Application Notes

EPC offers a variety of technical documents including application notes and white papers for your use in designing with and evaluating our Gallium Nitride (GaN) based products and solutions.

Using Enhancement Mode GaN-on-Silicon Power FETs (eGaN® FETs) (AN003)

Using eGaN FETs is very similar to using power MOSFETs. However, due to the significantly better performance, there are some design and test considerations to maximize performance.

Assembling eGaN FETs (AN009)

eGaN FETs and integrated circuits from EPC have taken a very different approach to packaging power semiconductors – we have ditched the package altogether. EPC’s innovative wafer level, chip-scale packaging has enabled a new state-of-the-art in power density.

Accurately Measuring High Speed GaN Transistors (AN023)

The increase in switching speed offered by GaN transistors requires good measurement technology, as well as good techniques to capture important details of high-speed waveforms. This application note focuses on how to leverage the measurement equipment for the user’s requirement and measurement techniques to accurately evaluate high performance GaN transistors.

Paralleling High Speed GaN Transistors (AN020)

In this application note, we will discuss paralleling high speed GaN transistors in applications requiring higher output current. This work will discuss the impact of in-circuit parasitics on performance and propose printed circuit board (PCB) layout methods to improve parallel performance of high speed GaN transistors.

Simplifying Design with DrGaNPLUS (AN019)

Gallium nitride based transistors and ICs offer designers of power converters a path towards achieving higher output power, higher efficiency, and higher power density. This application note will address an eGaN FET module designed as a way for power-conversion systems designers to easily evaluate the exceptional performance of gallium nitride transistors.

Thermal Performance of eGaN FETs (AN011)

While the thermal performance of traditional silicon MOSFETs is well understood, measuring the thermal performance of eGaN FETs requires some further explanation. This Applications Note investigates the testing method and results of thermal resistance measurements on eGaN FETs.

eGaN FET Safe Operating Area (AN014)

A basic limitation of a power transistor is temperature. Calculations of device temperature during operation assume that power dissipation is spread evenly over the entire active area of the device, which is not always true. This paper will describe the thermally derived Safe Operating Area (SOA) of power GaN FETs which demonstrate very good SOA characteristics while maintaining superior RDS(on). The paper will then compare thermally derived calculations with measured results.

Circuit Simulation Using Device Models (AN005)

An accurate circuit and device model is a valuable tool for developing new topologies, building successful designs, and shortening time to market. This article describes the status and use of EPC device models, and illustrates some important considerations when incorporating EPC eGaN devices into a circuit model.

eGaN Parametric Characterization Guide (AN004)

The EPC GaN transistors generally behave like n-channel power MOSFETs. Common curve tracers, parametric analyzers, and automatic discrete device parametric testers that are used for an n-channel power MOSFET will be applicable for the characterization of GaN transistors. This applications note provides guidelines to characterize DC parameters using Tektronix 576 curve tracer, Keithley 238 parametric analyzer, TESEC 881-TT/A discrete device test system.

Visual Characterization Guide (AN010)

A detailed description of the EPC enhancement mode transistors and integrated circuits physical characteristics is given including the visual criteria all devices must meet before they are released for shipment to customers.

Dead-Time Optimization for Maximum Efficiency (WP012)

In this white paper we continue our exploration of optimization issues and look at the impact of dead-time on system efficiency for eGaN FETs and MOSFETs.

Selecting eGaN FET Optimal On-Resistance (WP011)

In this white paper the die size optimization process for selecting the eGaN FET optimal on-resistance is discussed and an example application is used to show specific results. Since ‘optimum’ means different things to different people, this process is aimed at maximizing switching device efficiency at a given load condition.

Optimizing PCB Layout with eGaN FETs (WP010)

This white paper will explore the optimization of PCB layout for an eGaN FET based point of load (POL) buck converter, comparing the conventional designs and proposing a new optimal layout to further reduce parasitics.

Impact of Parasitics on Performance (WP009)

With improvements in switching figure of merit provided by eGaN FETs, the packaging and PCB layout parasitics are critical to high performance. This white paper will study the effect of parasitic inductance on performance for eGaN FET and MOSFET based point of load (POL) buck converters operating at a switching frequency of 1 MHz, an input voltage of 12 V, an output voltage of 1.2 V, and an output current up to 20 A.

eGaN FET Drivers and Layout Considerations (WP008)

eGaN FETs differ from their silicon counterparts because of their significantly faster switching speeds and consequently have different requirements for gate drive, layout, and thermal management which can all be interactive.

eGaN FET Electrical Characteristics (WP007)

In this paper the basic electrical characteristics of eGaN FETs are explained and compared against silicon MOSFETs. A good understanding of the similarities and differences between these two technologies is a necessary foundation for understanding how much we can improve existing power conversion systems.

