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Power Semi Wars Begin

Power Semi Wars Begin

GaN and SiC are becoming much more attractive as prices drop. Several vendors are rolling out the next wave of power semiconductors based on gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC), setting the stage for a showdown against traditional silicon-based devices in the market.

Semiconductor Engineering
October, 2019
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DC-DC Conversion for 48 V – 12 V Automotive Applications

DC-DC Conversion for 48 V – 12 V Automotive Applications

GaN transistors, with favorable figures of merit (FOM) for 48 V applications, can provide a reduction in size, weight, and bill of material costs. This article presents a five-phase, fully regulated, bidirectional 48 V to 12 V DC-DC converter. An advancedthermalmanagement solution suitable for use with eGaN FETs results in a system that can provide 3kW of power at an efficiency exceeding 97.5% into a 14.5 V battery.

Power Systems Design
July, 2019
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GaN Powers Small Satellites

GaN Powers Small Satellites

Small satellites bring a more cost-effective approach to low-Earth-orbit (LEO) missions, helping to deliver low-cost internet access across the globe. For this application, GaN FETs partnered with a radiation tolerant pulse width modulation controller and GaN fet driver allow more efficient switching, higher frequency operation, reduced gate drive voltage and smaller solution sizes compared to the traditional silicon counterparts.

Electronics Weekly
July, 2019
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Data center power in 2019

Data center power in 2019

It is expected that there will be more than 175 zettabytes of data by 2025. Data center construction and deployment, as well as upgrading efforts in existing older ones, is booming with the advent of 5G, starting in earnest at the 2020 Olympics in Japan (6G is already being discussed for future development) and the growth of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

It makes so much sense to me that GaN should be the power transistor of choice in Data Center power architectures where size, efficiency and speed are critical. In all the topologies with 48 VIN, the highest efficiency was achieved with GaN devices.

EDN
June 2019
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GaN Makes a Frontal Attack on Silicon Power MOSFETS

GaN Makes a Frontal Attack on Silicon Power MOSFETS

Today’s GaN FETs are improving rapidly in size and performance. The benchmark devices are still 300 times away from their theoretical performance limits. The early GaN adopters needed the speed. Big examples were lidar systems for autonomous cars, drones, and robots, and 4G/LTE base stations. The volume has grown, and now GaN power devices are at a point where the prices are equivalent to the slower, bigger and aging power MOSFET. Thus, it is time for GaN’s frontal assault!

Bodo’s Power Systems
June 2019
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Thermal design for a high density GaN-based power stage

Thermal design for a high density GaN-based power stage

eGaN FETs and ICs enable very high-density power converter design, owing to their compact size, ultra-fast switching, and low on-resistance. The limiting factor for output power in most high-density converters is junction temperature, which prompts the need for more effective thermal design. The chip-scale packaging of eGaN FETs and ICs offer six-sided cooling, with effective heat extraction from the bottom, top, and sides of the die. This article presents a high-performance thermal solution to extend the output current capability of eGaN-based converters.

EDN
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The Amazing New World of Gallium Nitride

The Amazing New World of Gallium Nitride

From the heart of Silicon Valley comes a new buzzword. Gallium nitride is the future of power technology. Tech blogs are touting gallium nitride as the silicon of the future, and you are savvy enough to get in on the ground floor. Knowing how important gallium nitride is makes you a smarter, better consumer. You are at the forefront of your peer group because you know of an up and coming technology, and this one goes by the name of gallium nitride.

HACKADAY
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EPC: Ahead of the Pack

EPC: Ahead of the Pack

EPC's chief executive, Alex Lidow, believes his GaN devices now beat silicon on performance and price, reports Rebecca Pool.

For EPC chief executive, Alex Lidow, this year's PCIM Europe 2019 has been all about applications. Presenting myriad enhanced-mode GaN FETs and ICs in end-products, the company is making a big play for 48 V DC-DC power conversion in advanced computing and automotives.

