EPC Technical Articles

CES 2022: GaN Technology for the Next Future

The year 2021 was a transitional year in which the world decided to open its doors to GaN. In this interview with Power Electronics News during CES week, GaN industry experts confirmed that GaN is now proving its superiority over silicon.

Power Electronics News
January, 2022
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LiDAR System Design of ToF Laser Driver with GaN

The new gallium nitride (GaN) family aims to deliver time-of-flight (ToF) applications for autonomous cars and 3D sensing across the consumer and industrial sectors. In an interview with EE Times, Alex Lidow, CEO at EPC, highlighted how introducing the eToF Laser Driver family’s for LiDAR system design at a low cost competes with the Mosfet when it comes to LiDAR applications.

September, 2021
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The Next Wave of GaN and SiC

Gallium nitride and silicon carbide are designated wide-bandgap (WBG) semiconductors based on the energy required to shift electrons in these materials from the valence to the conduction band — about 3.2 eV for SiC and 3.4 eV for GaN, compared with just 1.1 eV for silicon. The WBG properties lead to a higher applicable breakdown voltage, which can reach up to 1,700 V in some applications. At this year’s digital only PCIM Europe, held in May, several companies showed their latest innovations in GaN and SiC and offered insights on where WBG technology is headed.

EE Times – Europe
July, 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.

March, 2021
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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 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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GaN HEMTs Outperform MOSFETs in Key Growth Applications

Silicon power MOSFETs have not kept pace with the evolutionary changes in the power electronics industry, where factors such as efficiency, power density, and smaller form factors are the main demands of the community. Silicon MOSFETs have reached their theoretical limits for power electronics, and with board space at a premium, power system designers need alternatives. Gallium nitride (GaN) is a high-electron-mobility transistor (HEMT) semiconductor that is adding real value in emerging applications.

August, 2020
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GaN Reliability Testing Beyond AEC Proves Robustness for Automotive Lidar Applications

Gallium nitride (GaN) power devices have been in volume production since March 2010 and have established a remarkable field-reliability record. 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 discuss a novel testing mechanism developed by Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) to test eGaN devices beyond the qualification requirements of the Automotive Electronics Council (AEC) for the specific use case of lidar.

eeNews Europe
July 30, 2020
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What’s New with Gallium Nitride?

Alex Lidow is the CEO of Efficient Power Conversion, probably the most prominent advocate for gallium nitride, delivering the first GaN transistor in 2009. After a decade of selling products, DESIGN&ELEKTRONIK editor Ralf Higgelke met him to discuss some of the latest advances in that area.

February 20, 2020
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Go-ahead for GaN

It’s getting harder to avoid using GaN power transistors and ICs, says Alex Lidow. There are many reasons to use GaN-on-Si power transistors such as eGaN FETs, in telecoms, vehicles, healthcare and computing. Smaller, faster, lower cost, and more integrated, GaN-on-Si devices have spent a decade gaining the confidence and trust of designers across the spectrum of power conversion applications.

Electronic Specifier
November 20, 2019
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Executive Interview with Alex Lidow on Winning GaN Applications

Ahead of December’s Power Conference in Munich, Bodo Arlt took the opportunity to get an insight into Alex Lidow’s thoughts on where the GaN market is now and where he sees the potential applications for the future. Dr. Lidow is the CEO and Co-founder of Efficient Power Conversion (EPC).

Bodo’s Power Systems
November, 2019
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PCIM Europe – where power is at the core of innovation

This year’s PCIM Europe was attended by a record number of visitors, over 12,000. Over half (54%) were from outside Germany. They came to see over 500 exhibitors and while the subject matter was diverse and wide-ranging, there were some themes that emerged. GaN and SiC jostled for attention at this year’s PCIM Europe. Showing the potential that GaN has already realised, Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) had a stand that was well-stocked with examples of the eGaN FET technology that the company introduced in 2009.

Electronic Specifier
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The Power and Evolution of GaN, Part 6: GaN Technology Adoption and Roadmap

In the final installment of this series, how GaN has met the requirements to displace silicon is explored. As the adoption rate of GaN explodes, it is important to remember that, while GaN has made many advancements in just a few short years, it is still far from its theoretical performance limitations and thus there are profound improvements that can continue to be achieved. In time, the performance and cost advantages of GaN-on-silicon will result in a majority of applications currently using silicon-based devices converting to the smaller, faster, cheaper, and more reliable GaN technology.

Power Systems Design
February, 2019
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The Power and Evolution of GaN, Part 3: How to Build an Ultra-Fast High-Power Laser Driver using eGaN FETs - That Sees Farther, Better, and at a Lower Cost!

In the first article in this series, how gallium nitride (GaN)-on-silicon low voltage power devices have enabled many new applications, such as light detection and ranging (LiDAR), envelope tracking, and wireless power was discussed. In this article, more detail on one of these leading applications, LiDAR, will be explored. How GaN is being used to make LiDAR systems that see farther, with higher resolution, and at lower cost will be shown.

Power Systems Design
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Connected Vehicles Will Make Their Connections Through Gallium Nitride

With the rise of autonomous cars and electric propulsion as driving forces in automotive applications, a huge new market for power devices based on gallium nitride grown on a silicon substrate (GaN-on-Si) is emerging.

Design World
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The Power and Evolution of GaN

Gallium nitride(GaN)-on-silicon low voltage power devices have enabled many new applications since commercial availability began in 2010. New markets, such as light detection and ranging (LiDAR), envelope tracking, and wireless power, emerged due to the superior switching speed of GaN. These new applications have helped develop a strong supply chain, low production costs, and an enviable reliability record. 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. In this series, a few of the many, high volume applications taking advantage of GaN to achieve new levels of end-product differentiation will be discussed. First, it is useful to explore the factors attributing to the rapid acceleration of the adoption rate.

Power Systems Design
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Designing LiDAR and more into Autonomous E racing

The reason eGaN FETs (and now ICs) are used in all the LiDAR systems for autonomous cars, and now autonomous race cars, is that they enable much higher resolution (due to extremely short laser pulses), faster image speed (due to short laser pulses), and the ability to see greater distances with high accuracy (due to fast laser pulses at very high current).

Planet Analog
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GaN Devices Power the Next Generation of LiDAR Systems

For LiDAR systems to meet ever-higher performance specs, they must perform fast switching of high-current pulses, which is where a gallium-nitride power switch can step in to help.

Electronic Design
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How eGaN FETs power LIDAR

LIDAR is presently a subject of great interest, primarily due to its widespread adoption in autonomous navigation systems for vehicles, robots, drones, and other mobile machines. eGaN devices are one of the main factors in making affordable, high performance LIDAR possible in a small form factor thus further fueling the LIDAR revolution.

By John Glaser
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EPC at APEC 2018 by EE Online

EPC CEO & Co-Founder, Alex Lidow gives Lee Teschler from EE World Online a tour of the EPC booth at APEC 2018 where EPC demonstrations included a high-power density 48 V – 12 V non-isolated converter capable of delivering over 700 W. In addition, a range of 3-D real-time LiDAR imaging sensors used in autonomous vehicles were displayed. Also, a single desktop implementing a high power resonant wireless charging solution capable of generating 300 W to wirelessly power a wide range of devices including cell phones, notebook computers, monitors, wireless speakers, smart watches, and table lamps.

View videos below.

How eGaN Transistor Technology Improves LiDAR Performance
Why Gate Drivers are Joining eGaN Transistors on the Same Chip
Graphics-Intensive Applications Benefit From Power-Dense eGaN® DC-DC Converters