities of the power element

EPC eGaN moves closer to the ideal capabilities of the power element
Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) has dealt another blow to the silicon MOSFET power element with its Generation 5 (Gen5) process enhancements, bringing improved performance while decreasing the cost of off-the-shelf Gallium Nitride transistors and shrinking their die size and board footprint. Alex Lidow, EPC’s CEO/co-founder, and his team have once again put their expertise to work in their efforts to provide designers these unique power solution choices for new markets that need performance beyond what silicon devices have been able to provide. The team’s technical capabilities and ... Read more
Categories: Articles

Gallium Nitride maker EPC takes a big step forward in its quest to kill silicon chips

Gallium Nitride maker EPC takes a big step forward in its quest to kill silicon chips
The $330 billion silicon chip industry is the foundation of everything electronic. But it’s slowing down as it reaches a new level of maturity that is prompting a bunch of mergers and acquisitions. That’s why Alex Lidow, an industry pioneer and the chief proponent of an alternative material to silicon — gallium nitride (GaN) — feels like his time has come. His company, Efficient Power Conversion (EPC), is unveiling a new generation of eGaN chips that are half the size of previous chips and have significantly higher performance. VentureBeat March 15, 2017 Read article Read more
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How we devised a wirelessly powered television set

How we devised a wirelessly powered television set
Televisions can get their content wirelessly, but there is one set of wires they still need: those in their power cord. The consumer electronics industry has floated ideas for freeing TVs from their power cords, but this goal remains elusive. There are several reasons, such as the difficultly of meeting high-power requirements for large-screen TVs and the need for identifying an economical technology. Nevertheless, eGaN FETs could play a role in making TVs truly cordless devices. Power Electronic Tips February, 23, 2017 Read article Read more
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GaN is Eyeing Silicon’s Data Center Lunch

GaN is Eyeing Silicon’s Data Center Lunch
As deep learning proliferates, the question of data center power density is once again on the rise, creating new business opportunities for specialized cloud services, hosted in facilities that can support north of 30 kW per rack, and companies in the power conversion space, who can tackle the density issue by making systems more energy efficient. Replacing silicon as the semiconductor material in power conversion chips with gallium nitrate, or GaN, leads to much smaller and more energy efficient devices that provide much faster switching. Data Center Knowledge February, 2017 Read ... Read more
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Wireless power challenges and opportunities

Wireless power challenges and opportunities
Wireless power transfer (WPT) technology is destined, in the very near future, to rock the electrics and electrical world we live in. Eric Giler, now president of WiTricity, an MIT spinoff, gave an excellent TED presentation in 2009 entitled, "A demo of wireless electricity." In this demonstration, Giler powered a small TV via wireless power transfer—that was 2009. We have come a long way since then; please read on for a technical glimpse into this amazing field (pun intended) of opportunity for designers. EDN Network January 26, 2017 Read article Read more
Categories: Articles

Podcast: Bloomberg Radio Interview with Alex Lidow at CES 2017

Podcast: Bloomberg Radio Interview with Alex Lidow at CES 2017

EPC CEO and Co-Founder, Alex Lidow, discusses the life changing applications on display at CES with Bloomberg Radio. Applications such as LiDAR for autonomous cars with the potential to disrupt the transportation industry and wireless power with the potential to eliminate power cords are highlighted as well as how GaN enables these new technologies.

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Bloomberg
January, 2017

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Categories: ArticlesInterviews

Velodyne LiDAR Announces Breakthrough Design for Miniaturized, Low-Cost Solid-State LiDAR Sensors

Velodyne LiDAR Announces Breakthrough Design for Miniaturized, Low-Cost Solid-State LiDAR Sensors

Velodyne LiDAR Inc., the recognized global leader in Light, Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology, today announced a groundbreaking design for a solid-state LiDAR sensor that can deliver a subsystem cost of under $50 U.S. when sold in high-volume manufacturing scale.

