EPC Technical Articles

Microchip and EPC Combat Radiation With New Rad-hard FETs

Technology for space applications has been an important part of 2021, thus more components are coming out that are rad-hard. Recently, two new FETS have come out, what do they bring to this space?

All About Circuits
June, 2021
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1.5kW GaN Inverter for Battery-Powered Motor Drive Applications

GaN transistors and ICs increase power density in motor drive applications. An optimal lay-out approach allows obtaining ring-free output switching waveforms and clean current reconstruction signals either from leg shunts or from in-phase shunts.

Bodo’s Power Systems
June, 2021
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Product roundup: GaN power semiconductors gain traction

(Image: Yole)

Manufacturers of GaN power semiconductors showcased their latest products, from 100 V to 650-V devices at PCIM Europe. PCIM Europe showcased several presentations about the benefits and use cases of wide bandgap (WGG) semiconductors, including gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC). Several manufacturers, including EPC, GaN Systems, Infineon, Nexperia, and STMicroelectronics announced several new families of GaN power semiconductors during the week.

Electronic Products
May, 2021
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Extreme GaN – What Happens When eGaN FETs are Exposed to Voltage and Current Levels Well Above Data Sheet Limits

Recently, Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) did a series of tests to take eGaN® FETs beyond their data sheet limits to quantify the effects of large amounts of overstress voltage and current and the results are published here for the first time.

Bodo’s Power Systems
May, 2021
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Using GaN FETs can be as simple as using Silicon FETs – an example in 48V systems

In this article, the author introduces a GaN FET compatible analog controller that yields a low bill-of-material count and give designers the ability to design a synchronous buck converter in the same simple way as using silicon FETs, and offers superior performance for 48 V power systems.

Power Electronics News
April, 2021
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GaN ePower Stage IC-Based Inverter for Battery-Powered Motor Drive Applications

GaN transistors and ICs allow increasing power density in motor drive applications by eliminating electrolytic capacitors in the input filter. The superior switching behavior of GaN helps to remove dead time and obtain un-matched sinusoidal voltage and current waveforms for smoother, silent operation.

Bodo’s Power Systems
April, 2021
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Redefining Power Conversion with Gallium Nitride (GaN) Integrated Circuits

GaN technology is developing rapidly with frequent releases of new generations of discrete devices that become the platform for new generations of more efficient, smaller, and lower cost integrated circuits. GaN integrated circuits make products smaller, faster, more efficient, and easier to design.

Power Systems Design
March, 2021 (page 36)
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How GaN Integrated Circuits Are Redefining Power Conversion

Gallium nitride (GaN) power devices have been in production for over 10 years and, beyond just performance and cost improvements, the most significant opportunity for GaN technology to impact the power conversion market comes from the intrinsic ability to integrate multiple devices on the same substrate. This capability will allow monolithic power systems to be designed on a single chip in a more straightforward, higher efficiency, and more cost-effective way.

Power Electronic News
March, 2021
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Laser Driver IC Could Spur Burst Of Activity In Lidar Applications

New family of laser driver IC products will enable faster adoption and increased ubiquity of ToF solutions across a wider array of end-user applications.

How2Power
March, 2021
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Minimizing Thermo-mechanical Stress in Chipscale eGaN Devices

Enhancement-mode gallium nitride (eGaN) FETs have demonstrated excellent thermomechanical reliability in actual operation in the field or when tested according to AEC or JEDEC standards. This is because of the inherent simplicity of the “package,” the lack of wire bonds, dissimilar materials, or mold compound. Recently, an extensive study of underfill products was conducted to experimentally generate lifetime predictions. A finite element analysis at the end of this section explains the experimental results and generates guidelines for selection of underfill based on key material properties.

Bodo's Power
March, 2021
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GaN Is Revolutionizing Motor Drive Applications

In last month’s Safety & Compliance column in How2Power, “WBG Semiconductors Pose Safety And EMI Challenges In Motor Drive Applications,”[1]Kevin Parmenter made some assertions about the difficulties of using SiC, and to a lesser extent GaN, power semiconductors in large motor-drive applications. This commentary is a response to that article, showing that GaN can be a game changer in low-voltage integrated motors.

How2Power
February, 2021
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GaN for High Density Servers

Gallium nitride (GaN) devices offer performance in a small form factor, increasing the efficiency, and reducing the system cost for 48 V power conversion applications. They have been adopted in high volumes in high density computing, as well as many new automotive power system designs.

