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This article demonstrates the performance improvements that can be obtained when using GaN FETs in combination with suitable GaN FET drivers in 12-V input to 1-V output point-of-load converters. The example design described here uses the uP1966D, a dual-channel, synchronous driver IC from uPI Semiconductor in combination with an EPC2100 GaN asymmetrical half-bridge FET from Efficient Power Conversion.
EPC9005 demonstrates the ease of designing with eGaN FETs with ready-made, easy to connect development boards and well-documented engineering support materials.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif.—April 2013— Efficient Power Conversion Corporation (EPC) today announces the availability of the EPC9005 development board, featuring EPC’s enhancement-mode gallium nitride (eGaN) field effect transistors (FETs). This board demonstrates how IC gate drivers, optimized for eGaN FETs, make the task of transitioning from silicon to eGaN technology simple and cost effective.
The EPC9005 development board is a half bridge configuration containing two 40 V EPC2014 eGaN FETs with a 7 A maximum output current using a gate driver optimized for GaN devices, the LM5113 from Texas Instruments. The LM5113 used on this board is packaged in a 2x2 BGA package allowing for a very compact power stage with the driver and two eGaN FETs. The EPC2014 is designed for use in applications such as high-speed DC-DC power supplies, point-of-load converters, wireless charging, and high frequency circuits.
The EPC9005 simplifies the evaluation process of eGaN FETs by including all the critical components on single 2” x 1.5” boards that can be easily connected into any existing converter. In addition, there are various probe points on the board to facilitate simple waveform measurement and efficiency calculation. A Quick Start Guide is included with the development board for reference and ease of use.
EPC9005 is priced at $99.18 and, like all EPC products, is available for immediate delivery from Digi-Key at http://digikey.com/Suppliers/us/Efficient-Power-Conversion.page?lang=en
Design Information and Support for eGaN FETs:
EPC is the leader in enhancement mode gallium nitride based power management devices. EPC was the first to introduce enhancement-mode gallium-nitride-on-silicon (eGaN) FETs as power MOSFET replacements in applications such as servers, wireless power transmission, envelope tracking, RF transmission, power-over
Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) introduced a low-side gate driver for use with MOSFETs and Gallium-Nitride (GaN) power field-effect transistors (FETs) in high-density power converters. The new LM5114 drives GaN FETs and MOSFETs in low-side applications, such as synchronous rectifiers and power factor converters. Together with the LM5113, the industry's first 100-V half-bridge GaN FET driver announced in 2011, the family provides a complete isolated DC/DC conversion driver solution for high-power GaN FETs and MOSFETs used in high-performance telecom, networking and data center applications. For more information, samples and an evaluation board, visit www.ti.com/gan
We know Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) has commercialized enhancement-mode GaN-on-Si FETs, or eGaN FETs as EPC calls them, for more than a year now. Concurrently, it has been working with partners to realize dedicated drivers for its eGaN FETs, which offer lower RDS(ON) at higher voltages, lower gate charge, and no reverse recovery loss (QRR)—all these properties from a smaller die size than silicon. In essence, by comparison to silicon MOSFETs, the eGaN FETs offer a dramatic reduction in figures of merit or FOM.
By Ashok Bindra
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GaN (Gallium-Nitride) FETs appear poised to eat into silicon FETs market share as switching devices for high-voltage power conversion circuits.
By Margery Conner
June 20, 2011
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National Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE:NSM) today introduced the industry’s first 100V half-bridge gate driver optimized for use with enhancement-mode Gallium-Nitride (GaN) power field-effect transistors (FETs) in high-voltage power converters. Enhancement-mode GaN FETs enable new levels of efficiency and power density compared to standard metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) due to their low on-resistance (Rdson) and gate charge (Qg) as well as their ultra-small footprint, but driving them reliably presents significant new challenges. National’s LM5113 driver integrated circuit (IC) eliminates these challenges, enabling power designers to realize the benefits of GaN FETs in a variety of popular power topologies.