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When the issue invariably turns to the packaging of the power semiconductor – transistor, diode, or integrated circuit – the requests for improvement fall into six categories:
1. Can you make the package smaller?
2. Can you reduce the package inductance?
3. Can you make the product with lower conduction losses?
4. Can you make the package more thermally efficient?
5. Can you sell the product at a lower price?
6. Can you make the package more reliable?
New converter topologies and power transistors promise to reduce the size and boost the efficiency of supplies that will run next-generation Artificial Intelligence (AI) platforms. In all the topologies with 48 VIN, the highest efficiency comes with using GaN devices. This is due to their lower capacitance and smaller size. With recent pricing declines in GaN power transistors, the cost comparison with silicon-based converters now strongly favors GaN in all the leading-edge solutions.
Power Electronic Tips
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 ...
As an example of the contribution to performance GaN devices can make to one of these mainstream applications, a traditional silicon application, the 12 V – 1 V point-of-load (POL) DC/DC converter will be examined. An eGaN IC based 12 V to 1 V, 12 A load converter yielding a peak efficiency of 78% at 5 MHz with a power density of at least 1000 W/in3, all with a cost below $0.20 per watt will be shown
Power Systems Design
In this series, how the superior switching speed of gallium nitride (GaN)-on-silicon low voltage power devices have enabled many new applications is being discussed. These applications are transforming industries such as light detection and ranging (LiDAR) for autonomous vehicles, envelope tracking for 5G communications and large surface area wireless power for the home and office. In this article, how GaN power devices are transforming medicine by bringing precision control to surgical robots is examined.
Power Systems Design