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CMOS finds its match: GaN ignites shift in power

Speaking from an industry perspective, technologies only exist for as long as they yield the benefits and capabilities that promise man a certain advantage. That said, mainstream silicon CMOS technology has afforded the industry immeasurable gains that it has thoroughly benefitted from. The question now is this. Is the sun shining down on CMOS ready to set? An emerging class of GaN power chips is finally knocking down the final cost barriers to their adoption. The chips will enable a wide range of applications from wireless charging to autonomous vehicles and more efficient cellular communications, according to a DesignCon keynoter.

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EETimes Asia
February, 2015

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GaN technology will transform the future

For the first time in 60 years, a new higher-performance semiconductor technology is less expensive to produce than the silicon counterpart. Gallium nitride (GaN), has demonstrated both a dramatic improvement in transistor performance and the ability to be produced at a lower cost than silicon. GaN transistors have unleashed new applications as a result of their ability to switch higher voltages and higher currents faster than any transistor before. These extraordinary characteristics have ushered in new applications capable of transforming the future. But this is just the beginning.

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EDN
By: Alex Lidow
January, 2015

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Panasonic breathes new life into Technics – features GaN for high speed switching

Technics is back. Panasonic has unveiled the first new hi-fi products from the highly-regarded brand in 6 years. The new Reference Class system is made up of three components – a stereo power amp, a network audio control player and a speaker system. The amp uses a JENO Digital Engine to eliminate jitter and nip noise in the bud, and Load Adaptive Phase Calibration (LAPC) for flat amplitude-phase frequency delivery. It features GaN for high speed switching while keeping signal loss low, a proprietary digital link input, analog XLR input, analog RCA input, bi-wiring speaker terminals, and a silent linear power supply.

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Profiles in Design: Alex Lidow, Ph.D.

DesignCon 2015’s Thursday (January 29th) keynote speaker will be Dr. Alex Lidow, CEO and co-founder of Efficient Power Conversion Corporation (EPC). For most of his career, Alex has focused on improving the efficiency of power conversion in hopes of reducing the environmental impact of energy production and consumption. As an R&D engineer at International Rectifier, he co-invented the HEXFET power MOSFET. The patents from this invention brought in more than $900M. Alex holds numerous additional patents in power semiconductor technology, including basic patents in power MOSFETs as well as in GaN FETs. He recently co-authored the first textbook on GaN transistors, “GaN Transistors for Efficient Power Conversion”. You can catch Alex’s keynote speech at DesignCon 2015 on Thursday, January 29, 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM.

EDN
December 3, 2014
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WiGaN: eGaN FETs in Wide Load Range High Efficiency Wireless Power

Practical wireless power systems need to address the convenience factor of such systems. Standards such as the A4WP Class 3 have defined a broad coil impedance range that address the convenience factor and can be used as a starting point to compare the performance of the amplifiers. In this installment of WiGaN both the ZVS Class-D and Class-E amplifiers will be tested at 6.78 MHz to the A4WP Class 3 standard.

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How to measure the world's fastest power switch

Gallium Nitride (GaN) FETS are poised to replace silicon power devices in voltage regulators and DC-DC power supplies. Their switching speeds are significantly faster and their RDS(on) is lower than silicon MOSFETS. That can lead to higher power efficiency power sources, which is good for all of us. If you're designing power circuits with GaN devices, you need a grasp of the device's switching speed.

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How to GaN: Generation 4 eGaN FETs – Widening the Performance Gap with the Aging MOSFET

In this installment of the ‘How to GaN’ series we will discuss a new family of eGaN FETs that is keeping Moore’s Law alive with significant gains in key switching figures of merit that widen the performance gap with the power MOFET in high frequency power conversion.

EEWeb
By: Alex Lidow
October, 2014

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WiGaN: eGaN FETs for Hard-Switching Converters at High Frequency

This article presents hard-switching buck converter results switching at 10 MHz and gives a breakdown of the converter losses. It will demonstrate the unmatched high frequency performance capability currently available using eGaN® FETs and also highlight the current limitations to pushing to even higher switching frequencies.

EEWeb
By: Alex Lidow
August, 2014

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Development Boards Make Evaluating eGaN FETs Simple

Long talked about, wide bandgap gallium nitride-on-silicon (GaN-on-Si) transistors are now commercially available. They are being touted for replacing silicon-based MOSFETs, which are turning out to be inefficient for many high-performance power supply designs. Recently, several suppliers of GaN-on-Si-based HEMTs and FETs have emerged in the marketplace, among them Efficient Power Conversion (EPC). To expedite the evaluation of eGAN FETs for power supply designs transitioning from silicon MOSFETs to eGaN FETs, EPC has released several development boards in the last few years.

By Ashok Bindra
Digi-Key Article Library
July 15, 2014
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Power GaN Market - 80% ANNUAL GROWTH FROM 2016-2020!

Overall, 2020 could see an estimated device market size of almost $600M, leading to approximately 580,000 x 6” wafers to be processed. Ramp-up will be quite impressive starting in 2016, at an estimated 80% CAGR through 2020, based upon a scenario where EV/HEV begins adopting GaN in 2018-2019. The power supply/PFC segment will dominate the business from 2015-2018, ultimately representing 50% of device sales. At that point, automotive will then catch-up.

Yole Development
June, 2014
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eGaN FETs for Class A RF Amplifiers

High frequency enhancement mode transistors, such as the EPC8000 series eGaN® FETs from EPC, have been widely available since September 2013 and enable simplified designs at RF frequencies. In this installment, we present the RF characteristics of the EPC8000 series devices and show their implementation in a pulsed class A amplifier. The amplifier is pulsed to allow operation within the thermal operating limits of the device, since RF device power dissipation is typically on the same order of magnitude as the RF power delivered, unlike switching devices, such as the EPC8000 series, that operate well above 95 % efficiency. The EPC8000 series FETs, designed originally for switching power conversion applications, otherwise exhibit excellent RF characteristics and in conclusion will be compared with similar specified LDMOS.

EEWeb
By: Alex Lidow
May 29, 2014

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GaN manufacturing leverages the installed silicon supply chain

Hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent to make the silicon technology supply chain incredibly efficient. How can emerging, high performance GaN transistors compete against this huge installed base of silicon-based production? Simple, the production of GaN transistors leverages the installed silicon supply chain, which significantly lowers the cost of GaN transistors!

Power Systems Design
By Alex Lidow, Ph.D.
May 27, 2014

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Performance Evaluation of Enhancement-Mode GaN Transistors in Class-D and Class-E Wireless Power Transfer Systems

The popularity of wireless energy transfer has increased over the last few years and in particular for applications targeting portable device charging. In this article, EPC will focus on loosely coupled coils, highly-resonant wireless solutions suitable for the A4WP standard operating at either 6.78 MHz or 13.56 MHz unlicensed Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) bands.

Bodo’s Power Systems
By Alex Lidow, Ph.D. and Michael De Rooij, Ph.D
May, 2014

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