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Alex Lidow has deep roots in the electronics industry. His father and grandfather founded International Rectifier in 1947. Alex eventually ran the company himself for 12 years. He is currently the CEO of EPC, a company that manufactures gallium nitride-based power transistors and integrated circuits. These products are now found in lidar systems for autonomous vehicles, in 4G/LTE base stations, in DC-DC converters for servers and satellites, and in a wide variety of medical products.
Today’s GaN FETs are improving rapidly in size and performance. The benchmark devices are still 300 times away from their theoretical performance limits.
The early GaN adopters needed the speed. Big examples were lidar systems for autonomous cars, drones, and robots, and 4G/LTE base stations. The volume has grown, and now GaN power devices are at a point where the prices are equivalent to the slower, bigger and aging power MOSFET. Thus, it is time for GaN’s frontal assault!
Bodo’s Power Systems
If expanding industries typically indicate vibrancy, a race to acquire and consolidate is generally reflective of the opposite – a period of slowed growth in mature, often once high-flying categories. And while many industries experience a period of stardom, followed by a sharp and steady decline, we should be extremely worried when they occur in industries that are fundamentally central to our socio-economic vitality.
June 26, 2015
Alex Lidow, the CEO of Efficient Power Conversion has made it his life’s work to prolong the lifespan of Moore’s Law. How? As Intel and others have found, traditional chip technology which relies on silicon is approaching a ceiling — pretty soon, somebody is going to make a silicon chip that is as cheap and powerful as that material allows. Lidow says he’s found a semiconducting material that is superior to silicon in many ways: gallium nitride (GaN). Both in laboratories and in practice, GaN chips have outperformed silicon in a number of use cases and are also cheaper to manufacture, building on the infrastructure required to make silicon chips while being more resilient and requiring fewer protective elements.
April 21, 2015
“Moore’s Law is morphing into something that is about new materials,” said Alex Lidow, a semiconductor industry veteran and CEO of Efficient Power Conversion (EPC).
EPC is making a possible silicon replacement, gallium nitride (GAN), which is a better conductor of electrons, giving it performance and power-efficiency advantages over silicon, Lidow said. GAN is already being used for power conversion and wireless communications, and could make its way to digital chips someday. “For the first time in 60 years there are valid candidates where it’s about superior material rather than smaller feature size,” Lidow said.
April 17, 2015
Moore’s predictions became a self-fulfilling prophecy. The computing power of chips not only did double every 24 months, they had to double every 24 months or the tech industry — and the economy at large — would suffer dire consequences, stifling innovation and economic advancement.
April 17, 2015