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Tesla starts Autopilot upgrades tonight

Tesla starts Autopilot upgrades tonight

Tesla Motors is releasing a new version of Autopilot overnight, adding features the company says will make it safer and more reliable. Investigators are probing what role the self-driving system played in a pair of fatal crashes in Florida and China.

Silicon Beat
September 21, 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
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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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EPC engineers demonstrate the capabilities of the EPC9121 multi-mode wireless power charging kit at PCIM Asia 2016

EPC engineers demonstrate the capabilities of the EPC9121 multi-mode wireless power charging kit at PCIM Asia 2016
Efficient Power Conversion Corporation (EPC) shares the immediate availability of a complete demonstration multi-mode wireless power charging kit, the EPC9121, for simplifying the evaluation process of using eGaN FETs and ICs for highly efficient multi-mode wireless power charging systems that can cut across any standard used in the receiving units. The superior characteristics of eGaN® FETs and ICs enable a lower cost single transmit amplifier solution that can wirelessly charge devices regardless of the wireless power standard used in the receiving device. View video of the ... Read more
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Emerging server technologies: 6 hot trends to watch

Emerging server technologies: 6 hot trends to watch

Gallium Nitride ICs: Increasing server power efficiencies - Reducing waste power, cooling, and space aren't just data-center-size concerns; they're also battles fought inside the confines of each rack. And, sometimes, even one small change can make a big difference.

TechBeacon
August 2, 2016
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Peregrine Semiconductor Unveils the World’s Fastest GaN FET Driver

Peregrine Semiconductor Unveils the World’s Fastest GaN FET Driver
GaN-based FETs are disrupting the power conversion market and are displacing silicon-based metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs). Compared to MOSFETs, GaN FETs operate much faster and have higher switching speeds in the smallest possible volume. The promise of GaN is that it can dramatically reduce the size and weight of any power supply. To reach their performance potential, these high-performance GaN transistors need an optimized gate driver. Peregrine Semiconductor July 12, 2016 Read article Read more
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eGaN Technology Reliability and Physics of Failure Blog #3

eGaN Technology Reliability and Physics of Failure Blog #3
The first two installments in this series reported in detail on field reliability experience of Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) Corporation’s enhancement-mode gallium nitride (eGaN®) FETs and integrated circuits (ICs). The excellent field reliability of eGaN devices demonstrates stress-based qualification testing is capable of ensuring reliability in customer applications. In this installment we will examine the stress tests that EPC devices are subjected to prior to being considered qualified products. Planet Analog Chris Jakubiec July 9, 2016 Read article Read more
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Silicon Rival Stalks Apple, Google, Tesla-Facing Chip Markets

Silicon Rival Stalks Apple, Google, Tesla-Facing Chip Markets
Silicon Valley's namesake raw material faces a promising new rival: gallium nitride (GaN). Some say the newcomer is poised to swarm the $30 billion semiconductor power supply market. It's a market that involves "anything that plugs into a wall" ranging from Apple (AAPL) iPhone chargers to Tesla Motors' (TSLA) luxury electric cars. Investor's Business Daily Allison Gatlin July 2016 Read article Read more
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A Silicon Pioneer Plays Taps for Silicon and Power Cords

A Silicon Pioneer Plays Taps for Silicon and Power Cords
Tuesday I was fortunate enough to have a meeting with Alex Lidow, founder of chip company EPC of El Segundo, California, and something of an luminary of the chip world. Lidow came up with the “power MOSFET,” a device that went on to be the basis of billions in semiconductor sales, in 1977. His new company, whose initials stand for “Efficient Power Conversion,” proposes replacing silicon, the original basis of the MOSFET, and one of the most prevalent types of semiconductor around, with a different material, Gallium Nitride, commonly abbreviated as GaN — or “eGaN,” as Lidow calls the ... Read more
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eGaN vs. Silicon - Comparing Dead-time Losses for eGaN FETs and Silicon MOSFETs in Synchronous Rectifiers

eGaN vs. Silicon - Comparing Dead-time Losses for eGaN FETs and Silicon MOSFETs in Synchronous Rectifiers
There have been several comparisons of eGaN FETs with silicon MOSFETs in a variety of applications, including hard-switched, soft-switched, and high-frequency power conversion. These studies have shown that eGaN FETs have large efficiency and power density advantages over silicon MOSFETs. Here we’ll focus on the use of eGaN FETs in synchronous rectifier (SR) applications and the importance of dead-time management. We show that eGaN FETs can dramatically reduce loss due to dead-time in synchronous rectifiers above and beyond the benefits of low RDS(on)and charge. Power Systems ... Read more
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Raytheon's work on gallium nitride semiconductors could have a reach beyond radars