Generation 5 eGaN Technology A Quantum Leap into a New Universe of Performance! (AN022)

Efficient Power Conversion Corporation (EPC), the world’s leader in enhancement mode gallium nitride on silicon (eGaN) power FETs and ICs has developed a next generation of eGaN technology that makes it possible to cut the size of our products in half, while giving the power system designer access to significantly higher performance. This is EPC’s fifth generation (Gen 5) GaN technology and it is further evidence that GaN-on-silicon is a rapidly improving technology that is already more than 10 X higher performance than silicon MOSFETs while costing less to produce.

eGaN FETs Deliver the Performance of GaN at the Price of Silicon (WP017)

Power transistors made using gallium nitride (GaN) instead of silicon have been in production for several years. A new line of eGaN FETs is now available that are not only much faster and smaller than power MOSFETs with similar on-resistance and voltage ratings, but these new transistors are priced favorably at comparable volumes. This is the first time in 60 years that there has been a non-silicon technology that has both superior performance and price compared with their silicon-based counterpart.

GaN Integration For Higher DC-DC Efficiency and Power Density (AN018)

Beyond just performance and cost improvement, the greatest opportunity for GaN technology to impact the power conversion market comes from its intrinsic ability to integrate multiple devices on the same substrate. In the future, GaN technology, as opposed to common silicon IC technology, will allow designers to implement monolithic power systems on a single chip in a more straightforward and cost-effective way.

Fourth Generation eGaN FETs Widen the Performance Gap with the Aging MOSFET (AN017)

Fourth generation of GaN-on-silicon enhancement mode transistors (eGaN FETs) sets new performance records. This family of products range from 30 V to 200 V and significantly widen the performance gap between the aging power MOSFET and gallium nitride-based transistors.

Introducing a Family of eGaN FETs for Multi-Megahertz Hard Switching Applications (AN015)

In this application note we present the new EPC8000 series devices and highlight some of the key features that make this transistor family suitable for high frequency applications. That will be followed by two application examples, a 10 MHz envelope tracking converter and a 6.78 MHz class D wireless power transfer system. In conclusion, small signal RF characteristics will also be provided.

Fundamentals of eGaN FETs (AN002)

The basic requirements for power semiconductors are effciency, reliability, controllability, and cost effectiveness. High frequency capability adds further value in size and transient response in regulators, and fidelity in class D amplifiers. Without effciency and reliability, a new device structure would have no chance of economic viability.

Is it the End of the Road for Silicon in Power Conversion (AN001)

For the past three decades, power management efficiency and cost have shown steady improvement as innovations in power MOSFET structures, technology, and circuit topologies have paced the growing need for electrical power in our daily lives. In the last few years, however, the rate of improvement has slowed as the silicon power MOSFET has asymptotically approached its theoretical bounds. Now the superior performance of gallium nitride technology is displacing the power MOSFET.

eGaN® FET Advantages in 48 V – 12 V Power Conversion (AN026)

In this application note, we will demonstrate how system optimization for a 48 V – 12 V nonisolated, fully regulated, intermediate bus converter (IBC) can achieve higher power density and efficiency with eGaN FETs. We will also take a detailed look at an eGaN FET based multilevel topology that can further maximize the benefit of using eGaN FETs over conventional silicon solutions.

eGaN ICs for Low Voltage DC-DC Applications (AN025)

In this application note, we introduce EPC’s new eGaN IC – EPC2112 that includes an integrated gate driver used in a 27 W, 14 V – 48 V input to 19 V output single-ended primary-inductor converter (SEPIC) built on the EPC9131 demonstration board. The SEPIC converter is ideal for applications with a wide input voltage range and where the output voltage can be either below or above the input voltage.

eGaN FETs for Lidar – Getting the Most Out of the EPC9126 Laser Driver (AN027)한국어 버전

Lidar is a form of radar where the electromagnetic radiation happens to be in the optical band. In the last few years, one particular form of lidar, time-of-flight (TOF) distance measurement, has become popular. If a laser is used as the optical source, one can measure the distance of a small spot even at a long range. When combined with steerable optics, one can sweep the spot distance measurement and map objects in 3-D space.

eGaN FETs for Low Cost Resonant Wireless Power Applications (AN021)

Resonant wireless power systems use loosely-coupled, highly-resonant coils that are tuned to high frequencies (6.78 MHz or 13.56 MHz). The AirFuel Alliance has developed the standard for resonant wireless power applications. They address convenience-of-use issues such as source to device distance, device orientation on the source, multiple devices on a single source, higher power capability, simplicity of use, and imperfect placement.

