EPC Technical Articles

Low-Voltage GaN FETs in Motor Control Application; Issues and Advantages: A Review

In the field of motion control, there is a growing use of GaN devices, especially in low voltage applications. This paper provides guidelines for designers on the optimal use of GaN FETs in motor control applications, identifying the advantages and discussing the main issues.

Energies Journal
October, 2021
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FET Roundup: eGaN FETs, Next-gen SiC FETs, and “RibbonFETs” Hit the Scene

This month has been a busy one in the FET space. Here are a few FETs from EPC, UnitedSiC, and Intel that depart from traditional silicon transistors in interesting ways.

All About Circuits
October, 2021
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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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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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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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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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Testing Gallium Nitride Devices to Failure Under Extreme Voltage and Current Stress

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, with the goal of demonstrating zero failures. By testing parts to the point of failure, an understanding of the amount of margin beyond the data sheet limits can be developed, but more importantly, an understanding of the intrinsic failure mechanisms of the semiconductor can be found.

Bodo’s Power Systems
September, 2020
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Radiation Performance of Enhancement-Mode Gallium Nitride Power Devices

Enhancement-mode gallium nitride (eGaN®) technology enables a new generation of power converters in space operating at higher frequencies, higher efficiencies, and greater power densities than ever achievable before. eGaN devices also exhibit superior radiation tolerance compared with silicon MOSFETs.

Bodo’s Power Systems
June, 2020
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Silicon Is Dead…and Discrete Power Devices Are Dying

For over four decades, power management efficiency and cost have improved steadily as innovations in power MOSFET structures, technology, and circuit topologies have kept pace with the growing need for electrical power. In the new millennium, however, the rate of improvement has slowed dramatically as the silicon power MOSFET approaches its theoretical bounds. At the same time, a new material, gallium nitride (GaN) is steadily progressing on its journey toward a theoretical performance boundary that is 6,000 times better than the aging silicon MOSFET and 300 times better than the best GaN products on the market today.

EETimes
June, 2020
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Integrated GaN Power Stage for eMobility

Brushless DC (BLDC) motors are a popular choice and are finding increasing application in robotics, drones, electric bicycles, and electric scooters. All these applications are particularly sensitive to size, weight, cost, and efficiency. A monolithically integrated GaN power stage is demonstrated powering a 400 W capable BLDC motor with low switching losses and significant savings in size and weight.

Power Electronics Europe
May, 2020
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GaN Integrated Power Stage – Redefining Power Conversion

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

Bodo’s Power Systems
May, 2020
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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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GaN and 48 V – Where are We and Where are We Going?

Three years ago, the cost of making medium voltage eGaN FETs fell below the cost of equivalently rated power MOSFETs. At that time EPC decided to use the performance and cost advantages of eGaN FETs to aggressively pursue applications with input, or output, voltage around 48 V. Specifically, automotive and computer applications is where 48 V conversion is becoming the new architecture, the new standard for power systems.

Power Systems Design
March 31, 2020
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GaN for Power Conversion

With silicon near its theoretical limits new designs heavily favor the continued adoption of GaN devices. GaN devices are early in their evolution, with advances in performance and integration and more products coming.

Electronics Weekly
December, 2019
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GaN in Space

This article discussed an oft forgotten or little-noticed part of the spacecraft enabling travel into outer space---power management in the space vehicle. Wide bandgap semiconductors like gallium nitride (GaN), silicon carbide (SiC), as well as diamond, are looking to be the most promising materials for future electronic components since the discovery of silicon. These technologies, depending upon their design, offer huge advantages in terms of power capability (DC and microwave), radiation insensitivity, high temperature and high frequency operation, optical properties and even low noise capability. Therefore, wide bandgap components are strategically important for the development of next generation space-borne systems. eGaN devices are quickly gaining momentum in the space industry and we will see many more applications for them by NASA and commercial contractors in future programs like Artemis and other programs in countries around the globe pursuing efforts into Space.

Power Systems Design
November, 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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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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GaN Technology is Transforming Medicine

GaN is making possible what was once thought to be impossible in many industries. Alex Lidow, EPC, explains how GaN technology is contributing to significant improvements in medicine.

Electronic Specifier
August, 2019
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