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How This Tech in Self-Driving Cars Is Paving a Road Beyond Silicon

How This Tech in Self-Driving Cars Is Paving a Road Beyond Silicon

In the future, self-driving cars will require laser-based sensing tech, and these systems will need new types of high-speed transistors and chips that can beat out silicon.

That’s the assertion of Alex Lidow, a Stanford PhD physicist, entrepreneur, and CEO and founder of Efficient Power Conversion (commonly called EPC), a company based in El Segundo, Calif. that makes transistors and chips out of a material that operates more quickly and efficiently—and costs less than silicon.

Fortune
September 8, 2016
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eGaN Technology Reliability and Physics of Failure - Strain on solder joints

eGaN Technology Reliability and Physics of Failure - Strain on solder joints

The first three installments in this series covered field reliability experience and stress test qualification of EPC’s enhancement-mode gallium nitride (eGaN) field effect transistors (FETs) and integrated circuits (ICs). Excellent field reliability that was documented is the result of applying stress tests covering the intended operating conditions the devices will experience within applications. Of equal importance is understanding the underlying physics of how eGaN devices will fail when stressed beyond intended operating conditions (e.g. datasheet parameters and safe operating area). This installment will take a deeper dive into the physics of failure centered around thermo-mechanical reliability of eGaN wafer level chip-scale packages (WLCSP).

Planet Analog
Chris Jakubiec
September 7, 2016
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Documenting GaN Technology Reliability after Millions of Device Hours of Rigorous Stress Testing

Documenting GaN Technology Reliability after Millions of Device Hours of Rigorous Stress Testing

EPC Phase Eight Reliability Report documents a combined total of over 8 million GaN device-hours with zero failures. The report examines, in detail, the stress tests that EPC devices are subjected to prior to release as qualified products and analyzes the physics of failure.

Bodo’s Power Systems
September 1, 2016
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EPC engineers demonstrate the capabilities of the EPC9121 multi-mode wireless power charging kit at PCIM Asia 2016

EPC engineers demonstrate the capabilities of the EPC9121 multi-mode wireless power charging kit at PCIM Asia 2016

Efficient Power Conversion Corporation (EPC) shares the immediate availability of a complete demonstration multi-mode wireless power charging kit, the EPC9121, for simplifying the evaluation process of using eGaN FETs and ICs for highly efficient multi-mode wireless power charging systems that can cut across any standard used in the receiving units.

The superior characteristics of eGaN® FETs and ICs enable a lower cost single transmit amplifier solution that can wirelessly charge devices regardless of the wireless power standard used in the receiving device.

View video of the latest EPC9121 demo kit with engineers at PCIM Asia 2016, and the related interview

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Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) Publishes Reliability Report Documenting GaN Technology Reliability After Millions of Device Hours of Rigorous Stress Testing

Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) Publishes Reliability Report Documenting GaN Technology Reliability After Millions of Device Hours of Rigorous Stress Testing

EPC Phase Eight Reliability Report documents a combined total of over 8 million GaN device-hours with zero failures. The report examines, in detail, the stress tests that EPC devices are subjected to prior to release as qualified products and analyzes the physics of failure.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.— July 2016 — EPC announces its Phase Eight Reliability Report showing the results of the rigorous set of JEDEC-based qualification stress tests eGaN FETS and integrated circuits undertake prior to being considered qualified products.

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Categories: Press Releases

Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) Announces Ismosys as Sales, Marketing, and Technical Support Partner for Europe

Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) Announces Ismosys as Sales, Marketing, and Technical Support Partner for Europe

Ismosys now represents EPC’s European sales, marketing, and technical support to assist customers in adopting eGaN® FETs and ICs for leading-edge power conversion systems using gallium nitride

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.—July 2016 — To support its accelerating growth throughout Europe, Efficient Power Conversion Corporation (EPC) is proud to announce the appointment of Ismosys as its sales, marketing, and technical support representative.  Ismosys, founded in 1994, provides support to design houses, designers and engineers across Europe. This is achieved through 10 regional offices covering the entire EMEA and a significant centralized resource, fostering sales, driving marketing and enabling technical support. 

