GaN Talk a blog dedicated to crushing silicon

More Data, More Apps, More Mobile…

More Data, More Apps, More Mobile…
Oct 18 2017

I don’t know about you, but in my house the number of mobile devices seems to multiply overnight, along with the ways they are used.  On any given night, you may find me on a GoToMeeting conference on my laptop, my husband on a video Skype chat from his phone with his dad in Florida, my oldest son turning in an assignment on Google Classroom from his laptop, my younger son streaming videos on his tablet, and my second grader recording and posting a music.ly on her phablet.  And when we travel, these devices come with us so they need to be small and lightweight enough to come along for ride! 

This all translates into ever-increasing power demands for computing and telecom systems and the conflicting desire for small, lightweight form factors, and extended battery life. To meet these demands, point-of-load (POL) DC-DC converters (the power engines) need to be designed to be small sized and as efficient as possible. These demands translate to ever faster switching frequencies of the transistors used in the power conversion running these devices. Notebook PCs, tablets, and phablets are especially sensitive to this need as our dependency on these devices and the demands we make on them continues to grow. 

Nobody Likes Power Cords! Wireless Power is Happening

Nobody Likes Power Cords! Wireless Power is Happening
Sep 30 2017

I have yet to meet someone who likes power cords.

Take for example Keith. In figure 1 is a photo of all the power-related accessories Keith lugs around in his backpack to make certain he will be able to run his phone, tablet, and computer wherever he goes. What Keith and others may not realize is that the technology is available that can eliminate every one of these cords – today! So, why is it taking so long for wireless power solutions to become a household technology?

Certainly, wireless charging is not a new topic having been talked about for quite a while. But now, with a recently developed innovative approach to the design of transmission and receiver antennae (coils), ubiquitous wireless power is ready to be incorporated into our daily lives throughout furniture, walls, and floors to efficiently and economically power all the gadgets we need for our electronic lives.

Designing Manufacturable and Reliable Printed Circuit Boards Employing Chip-Scale eGaN FETs

Designing Manufacturable and Reliable Printed Circuit Boards Employing Chip-Scale eGaN FETs
Sep 07 2017

Written by Michael de Rooij and Alana Nakata - Efficient Power Conversion

Published in: PCIM Europe 2017; International Exhibition and Conference for Power Electronics, Intelligent Motion, Renewable Energy and Energy Management; Proceedings of

eGaN FETs, which are available in non-traditional chip scale packages (CSP) as land grid array (LGA) and/or ball grid array (BGA) formats, have repeatedly demonstrated higher power density and higher efficiency performance than equivalent MOSFETs across various applications [1, 2]. Those improvements are contingent upon proper layout practices documented extensively in [1, 3] that minimize unwanted parasitic elements. Over the seven years since eGaN FETs were first launched into the market there have been a total of 127 device failures out of a total of more than 17 billion hours in actual use in the field, 75 of which were a result of poor assembly technique or poor printed circuit board (PCB) design practices [4]. Designers are becoming more familiar with the PCB design rules that affect manufacturability and are less forgiving compared to MOSFETs due to their relatively smaller sizes. This paper will cover the various guidelines for PCB design that maximize the performance of eGaN FETs and reliability yet still rely on existing PCB manufacturing capabilities.

48V-to-1V Conversion – the Rebirth of Direct-to-Chip Power

48V-to-1V Conversion – the Rebirth of Direct-to-Chip Power
Jul 28 2017

This post was originally published May 26, 2017 on the PowerPulse.net web site . Learn more about eGaN technology and EPC GaN solutions for 48 V to Point-of-Load.

During last week’s PCIM Europe event in Nuremberg, Germany, direct 48V-to-1V power conversion architectures were a significant topic, mostly outside of the exhibit floor. Vicor was quietly showing its latest generation of 48V direct-to-chip power components. Ericsson Power Modules and Efficient Power Conversion were holding invitation-only meetings where future designs of 48V direct to load power conversion architectures were the focus of the discussions. By the end of 2017, several vendors are expected to be offering dc-dc converters delivering 48V-to-1V direct conversion.