Raytheon's work on gallium nitride semiconductors could have a reach beyond radars
ANDOVER, Mass.—At the front door of Raytheon's Integrated Air Defense Center, there's a reminder of how big microwave electronics used to be—the original microwave oven. The now ever-present kitchen device was invented after a Raytheon engineer discovered his candy bar melted while he was standing near a magnetron used in a radar system the company was developing. Nearly the size of a refrigerator, the original microwave looks like it would cook a whole lot more than whatever was put within its metal grate, which was meant to contain the microwaves from its magnetron. Ars Technica June ... Read more
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Dell readies laptops with wireless charging while Intel retreats from its development

Dell readies laptops with wireless charging while Intel retreats from its development

The chip giant's execs are leaving the AirFuel Alliance as the company pivots away from PCs, but WiTricity was showing off Dell notebooks using its wireless charging mat at Computex.

ZDNet
Sean Portnoy
June 8, 2016
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Intel Ceases Work On Wireless Charging

Intel Ceases Work On Wireless Charging
For the last three years, Intel has been stoking demand for PCs ahead of the next big buying cycle with the promise that new machines will be totally wireless. “We carry around a lot of wires,” Kirk Skaugen, Intel’s senior PC exec said at Computex Taipei 2015. “We carry about six cables each for our phones, our tablets and our PCs. We want to get rid of all those cables.” Forbes Elise Ackerman June 6, 2016 Read article Read more
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Improving Thermal Performance with Chip-Scale Packaged Gallium Nitride Transistors

Improving Thermal Performance with Chip-Scale Packaged Gallium Nitride Transistors
With power converters demanding higher power density, transistors must be accommodated in an ever decreasing board space. Beyond gallium nitride based power transistors’ ability to improve electrical efficiency, they must also be more thermally efficient. This article evaluates the thermal performance of chip-scale packaged eGaN® FETs and compares their in-circuit electrical and thermal performance with state-of-the-art silicon MOSFETs. Bodo’s Power Systems David Reusch, Ph.D. and Alex Lidow, Ph.D. June 1, 2016 Read article Read more
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Intersil Extends Leading Radiation Tolerant Portfolio with Gallium Nitride Power Conversion ICs for Satellite Applications

Intersil Extends Leading Radiation Tolerant Portfolio with Gallium Nitride Power Conversion ICs for Satellite Applications
MILPITAS, Calif., May 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Intersil Corporation (NASDAQ: ISIL), a leading provider of innovative power management and precision analog solutions, today announced plans to extend its market leading radiation tolerant portfolio to include Gallium Nitride (GaN) power conversion ICs for satellites and other harsh environment applications. PR Newswire May 25, 2016 Read article Read more
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5 Industries That Are Actually Ripe for Disruption

5 Industries That Are Actually Ripe for Disruption

The number one barrier to improving every electronic product – from smart wearables and laptops to handheld tools and electric cars – is battery technology. The current state-of-the-art in rechargeable batteries, Lithium Ion, has been around for 25 years. As tech goes, that’s pretty old. It’s time for something new, don’t you think?

Fortune
Steve Tobak
May 13, 2016
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eGaN Technology Reliability and Physics of Failure - Examining eGaN Field Reliability

eGaN Technology Reliability and Physics of Failure - Examining eGaN Field Reliability
Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) Corporation’s enhancement-mode gallium nitride (eGaN®) FETs and integrated circuits (ICs) are finding their way into many end user applications such as LIDAR, wireless charging, DC-DC conversion, RF base station transmission, satellite systems, and audio amplifiers. Field reliability is the ultimate metric that corroborates the quality level of eGaN® FETs and ICs that have been deployed in customer applications. In our first installment we provided an overview of eGaN FET field reliability which included 6 years of volume production ... Read more
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