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PSDcast - Alex Lidow of EPC on the state of GaN development

PSDcast - Alex Lidow of EPC on the state of GaN development

In this PSDcast Alex Lidow, CEO and Co-founder of Efficient Power Conversion, talks to Alix Paultre of Power Systems Design about the state of GaN development. Now that the industry has finally embraced what GaN can do with multiple vendors and solutions, we are now seeing real design-ins and products based on GaN power devices.

Power Systems Design
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Categories: Interviews

Slidecast: Rethinking Server Power Architecture in the Post-Silicon World

Slidecast: Rethinking Server Power Architecture in the Post-Silicon World

In this slidecast, Alexander Lidow from EPC describes how the company is leading a technological revolution with Gallium Nitride (GaN). More efficient than silicon as a basis for electronics, GaN could save huge amounts of energy in the datacenter and has the potential to fuel the computer industry beyond Moore’s Law.

insideHPC
July 20, 2016
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EPC and ASD Form Value-added Partnership Dedicated to Reducing Time to Market for GaN-based Wireless Power Solutions

EPC and ASD Form Value-added Partnership Dedicated to Reducing Time to Market for GaN-based Wireless Power Solutions

EPC’s new value-added partnership with ASD aims to support customer designs from conception to manufacturing of eGaN® technology-based wireless power charging and other emerging applications.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.— July 2016 — Efficient Power Conversion Corporation (EPC), Los Angeles-based innovator in gallium nitride (eGaN) technology for replacing MOSFET technology, has joined forces with ASD Technology Limited (ASD), a Hong-Kong-based company delivering best-in-class customer solutions for applications using the latest eGaN technology.

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Peregrine Semiconductor Unveils the World’s Fastest GaN FET Driver

Peregrine Semiconductor Unveils the World’s Fastest GaN FET Driver

GaN-based FETs are disrupting the power conversion market and are displacing silicon-based metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs). Compared to MOSFETs, GaN FETs operate much faster and have higher switching speeds in the smallest possible volume. The promise of GaN is that it can dramatically reduce the size and weight of any power supply. To reach their performance potential, these high-performance GaN transistors need an optimized gate driver.

Peregrine Semiconductor
July 12, 2016
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eGaN Technology Reliability and Physics of Failure Blog #3

eGaN Technology Reliability and Physics of Failure Blog #3

The first two installments in this series reported in detail on field reliability experience of Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) Corporation’s enhancement-mode gallium nitride (eGaN®) FETs and integrated circuits (ICs). The excellent field reliability of eGaN devices demonstrates stress-based qualification testing is capable of ensuring reliability in customer applications. In this installment we will examine the stress tests that EPC devices are subjected to prior to being considered qualified products.

Planet Analog
Chris Jakubiec
July 9, 2016
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Silicon Rival Stalks Apple, Google, Tesla-Facing Chip Markets

Silicon Rival Stalks Apple, Google, Tesla-Facing Chip Markets

Silicon Valley's namesake raw material faces a promising new rival: gallium nitride (GaN). Some say the newcomer is poised to swarm the $30 billion semiconductor power supply market. It's a market that involves "anything that plugs into a wall" ranging from Apple (AAPL) iPhone chargers to Tesla Motors' (TSLA) luxury electric cars.

Investor's Business Daily
Allison Gatlin
July 2016
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No More Standards Wars in Wireless Charging ‒ EPC Introduces a Wireless Multi-Mode Demonstration System Compatible with All Current Wireless Power Charging Standards

No More Standards Wars in Wireless Charging ‒ EPC Introduces a Wireless Multi-Mode Demonstration System Compatible with All Current Wireless Power Charging Standards

The superior characteristics of eGaN® FETs and ICs enable a lower cost single transmit amplifier solution that can wirelessly charge devices regardless of the standard used in the receiving device.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — June 2016 — Efficient Power Conversion Corporation (EPC) today announces the availability of a complete demonstration multi-mode wireless power charging kit, the EPC9121. The purpose of this demonstration kit is to simplify the evaluation process of using eGaN FETs and ICs for highly efficient multi-mode wireless power charging systems that can cut across any standard used in the receiving units.

