EPC Technical Articles

Power Bricks Get an Efficiency Boost with GaN

The design of an LLC resonant converter illustrates how eGaN FETs can shrink the physical size of modern supply circuitry.

Power Electronic Tips
October, 2021
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Meeting the Power and Magnetic Design Challenges of Ultra-Thin, High-Power Density 48 V DC-DC Converters for Ultra-Thin Computing Applications

Over the past decade computers, displays, smart phones and other consumer electronics systems have become thinner while also becoming more powerful. As a result, the market continues to increase its demand for thinner power supply solutions with greater power density. This article examines the feasibility of adopting various non-isolated dc-dc step-down topologies for an ultra-thin 48 V to 20 V rated to 250 W. It examines the pros and cons of various non-isolated topologies and how the topology impacts the choice of the power transistors and magnetics, specifically the inductors, as these two components account for the bulk of the losses in a converter. The article also undertakes a detailed analysis of the challenges to design thin inductors for these applications, including examining the factors that drive inductor losses, inductor size, and the design tradeoffs, including the impact on EMI. For this work, an ultrathin multilevel converter topology was selected, built, and tested. The experimental results obtained from this converter were used to further refine the operating setting and component selections that resulted in a peak efficiency exceeding 98%.

Michael de Rooij, EPC
Quentin Laidebeur, Würth Elektronik

IEEE Power Electronics Magazine
September, 2021
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High Efficiency, High Density 1 kW LLC Resonant Converter in a 1/8th Brick Size using eGaN FETs

With the continuous and fast-paced growth of data processing infrastructures, higher power levels that can be delivered in smallest areas are demanded.

Power Systems Design
September, 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 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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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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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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The Smarter the Car, the More it Needs GaN

Gallium nitride is helping the transition from internal combustion engines to electric and smart cars.

Power Systems Design
July/August 2020 Issue
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Power Product News from ‘Virtual APEC’

Starting on page 13 of this story, EPC discusses with David Morrison the latest GaN developments meant for APEC. Alex Lidow, CEO and co-founder of EPC, discussed his company’s new power stage ICs, their development of GaN-based reference designs using a multi-level topology and various demos that were originally bound for APEC.

How2Power Today
April, 2020
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Power Semi Wars Begin

GaN and SiC are becoming much more attractive as prices drop. Several vendors are rolling out the next wave of power semiconductors based on gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC), setting the stage for a showdown against traditional silicon-based devices in the market.

Semiconductor Engineering
October, 2019
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DC-DC Conversion for 48 V – 12 V Automotive Applications

GaN transistors, with favorable figures of merit (FOM) for 48 V applications, can provide a reduction in size, weight, and bill of material costs. This article presents a five-phase, fully regulated, bidirectional 48 V to 12 V DC-DC converter. An advancedthermalmanagement solution suitable for use with eGaN FETs results in a system that can provide 3kW of power at an efficiency exceeding 97.5% into a 14.5 V battery.

Power Systems Design
July, 2019
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Building the Smallest and Most Efficient 48 V to 5 - 12 V DC to DC using eGaN FETs and ICs

The Power and Evolution of GaN – Part 2 of 6 part series

With the power architecture transition from a 12 V to a 48 V bus power distribution in modern data centers, there is an increased demand to improve 48 V power conversion efficiency and power density. In this context, DC-DC converters designed using eGaN® FETs and ICs provide a high efficiency and high power density solution. Additionally, with the advent of 48 V power systems in mild-hybrid, hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, GaN transistors can provide a reduction in size, weight, and Bill of Materials (BOM) cost.

Power Systems Design
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GaN-Based VRM Hybrid Converter Achieves 95% Efficiency for 48V to 1-2V/10A Power Conversion

With the emergence of the 48V bus architecture, a new hybrid converter using gallium nitride (GaN) transistors can be employed which achieves a peak efficiency that exceeds 95% and with 225W/in3 power density. Of great interest for data center applications, where light load efficiency is critical for energy savings, the converter efficiency is kept higher than 90% down to a 20% load.

PowerPulse
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Alex Lidow walks Alix Paultre through the EPC booth at APEC 2018

In this video Alex Lidow, Founder and CEO of EPC, talks to Alix Paultre, Editor-in-Chief of Power Electronics News, about the various demonstrations of GaN-based solutions at the EPC booth at APEC 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. The high-frequency operation and other advanced performance advantages over Silicon enables GaN to empower applications from LIDAR to wireless power transmission. The booth exhibits include examples of these, from a real-time LIDAR demonstration to a running "wireless desk".

Power Electronics News
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