Venture Beat
December, 13, 2016
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Velodyne Says It's Got a "Breakthrough" in Solid State Lidar Design

Velodyne Says It's Got a "Breakthrough" in Solid State Lidar Design
Lidar is a fantastic sensor for autonomous cars. Most companies developing self-driving vehicles seem to agree that the massive amount of long range, high accuracy data that you get from lidar is necessary, especially for complicated and variable urban environments. Really, the only reason why there's been so much focus on getting autonomy to work with just cameras and radar is that cameras and radar are cheap, and lidar is ridiculously expensive. IEEE Spectrum December, 13, 2016 Read article Read more
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Taiwan Technology Standards Agency Introduces AirFuel Alliance's Resonant Wireless Charging Standard

Taiwan Technology Standards Agency Introduces AirFuel Alliance's Resonant Wireless Charging Standard
The AirFuel™ Alliance, a global consortium of industry leaders focused on enabling and accelerating the adoption of wireless power technology, signed a Letter of Intent today with the Taiwan Association of Information and Communication Standards (TAICS), to establish a wireless charging ecosystem in Taiwan by introduction of AirFuel's resonant technology standard. The AirFuel-driven ecosystem will be capable of supporting consumers and businesses with interoperable wireless charging options in a variety of public places – from coffee shops to airports to hotels – ... Read more
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eGaN Technology Reliability and Physics of Failure - Gate Voltage Stress Reliability

eGaN Technology Reliability and Physics of Failure - Gate Voltage Stress Reliability
The previous installment in this series focused on the physics of failure surrounding thermo-mechanical reliability of EPC eGaN wafer level chip-scale packages. A fundamental understanding of the potential failure modes under voltage bias is also important. This installment will provide an overview of the physics of failure associated with voltage bias at the gate electrode of gallium nitride (GaN) field effect transistors (FETs). Here we look at the case of taking the gate control voltage to the specified limit and beyond to investigate how eGaN FETs behave over a projected ... Read more
Categories: Articles

Faster, Smarter, Better: The Next Chip Revolution

Barron's

Faster, Smarter, Better: The Next Chip Revolution

The world around us will soon be engulfed by machines that affect our living spaces, our bodies, and our experience of light and sound, powered by a novel combination of semiconductors and miniature engines. Tasks as basic as charging a smartphone or cooking an egg—and as complex as scanning for colon cancer or powering flying drones on long journeys—stand to be transformed.

Barron's
October 22, 2016
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Why We'll Soon Be Living In A Class D World

Why We'll Soon Be Living In A Class D World
Class A has been the serious audiophile's gold standard for decades. Today however, we are at the early stages of a seismic shift towards widespread Class D audiophile adoption. Why? Because a new type of Class D audio is quickly approaching the performance of Class A, with benefits not enjoyed by the reigning incumbent. A new transistor technology called Gallium Nitride (GaN) is poised to uproot the high-end audio world. In fact, GaN-based Class D is much more power-efficient than traditional, MOSFET-based Class D and offers orders of magnitude better performance. Audiophile ... Read more
Categories: Articles

LiDAR, not just radar and cameras, will be critical to self-driving car safety

LiDAR, not just radar and cameras, will be critical to self-driving car safety
The chief technology officer of a technology supplier that enables Tesla's semi-autonomous Autopilot driving technology believes the carmaker is pushing the safety envelope too far. "It is not designed to cover all possible crash situations in a safe manner," Amnon Shashua, CTO and executive chairman at Israel-based Mobileye NV, told Reuters Wednesday. Computerworld September 15, 2016 Read article Read more
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How This Tech in Self-Driving Cars Is Paving a Road Beyond Silicon

How This Tech in Self-Driving Cars Is Paving a Road Beyond Silicon
In the future, self-driving cars will require laser-based sensing tech, and these systems will need new types of high-speed transistors and chips that can beat out silicon. That’s the assertion of Alex Lidow, a Stanford PhD physicist, entrepreneur, and CEO and founder of Efficient Power Conversion (commonly called EPC), a company based in El Segundo, Calif. that makes transistors and chips out of a material that operates more quickly and efficiently—and costs less than silicon. Fortune September 8, 2016 Read article Read more
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eGaN Technology Reliability and Physics of Failure - Strain on solder joints

eGaN Technology Reliability and Physics of Failure - Strain on solder joints
The first three installments in this series covered field reliability experience and stress test qualification of EPC’s enhancement-mode gallium nitride (eGaN) field effect transistors (FETs) and integrated circuits (ICs). Excellent field reliability that was documented is the result of applying stress tests covering the intended operating conditions the devices will experience within applications. Of equal importance is understanding the underlying physics of how eGaN devices will fail when stressed beyond intended operating conditions (e.g. datasheet parameters and safe operating area). ... Read more
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Documenting GaN Technology Reliability after Millions of Device Hours of Rigorous Stress Testing

Documenting GaN Technology Reliability after Millions of Device Hours of Rigorous Stress Testing

EPC Phase Eight Reliability Report documents a combined total of over 8 million GaN device-hours with zero failures. The report examines, in detail, the stress tests that EPC devices are subjected to prior to release as qualified products and analyzes the physics of failure.

Bodo’s Power Systems
September 1, 2016
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