Envelope Tracking Power Supply for Cell Phone Base Stations Using eGaN FETs (AN028)

Modern communication systems demand high data capacity and high speed. The long-term evolution (LTE) standard for the fourth-generation (4G) and the fifth-generation (5G) wireless systems requires signals with higher PAPR compared with prior generations. This increase reduces the efficiency of the power amplifier (PA). Envelope tracking, or supply modulation, uses a dynamic power supply to vary the PA supply voltage in accordance with the time-varying envelope of the input signal so that the efficiency of the PA is maximized.

eGaN FETs for Photo-Voltaic Inverter Applications (AN016)

Photo-Voltaic (PV) inverter size and cost are dominated by thermal management and passive elements used for bulk energy storage and filtering. Using eGaN FETs to increase efficiency and/or increase switching frequency will reduce the size and cost of the system.

eGaN FETs Small Signal RF Performance (WP016)

Even though the eGaN FET was designed and optimized as a power-switching device, it also exhibits good RF characteristics. EPC’s small 200 V eGaN FET was selected for RF evaluation and should be viewed as a starting point from which the RF characteristics of future eGaN FET part numbers can be optimized for even better RF performance at higher frequencies.

eGaN FETs in High Frequency Resonant Converters (WP015)

In this white paper eGaN FET technology is applied in a high frequency resonant converter. Previously, the advantages provided by eGaN FETs in hard switching isolated and non-isolated applications were addressed. This paper will demonstrate the ability of the eGaN FET to improve efficiency and output power density in a soft switching application, as compared to what is achievable with existing power MOSFET devices.


How to Design a 12 V to 48 V / 500 W 2-Phase Boost Converter Using eGaN FETs and the Renesas ISL81807 Controller (How2AppNote 024)

48 V is being adopted in many applications including AI systems, data centers, and mild hybrid electric vehicles. However, the conventional 12 V ecosystem is still dominant and so the need of a high power density 12 V to 48 V boost converter is required.

How to Design a 12 V-to-60 V Boost Converter with Low Temperature Rise Using eGaN® FETs (How2AppNote 023)

Modern displays typically require a low power boost converter. In this application, the screen intensity is low to moderate and the converter operates at light load most of the time, so the light load efficiency is very important.

How to Design a High-Efficiency 48 V, 1 kW LLC Resonant Converter in a 1/8th Brick Size Using eGaN FETs (How2AppNote 022)

This application note presents the design of a 1 kW, 4:1 conversion ratio, eGaN FET-based LLC resonant converter in the 1/8th power brick size for the 48 V server applications. The EPC9149 [5] converter module achieves 97.5% peak efficiency and 96.7% full-load efficiency.

How to Design a 1.5 kW 48 V/12 V Bi-Directional Power Module with AEC Qualified eGaN® FETs (How2AppNote 021)

This application note discusses the design of a 1.5 kW, two-phase 48 V/12 V bi-directional converter using automotive qualified GaN FETs that operates with 95% efficiency. The heatsinking capability can be considered infinite since this will ultimately function inside a vehicle with the unit mounted to the chassis. The design of this converter is scalable to 3 kW by paralleling two converters.

How to Design a Bi-Directional 1/16th Brick 48 V-12 V Converter Using Monolithic GaN ePower™ Stage (How2AppNote020)

Brick DC-DC converters are widely used in data center, telecommunication and automotive applications, converting a nominal 48 V bus to (or from) a nominal 12 V bus. Advances in GaN integrated circuit (IC) technology have enabled the integration of the half bridge and gate drivers, resulting in a single chip solution that simplifies layout, minimizes area, and reduces cost.