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Categories: Press Releases

A Silicon Pioneer Plays Taps for Silicon and Power Cords

A Silicon Pioneer Plays Taps for Silicon and Power Cords

Tuesday I was fortunate enough to have a meeting with Alex Lidow, founder of chip company EPC of El Segundo, California, and something of an luminary of the chip world. Lidow came up with the “power MOSFET,” a device that went on to be the basis of billions in semiconductor sales, in 1977.

His new company, whose initials stand for “Efficient Power Conversion,” proposes replacing silicon, the original basis of the MOSFET, and one of the most prevalent types of semiconductor around, with a different material, Gallium Nitride, commonly abbreviated as GaN — or “eGaN,” as Lidow calls the company’s new, improved form of GaN.

Barron's
Tiernan Ray
June 29, 2016
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eGaN vs. Silicon - Comparing Dead-time Losses for eGaN FETs and Silicon MOSFETs in Synchronous Rectifiers

eGaN vs. Silicon - Comparing Dead-time Losses for eGaN FETs and Silicon MOSFETs in Synchronous Rectifiers

There have been several comparisons of eGaN FETs with silicon MOSFETs in a variety of applications, including hard-switched, soft-switched, and high-frequency power conversion. These studies have shown that eGaN FETs have large efficiency and power density advantages over silicon MOSFETs. Here we’ll focus on the use of eGaN FETs in synchronous rectifier (SR) applications and the importance of dead-time management. We show that eGaN FETs can dramatically reduce loss due to dead-time in synchronous rectifiers above and beyond the benefits of low RDS(on)and charge.

Power Systems Design
By: Dr. John Glaser & Dr. David Reusch, Efficient Power Conversion
June 13, 2016
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Raytheon's work on gallium nitride semiconductors could have a reach beyond radars

Raytheon's work on gallium nitride semiconductors could have a reach beyond radars

ANDOVER, Mass.—At the front door of Raytheon's Integrated Air Defense Center, there's a reminder of how big microwave electronics used to be—the original microwave oven. The now ever-present kitchen device was invented after a Raytheon engineer discovered his candy bar melted while he was standing near a magnetron used in a radar system the company was developing. Nearly the size of a refrigerator, the original microwave looks like it would cook a whole lot more than whatever was put within its metal grate, which was meant to contain the microwaves from its magnetron.

Ars Technica
June 9, 2016
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Intel Ceases Work On Wireless Charging

Intel Ceases Work On Wireless Charging

For the last three years, Intel has been stoking demand for PCs ahead of the next big buying cycle with the promise that new machines will be totally wireless. “We carry around a lot of wires,” Kirk Skaugen, Intel’s senior PC exec said at Computex Taipei 2015. “We carry about six cables each for our phones, our tablets and our PCs. We want to get rid of all those cables.”

Forbes
Elise Ackerman
June 6, 2016
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Improving Thermal Performance with Chip-Scale Packaged Gallium Nitride Transistors

Improving Thermal Performance with Chip-Scale Packaged Gallium Nitride Transistors

With power converters demanding higher power density, transistors must be accommodated in an ever decreasing board space. Beyond gallium nitride based power transistors’ ability to improve electrical efficiency, they must also be more thermally efficient. This article evaluates the thermal performance of chip-scale packaged eGaN® FETs and compares their in-circuit electrical and thermal performance with state-of-the-art silicon MOSFETs.

Bodo’s Power Systems
David Reusch, Ph.D. and Alex Lidow, Ph.D.
June 1, 2016
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