How2 Cut The Power Cord: Wireless Power Is Ready For Prime Time

How2 Cut The Power Cord: Wireless Power Is Ready For Prime Time
Jun 21 2017

This post was originally published on the How2Power web site. Learn more about eGaN technology here and EPC GaN solutions for wireless power here.

Wireless charging is not a new topic—it has been talked about for quite a while. Unfortunately, it has not seen widespread consumer acceptance. But, with a recently developed innovative approach to the design of transmission coils, wireless power is ready for widespread application.

LASER Safety in a LiDAR World

LASER Safety in a LiDAR World
Jun 05 2017

This post was originally published on Velodyne LiDAR’s “360” Blog. Learn more about eGaN technology here and EPC GaN solutions for LiDAR here.

Have you ever been driving at night—perhaps on a twisty two-lane highway—when the headlights of an oncoming car seemingly “crash” into your retinas? Blue-tinged LED beams leap out from behind a curve, or crest over a hillside, and for an instant it feels like you may have gone blind. Your vision erupts with a painful jolt of white. You squint through patchy discolorations trying to locate the lane lines. A quick flip of your high beams results in an even brighter display from the oncoming car. And now there are two drivers swerving past one another who couldn’t read the top line at the eye doctor.

As nighttime images of the earth from the International Space Station confirm, ours is an increasingly illuminated world. And LEDs, or light emitting diodes, supply a cheap and efficient means for broad illumination, not just for vehicles but increasingly for street lighting. Yet some types of LEDs have recently raised concerns of associated health risks.

11 Myths About Magnetic-Resonance Wireless Charging

11 Myths About Magnetic-Resonance Wireless Charging
May 30 2017

Written By Sanjay Gupta, VP Product Management, WiTricity

While the possibilities of magnetic-resonance-based wireless charging are very exciting, the technology is frequently misunderstood by those not involved in the industry.

Consider the devices we use every day: From smartphones and smartwatches and potentially electric vehicles, electronics are becoming as mobile as people themselves. We rely and expect our devices to be charged at all times, ready-to-use when needed. But as it currently stands, we still must plug in our phones, our electric cars, and our smartwatches, tethering us to cords and cables, triggering range anxiety and obsessing about the remaining juice on our devices.

GaN-on-Silicon Power Devices: How to Dislodge Silicon-Based Power MOSFETs

GaN-on-Silicon Power Devices: How to Dislodge Silicon-Based Power MOSFETs
May 04 2017

Gallium nitride (GaN) power transistors designed for efficient power conversion have been in production for seven years. New markets, such as light detection and ranging, envelope tracking, and wireless charging, have emerged due to the superior switching speed of GaN. These markets have enabled GaN products to achieve significant volumes, low production costs, and an enviable reliability reputation. All of this provides adequate incentive for the more conservative design engineers in applications such as dc–dc converters, ac–dc converters, and automotive to start their evaluation process. So what are the remaining barriers to the conversion of the US$12 billion silicon power metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET) market? In a word: confidence. Design engineers, manufacturing engineers, purchasing managers, and senior management all need to be confident that GaN will provide benefits that more than offset the risk of adopting a new technology. Let’s look at three key risk factors: supply chain risk, cost risk, and reliability risk.

Four Ways GaN Technology Helps Save the Planet

Four Ways GaN Technology Helps Save the Planet
Apr 11 2017

Gallium nitride (GaN) is a better semiconductor than silicon. There are many crystals that are better than silicon, but the problem has always been that they are far too expensive to be used in every application where silicon is used. But, GaN can be grown as an inexpensive thin layer on top of a standard silicon wafer enabling devices that are faster, smaller, more efficient, and less costly than their aging silicon counterparts.