Compound Semiconductor
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PCIM Europe – where power is at the core of innovation

PCIM Europe – where power is at the core of innovation

This year’s PCIM Europe was attended by a record number of visitors, over 12,000. Over half (54%) were from outside Germany. They came to see over 500 exhibitors and while the subject matter was diverse and wide-ranging, there were some themes that emerged. GaN and SiC jostled for attention at this year’s PCIM Europe. Showing the potential that GaN has already realised, Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) had a stand that was well-stocked with examples of the eGaN FET technology that the company introduced in 2009.

Electronic Specifier
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GaN enhancement for 48V DC/DC power conversion in servers and automotive

GaN enhancement for 48V DC/DC power conversion in servers and automotive

Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) has recently introduced two new, 100V, GaN devices that are able to handle 48V server and automotive needs. I will be examining the 48V server power solutions to the processor as well as in automotive and energy storage systems (See my article Bi-directional DC/DC power supplies: Which way do we go?) bi-directional supplies, in an EDN exclusive article coming up in the near future. GaN power transistors MUST be a part of these kinds of architectures; from my point-of-view there is no better alternative.

Planet Analog
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EPC partners with Würth Elektronik eiSos to present Trilogy of Wireless Power Transfer

EPC partners with Würth Elektronik eiSos to present Trilogy of Wireless Power Transfer

The "Trilogy of Wireless Power Transfer" consists of three parts: Basics Principles of Wireless Power Transmission, Wireless Power Transfer Systems and Applications. The first part of the book explains the basic physical principles and the different methods of contactless power transmission. Furthermore, the leading standards are presented in this part. The second part describes wireless power transfer systems, the different topologies of wireless power transmission, the right selection of transmitter and receiver coils required to increase efficiency, and the selection of transistors, for instance. The third part is dedicated to practical applications. This includes applications within the scope of the Qi standard, as well as examples of proprietary solutions. An overview of EMI-relevant topics for closely and loosely coupled systems, as well as an example of a multimode wireless power transmission system round out the practical part. The authors of the "Trilogy of Wireless Power Transfer" are Cem Som, Division Manager Wireless Power Transfer at Würth Elektronik eiSos; and Dr. Michael de Rooij, Vice President Applications Engineering at Efficient Power Conversion Corporation, Inc. The book costs 19 euros and can be ordered from Würth Elektronik eiSos or through bookstores.

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It's Time to Rethink Power Semiconductor Packaging

It's Time to Rethink Power Semiconductor Packaging

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?

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Powering graphics processors from a 48-V bus

Powering graphics processors from a 48-V bus

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
March, 2019
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The Power and Evolution of GaN, Part 6: GaN Technology Adoption and Roadmap

The Power and Evolution of GaN, Part 6: GaN Technology Adoption and Roadmap

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 technology.

Power Systems Design
February, 2019
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The Power and Evolution of GaN, Part 5: Building a Low Cost, High Efficiency 12 V to 1 V POL Converter with eGaN FETs and ICs

The Power and Evolution of GaN, Part 5: Building a Low Cost, High Efficiency 12 V to 1 V POL Converter with eGaN FETs and ICs

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
January, 2019
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Why go for GaN?

Why go for GaN?

GaN technology has matured to a point where it can challenge traditional silicon technology.  Gallium nitride(GaN)-on-silicon low voltage power devices have enabled many new applications since commercial availability began in 2010. New markets, such as light detection and ranging (LiDAR), envelope tracking, and wireless power, emerged due to the superior switching speed of GaN. These new applications have helped develop a strong supply chain, low production costs, and an enviable reliability record. All of this provides adequate incentive for the more conservative design engineers in applications, such as DC/DC converters, AC/DC converters, and automotive to start their evaluation process. In this article, the factors leading to the rapid acceleration of the adoption rate are explored.

Electronics Weekly
January 2019
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