How to Design a Thin DC/DC Power Module with Low Temperature Rise Using eGaN FETs (How2AppNote019)

As computers, displays, smart phones and other consumer electronics systems become thinner and more powerful, addressing the challenge of thinning the power converter and getting more power out of limited space without increasing the surface temperature increases in demand. This application note will look into designing a 44 V to 60 V input, 12 V to 20 V, 12.5 A output, thin DC/DC power module with low temperature rise using eGaN FETs in the simple and low-cost synchronous buck topology.

How to Design a 300 W 48 V to 12 V, 9 V, 5 V Digitally Controlled 1/16th Brick DC-DC Converter Using eGaN FETs (How2AppNote018)

Brick DC-DC converters are widely used in data center, telecommunication and automotive applications, converting a nominal 48 V to a nominal 12 V distribution bus among other output voltages. The main trend has been towards higher power density given the form factor is fixed. This application note discusses the design of a digitally controlled 1/16th brick converter using GaN FETs for a 48 V to 12 V, 9 V, 5 V application, with up to 25 A output current, 300 W output power, a peak efficiency of 95.8%, and maximum power density of 730 W/in3.

How to Design an Ultra-thin, Highly Efficient, Multi-level DC-to-DC Converter Using eGaN FETs (How2AppNote015)

Over the past decade, DC-to-DC power modules in datacom, telecom, and consumer electronics systems demand more power with increasing limitations on space and volume, requiring ultra-thin and highly efficient solutions. The multi-level converter is an exceptional candidate to shrink the size of the magnetic components and achieve high efficiency in a compact solution.

How to Exceed 98% Efficiency in a Compact 48 V to 6 V, 900 W LLC Resonant Converter Using eGaN FETs (How2AppNote014)

The rapid expansion of the computing and telecommunication market is demanding an ever more compact, efficient and high power density solution for intermediate bus converters. The LLC resonant converter is a remarkable candidate to provide a high power density and high efficiency solution. eGaN FETs with their ultra-low on-resistance and parasitic capacitances, benefit LLC resonant converters by significant loss reduction that is challenging when using Si MOSFETs.

Exceeding 98% Efficiency in a Compact 48 V to 12 V, 900 W LLC Resonant Converter Using eGaN FETs (How2AppNote011)

The rapid expansion of the computing and telecommunication market is demanding an ever more compact, efficient and high power density solution for intermediate bus converters. The LLC resonant converter is a remarkable candidate to provide a high power density and high efficiency solution. eGaN FETs with their ultra-low on-resistance and parasitic capacitances, benefit LLC resonant converters by significant loss reduction that is challenging when using Si MOSFETs.

Achieving Best-in-class 48 V to 12 V, 60 A DC-DC Converter Performance with the EPC9130 Multiphase Buck (How2AppNote010)

Single-phase buck converter can work efficiently at output currents up to 25 A, but the power efficiency drops significantly at higher currents. A compact, cost effective, high-power and high-efficiency 48 V to 12 V buck converter, suitable for high-power computing and telecommunication applications, can be achieved by employing eGaN FETs such as EPC2045 in a multiphase topology.

Boosting Power Density in 48 V to 5-12 V DC-DC Converter Using EPC2053, with up to 25 A Output (How2AppNote009)

The smallest, most cost effective, highest efficiency and 25 A capable non-isolated 48 V to 5-12V converter, suitable for high-performance computing and telecommunication applications, can be accomplished by employing eGaN® FETs such as the EPC2053. The EPC9093 GaN development board configured as a synchronous buck converter yields a main power stage area of only 10 mm x 9 mm, at least 2x smaller than its Si equivalent, and is capable of producing an output voltage ranging from 5 V to 12 V.

Building the Smallest and Most Efficient 48 V to 5 - 12 V DC-DC Converter using EPC2045 and ICs (How2AppNote001)

The smallest, most cost effective and highest efficiency non-isolated 48 V to 12 V converter, suitable for high-performance computing and telecommunication applications, can be achieved by employing eGaN® FETs such as the EPC2045. The EPC9205 configured as a synchronous Buck converter yielded a power density of 1400 W/in3 and is capable of delivering 15 A.

Building a Low Cost, High Efficiency 12 V to 1 V POL Converter Using EPC2111 (How2AppNote004)

The smallest, most cost effective and highest efficiency non-isolated 12 V to 1.0 V POL converter, suitable for high-performance computing, cryptocurrency and telecommunication applications, can be achieved by employing monolithic eGaN® IC half-bridges such as the EPC2111. The EPC9204 configured as a synchronous Buck converter yielded a power density of 1000 W/in3 and is capable of delivering 12 A.