Electronic Specifier
February, 2021
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Thermal Management of Chip-Scale GaN Devices

This article discusses the challenges that thermal management raises due to increase power density, especially with chip-scale packaging (CSP). What is sometimes overlooked, however, is that CSP eGaN® power FETs and integrated circuits have excellent thermal performance when mounted on standard printed circuit board (PCBs) with simple methods for attaching heat sinks. Simulations, supported by experimental verification, examine the effect of various parameters and heat flow paths to provide guidance on designing for performance versus cost.

Bodo’s Power Systems
February, 2021
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The 48 V Revolution: Why GaN Plus Digital Control for Ultra-thin Laptops

This article discusses how GaN-based solutions coupled with digital control increase efficiency, shrink the size, and reduce system costs for high density computing applications like ultra-thin laptops and high-end gaming systems. As computers, displays, smartphones and other consumer electronics systems become thinner and more powerful over the past decade, there is increasing demand for addressing the challenge of thinner solutions while extracting more power out of limited space. To address this challenge, the comparative advantages of various non-isolated DC-DC step-down topologies for ultra-thin 48 V – 20 V power solutions that are designed to fit inside a notebook computer or an ultra-thin display are examined.

Power Electronics News
January, 2021
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Layout Considerations for GaN Transistor Circuits

Gallium nitride (GaN) transistors have been in mass production for over 10 years. In their first few years of availability, the fast switching speed of the new devices – up to 10 times faster than the venerable Si MOSFET – was the main reason for designers to use GaN FETs. As the pricing of GaN devices normalized with the MOSFET, coupled with the expansion of a broad range of devices with different voltage ratings and power handling capabilities, much wider acceptance was realized in mainstream applications such as DC-DC converters for computers, motor drives for robots, and e-mobility bikes and scooters. The experience gained from the early adopters has led the way for later entrants into the GaN world get into production faster. This article is the first in a series of articles discussing three topics that can help power systems designers achieve the most out of their GaN-based designs at the lowest cost. The three topics are: (1) layout considerations; (2) thermal design for maximum power handling; and, (3) EMI reduction techniques for lowest cost.

Bodo’s Power Systems
January, 2021
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Intrinsic Failure Mechanisms in GaN-on-Si Power Transistors

Standard qualification testing for semiconductors typically involves stressing devices at-or-near the limits specified in their data sheets for a prolonged period of time, or for a certain number of cycles. The goal of qualification testing is to have zero failures out of a large group of parts tested. By testing parts to the point of failure, an understanding of the amount of margin between the data sheet limits can be developed, but more importantly, an understanding of the intrinsic failure mechanisms of the semiconductor can be found.

IEEE Power Electronics Magazine
December, 2020
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GaN Reliability Testing Beyond AEC for Automotive Lidar

An automotive application using GaN power devices in high volume is lidar(light detection and ranging) for autonomous vehicles. Lidar technology provides information about a vehicle’s surroundings, thus requiring high accuracy and reliability to ensure safety and performance. This article will discus a novel testing mechanism developed by EPC to test eGaN devices beyond the qualification requirements of the Automotive Electronics Council (AEC) for the specific use case of lidar.

Power Systems Design
December, 2020
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GaN in Space Applications

Gallium nitride power device technology enables a new generation of power converters in space operating at higher frequencies, higher efficiencies, and greater power densities than everachievable before. GaN power devices can also exhibit superior radiation tolerance compared with Silicon MOSFETs depending upon their device design.

Power Electronics Europe
December, 2020
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Power Conversion with GaN

GaN technology has seen significant improvements and has reached an optimal cost for MOSFET replacement. Starting in 2017, the adoption rate of GaN in 48-Vin DC-DC converters began to take on important connotations in the market. Various topologies, such as multi-phase and multi-level bucks are offering new solutions with greater efficiency to cover the energy demands of the IT and automotive markets.

Power Electronics News
November, 2020
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GaN ePower™ Ultrafast Switch with Integrated Gate Driver for Indirect Time-of-Flight Laser Drivers

Gallium nitride FETs have continued to gain traction in many power electronic applications, but GaN technology is still in the early part of its life cycle. While there is much room to improve basic FET performance figures of merit an even more promising avenue is the development of GaN power ICs.

Bodo’s Power Systems
November, 2020
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