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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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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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Podium Session at PCIM Europe Marks New Chapter in GaN Power Device Adoption

Podium Session at PCIM Europe Marks New Chapter in GaN Power Device Adoption

Senior representatives GaN power manufacturers (EPC, Transphorm, GaN Systems, Infineon and Navitas) presented details of their significant developments in moving the technology into mainstream, volume applications. Based on the information presented in the five talks, there are three significant reasons to expect dramatic growth in adoption of GaN power devices.

Bodo’s Power Systems
June 1, 2016
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Categories: GaN Market News

Thoughtful Board Design Unlocks the Promise of GaN

Thoughtful Board Design Unlocks the Promise of GaN

Power transistors with faster switching speeds will enable power supplies with smaller form factors and higher energy transfer efficiencies. Indeed, the elimination of heat sinks will give designers the ability to visualize entirely new form factors for power bricks and modules, including those enabling wireless power transfers. Gallium-nitride (GaN) transistors fabricated on silicon substrates can boost efficiencies and help shrink the footprint of power supplies.

Electronic Design
March, 2016
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5G base station architecture: The potential semiconductor solutions

5G base station architecture: The potential semiconductor solutions

eGaN technology is expected to be one of the most important solutions to power efficiency in base station infrastructure for 5G; the peak-to-average ratios will be worse in 5G. Envelope tracking is obvious right now as one way eGaN power transistors will do this, but over the next 3 to 5 years more applications will emerge as eGaN technology progresses.

EDN
Steve Taranovich
July 17, 2015
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New Chips Provide a Spark for Wireless Charging

New Chips Provide a Spark for Wireless Charging

EPC garners the attention of MIT Technology Review with its new products targeted for wireless charging applications. Recognizing EPC as a catalyst for jump-starting the market for wireless power systems, the author highlights the need for universally accepted technology standards. He reinforces his position quoting Alex Lidow saying that “…convenience, cost, and efficiency” are all factors needed for broad adoption of any standard…

MIT Technology Review
July 15, 2015
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Revenge Fuels Energy Fight

Revenge Fuels Energy Fight

Power conversion involves creating tiny devices that convert electricity from one form to another, enabling all manner of electrical gadgets to function. Till now, silicon had been the preferred medium for power conversion processors, but as that element reaches the limits of its efficiency, attention has focused on new materials.

Los Angeles Business Journal
June 21, 2015
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IDT and EPC Collaborate to Integrate Gallium Nitride and Silicon for Faster, Higher Efficiency Semiconductor Devices

IDT and EPC Collaborate to Integrate Gallium Nitride and Silicon for Faster, Higher Efficiency Semiconductor Devices

Integrated Device Technology, Inc. (IDT®) (NASDAQ: IDTI) today announced its collaboration with Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) to develop technology based on Gallium nitride (GaN), a semiconductor material widely recognized for its speed and efficiency. Under their collaboration, the companies will explore integrating EPC’s eGaN® technology with leading IDT solutions.

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Gallium Nitride Power Transistors Priced Cheaper Than Silicon

Gallium Nitride Power Transistors Priced Cheaper Than Silicon

Last week, El Segundo, Calif.-based Efficient Power Conversion, announced that its offering two types of power transistors made from gallium nitride that it has priced cheaper than their silicon counterparts. “This is the first time that something has really been higher performance and lower cost than silicon,” CEO Alex Lidow says. “Gallium nitride has taken the torch and is now running with it.”

IEEE Spectrum
May 8, 2015
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Moore's Law at 50: The past and future

Moore's Law at 50: The past and future

“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.

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Network World
April 17, 2015

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Adios, silicon: Why exotic designs are the future for the chips in your gadgets

Adios, silicon: Why exotic designs are the future for the chips in your gadgets

Chip advances have powered one technology revolution after another: PCs, the Internet, smartphones, smartwatches and, soon, self-driving cars. One company betting its future on III-V materials is Efficient Power Conversion, a 34-person startup led by Chief Executive Alex Lidow. EPC already is seeing steady revenue growth from devices that incorporate a III-V layer made of gallium nitride (GaN). In 2016 or 2017 he expects to adapt the gallium nitride manufacturing process to work for the logic circuits that do the thinking in computer processors. Because of gallium nitride's electrical properties, "you immediately get a thousand times potential in improvement" over conventional silicon, he said.

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CNET.com
April 17, 2015

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Move over, silicon. Gallium nitride chips are taking over

Move over, silicon. Gallium nitride chips are taking over

Dean Takahashi at VentureBeat profiles Alex Lidow. Silicon chips have had a decades-long run as the foundation for modern electronics. But a new kind of chip, based on the compound material gallium nitride (GaN), promises to unseat silicon because it has higher performance, less power consumption, and lower cost.

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VentureBeat
April 2, 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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