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Minimizing Thermo-mechanical Stress in Chipscale eGaN Devices

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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EPC’s ePower Stage EPC2152 Integrated Circuit Named Finalist in Prestigious Elektra Awards

EPC’s ePower Stage EPC2152 Integrated Circuit Named Finalist in Prestigious Elektra Awards

EPC’s ePower™ Stage EPC2152 Integrated Circuit has been selected as a finalist in the Semiconductor Product of the Year – Analogue category, in this year’s Elektra Awards.  These prestigious annual awards have been running for over 19 years to reward and recognize companies and individuals for their excellent performance, innovation and contribution to the global electronics industry.

Companies are invited to enter individual categories and must demonstrate how innovative their product is, how it addresses its intended application better than incumbent products and what additional applications or markets could be opened-up.  Judging is carried out by an independently and unbiased, diverse, and knowledgeable panel of industry experts.  Due to the current COVID restrictions the Elektra Awards ceremony this year will be held virtually on 25th March and the winners announced during the event.

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GaN Is Revolutionizing Motor Drive Applications

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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Thermal Management of Chip-Scale GaN Devices

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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25 Autonomous Vehicles Influencers to Follow by 2020

25 Autonomous Vehicles Influencers to Follow by 2020

The ultimate aim of Artificial Intelligence is to provide machines the ability to operate autonomously. One such area which is projected to grow exponentially over the next decade is Autonomous Vehicles. With Artificial Intelligence coupled with the rapid advances in electronics and computer technology, the word driverless will soon take over the roads.

AI Time Journal
October, 2020
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The Ascent of GaN: Redefining Power Conversion with GaN-on-Si Integrated Circuits

The Ascent of GaN: Redefining Power Conversion with GaN-on-Si Integrated Circuits

Discrete power transistors, whether silicon-based or GaN-on-silicon, are entering their final chapter. GaN-on-Si integrated circuits offer higher performance in a smaller footprint with significantly reduced cost and less engineering required. This article details how the ascent of GaN is redefining power conversion.

Bodo’s Power Systems
October, 2020
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Testing Gallium Nitride Devices to Failure Under Extreme Voltage and Current Stress

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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GaN HEMTs Outperform MOSFETs in Key Growth Applications

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.

EETimes
August, 2020
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Podcast: Yes, We GaN: Gallium Nitride and Its Role in Power ICs

Podcast: Yes, We GaN: Gallium Nitride and Its Role in Power ICs

In this inaugural episode, guests are Alex Lidow, CEO of Efficient Power Conversion Corp., and Dinesh Ramanathan, co-CEO of NexGen Power Systems. EPC and NexGen both have expertise with gallium nitride technology and GaN power devices. EETimes speaks with both about the technology and about the market for GaN power devices.

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

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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GaN eases Silicon out

GaN eases Silicon out

Just like life’s reality, when the aged leaves the center stage for the younger ones, Silicon is taking the bow. The advent and adoption of Gallium Nitride (GaN) have succeeded in gradually easing out the old reliable Silicon. 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, the new material, 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.

EEWeb
July 16, 2020
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