How to Build an Ultra-Fast High-Power Laser Driver - That Sees Farther, Better, and at a Lower Cost! (How2AppNote002)

Light Detection and Ranging (Lidar) is a remote sensing technology which transmits pulses of light from the sensor and measures the reflection to determine the location and distance of objects. The extremely high performance of GaN and the ultra-low inductance of the chip-scale package make eGaN FETs the ideal switches for pulsed laser drivers.

Motor Drive

How to Design a Compact Low-Voltage BLDC Motor Drive Inverter Using Automotive-Grade eGaN FETs (How2AppNote026)

Due to the ever-increasing demand for highly efficient and compact motor drive applications, EPC has designed the EPC9145 board eGaN FET-based to provide a reference design to achieve maximum performance in the field of motor drive inverters.

How to Design a Compact Low-voltage BLDC Motor Drive Inverter Using a Monolithic GaN ePower™ Stage (How2AppNote017)

Brushless DC (BLDC) motors are popular and finding increasing application in robotics, e-mobility, and drones. Such applications have special requirements such as lightweight, small size, low torque ripple, and precision control. To address these needs, inverters powering the motors need to operate at higher frequency, but require advanced techniques to reduce the resultant higher power loss.


How to Design a Highly Efficient, 2.5 kW, Universal Input Voltage Range, Power Factor Correction (PFC) 400 V Rectifier Using 200 V eGaN FETs (How2AppNote016)

The expansion of applications such as cloud computing, wearables, machine learning, autonomous driving, and IoT drive us towards an even more data-intensive world, increasing demands on data centers and power consumption [1, 2]. The importance of efficiency, power density, and cost of the AC to DC switching power supply is driving innovative solutions that eGaN FETs can solve to yield ultra-high efficiency power factor correction (PFC) front-end rectifier solutions that are the focus of this how-to-application note.


The Growing Ecosystem for eGaN FET Power Conversion (How2AppNote005)

eGaN FET-based power conversion systems offer higher efficiency, increased power density, and lower overall system cost than Si-based alternatives. These advantageous characteristics have spurred the presence of an ever increasing ecosystem of power electronics components such as gate drivers, controllers, and passive components that specifically enhance eGaN FET performance.

How to Design an eGaN FET-Based Power Stage with an Optimal Layout (How2AppNote007)

eGaN FETs are capable of switching much faster than Si MOSFETs, requiring more careful consideration of PCB layout design to minimize parasitic inductances. Parasitic inductances cause higher overshoot voltages and slower switching transitions. This application note reviews the key steps to design an optimal power stage layout with eGaN FETs, to avoid these unwanted effects and maximize the converter performance.

Designing PCB Footprint for EPC eGaN FETs and ICs (How2AppNote008)

EPC’s wafer level chip-scale packaging such as the Land Grid Array (LGA) and Ball Grid Array (BGA) packages shown in figure 1, has enabled a new level of performance in power conversion. Many of these parts use a fine pitch down to 400 μm which means a proper PCB footprint design is essential for consistent and reliable assembly of the GaN device. Here are the guidelines of designing a correct footprint for any EPC part working from the datasheet.

How to Manually Assemble an eGaN FET or IC (How2AppNote003)

EPC’s innovative wafer level, Land Grid Array (LGA) and Ball Grid Array (BGA) packaging has enabled a new level of performance in power conversion. Proper assembly techniques are essential to take full advantage of GaN technology capability. Here are the guidelines for manual assembly of these FETs and ICs.

How to Get More Power Out of a High-Density eGaN-Based Converter with a Heatsink (How2AppNote012)

eGaN FETs and ICs enable very high-density power converter design, owing to their compact size, ultra-fast switching, and low on-resistance. The limiting factor for output power in most high-density converters is junction temperature, which prompts the need for more effective thermal design. The chip-scale packaging of eGaN also offers six-sided cooling, with effective heat extraction from the bottom, top, and sides of the die. This application note presents a high-performance thermal solution to extend the output current capability of eGaN-based converters.

How to Effectively Measure High Performance eGaN FETs in Applications (How2AppNote006)

Advancements in eGaN FET-based converters’ in-circuit capability drives high performance measurement requirements. This article compares various measurement techniques and technologies’ capability of accurately evaluating high performance eGaN FETs in applications.