GaN Talk a blog dedicated to crushing silicon
Term: Gallium Nitride
18 post(s) found

CEO Corner – Alex Lidow Dispels the Myth that GaN Devices Cost More than Silicon

CEO Corner – Alex Lidow Dispels the Myth that GaN Devices Cost More than Silicon
May 23 2022

Back in 2015 Venture Beat published an article on gallium nitride chips taking over from silicon.  In that article I made the assertion that widespread adoption of gallium nitride-based power semiconductors would be possible because GaN FETs would have higher performance AND lower cost than silicon.  Yet, there is still a widespread misconception that GaN has not yet reached that milestone…that is a false myth.  In this blog post, I will attempt to dispel this myth with the caveat that this discussion is limited to devices rated at less than 400 V, as that is the application focus for EPC’s FET and IC products.

It has been more than 12 years since the first GaN-on-Si power transistors started in volume production, and in many applications, such as lidar and space electronics, adoption has been extremely rapid.  But what about other markets such as consumer products, computers, motor drives, and automotive?  Even in each of those areas GaN devices have started to appear in volume as the predicted tipping point of better performance AND lower cost is a reality.

Efficient Motor Drive Performance at Low Cost for e-bikes, Drones, and Robotics with GaN FETs

Efficient Motor Drive Performance at Low Cost for e-bikes, Drones, and Robotics with GaN FETs
Mar 04 2022

Mobility is a driving factor in all economies. Electro mobility (or e-Mobility) is a clean and impactful way of keeping the gears of commerce grinding without contributing to the environmental stresses of inefficient motors or fossil fuel burning engines that cause damage to our planet. There is an ever-increasing demand for highly efficient and compact motor drive designs. EPC’s GaN-based motor drive reference designs for eMobility applications are in development to jump-start the competitive and environmentally friendly alternatives that support this trend.

How to Design a 12 V to 48 V / 500 W 2-Phase Boost Converter Using eGaN FETs and the Renesas ISL81807 Controller with Same BOM Size as Silicon, Offering Superior Efficiency and Power Density

How to Design a 12 V to 48 V / 500 W 2-Phase Boost Converter Using eGaN FETs and the Renesas ISL81807 Controller with Same BOM Size as Silicon, Offering Superior Efficiency and Power Density
Jan 07 2022

48 V is being adopted in many applications, including AI systems, data centers, and mild hybrid electric vehicles. However, the conventional 12 V ecosystem is still dominant, so a high power density 12 V to 48 V boost converter is required. The fast-switching speed and low RDS(on) of eGaN FETs can help address this challenge. In this post, the design of a 12 V to 48 V, 500 W DC-DC power module using eGaN® FETs directly driven by eGaN FET compatible ISL81807 controller IC from Renesas in the simple and low-cost synchronous boost topology is evaluated.

How to Design a Highly Efficient, 2.5 kW, Universal Input Voltage Range, Power Factor Correction (PFC) 400 V Rectifier Using 200 V eGaN® FETs

How to Design a Highly Efficient, 2.5 kW, Universal Input Voltage Range, Power Factor Correction (PFC) 400 V Rectifier Using 200 V eGaN<sup>®</sup> FETs
Nov 03 2020

Acknowledgement - This application note and associated hardware was developed in collaboration with Semiconductor Power Electronics Center (SPEC) at University of Texas at Austin.

Motivation

The expansion of applications such as cloud computing, wearables, machine learning, autonomous driving, and IoT drive us towards an even more data-intensive world, increasing demands on data centers and power consumption [1, 2]. The importance of efficiency, power density, and cost of the AC to DC switching power supply is driving innovative solutions that eGaN FETs can solve to yield ultra-high efficiency power factor correction (PFC) front-end rectifier solutions that are the focus of this how-to-application note.

A 95%-Efficient 48 V-to-1 V/10 A VRM Hybrid Converter

A 95%-Efficient 48 V-to-1 V/10 A VRM Hybrid Converter
Oct 07 2018

Gab-Su Seo1,2, Ratul Das1, and Hanh-Phuc Le1
1Department of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering, University of Colorado
2Power Systems Engineering Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Colorado, U.S.A.

With drastically increasing demands for cloud computing and big data processing, the electric energy consumption of data centers in the U.S. is expected to reach 73 billion kWh by 2020 [1], which will account for approximately 10% of the U.S total electric energy consumption. A large portion of this consumption is caused by losses from inefficient power delivery architectures that require a lot of attention for improvements [2], [3].

Designing Manufacturable and Reliable Printed Circuit Boards Employing Chip-Scale eGaN FETs

Designing Manufacturable and Reliable Printed Circuit Boards Employing Chip-Scale eGaN FETs
Sep 07 2017

Written by Michael de Rooij and Alana Nakata - Efficient Power Conversion

Published in: PCIM Europe 2017; International Exhibition and Conference for Power Electronics, Intelligent Motion, Renewable Energy and Energy Management; Proceedings of

eGaN FETs, which are available in non-traditional chip scale packages (CSP) as land grid array (LGA) and/or ball grid array (BGA) formats, have repeatedly demonstrated higher power density and higher efficiency performance than equivalent MOSFETs across various applications [1, 2]. Those improvements are contingent upon proper layout practices documented extensively in [1, 3] that minimize unwanted parasitic elements. Over the seven years since eGaN FETs were first launched into the market there have been a total of 127 device failures out of a total of more than 17 billion hours in actual use in the field, 75 of which were a result of poor assembly technique or poor printed circuit board (PCB) design practices [4]. Designers are becoming more familiar with the PCB design rules that affect manufacturability and are less forgiving compared to MOSFETs due to their relatively smaller sizes. This paper will cover the various guidelines for PCB design that maximize the performance of eGaN FETs and reliability yet still rely on existing PCB manufacturing capabilities.

Four Ways GaN Technology Helps Save the Planet

Four Ways GaN Technology Helps Save the Planet
Apr 11 2017

Gallium nitride (GaN) is a better semiconductor than silicon. There are many crystals that are better than silicon, but the problem has always been that they are far too expensive to be used in every application where silicon is used. But, GaN can be grown as an inexpensive thin layer on top of a standard silicon wafer enabling devices that are faster, smaller, more efficient, and less costly than their aging silicon counterparts.

How we devised a wirelessly powered television set

How we devised a wirelessly powered television set
Mar 09 2017

Televisions can get their content wirelessly, but there is one set of wires they still need: those in their power cord. The consumer electronics industry has floated ideas for freeing TVs from their power cords, but this goal remains elusive. There are several reasons, such as the difficultly of meeting high-power requirements for large-screen TVs and the need for identifying an economical technology. Nevertheless, eGaN FETs could play a role in making TVs truly cordless devices.

eGaN Technology Reliability and Physics of Failure – How eGaN FETs are expected to behave as the result of high gate voltage stress conditions

eGaN Technology Reliability and Physics of Failure – How eGaN FETs are expected to behave as the result of high gate voltage stress conditions
Feb 03 2017

The previous installment in this series focused on the physics of failure surrounding thermo-mechanical reliability of EPC eGaN® wafer level chip-scale packages. A fundamental understanding of the potential failure modes under voltage bias is also important. This installment will provide an overview of the physics of failure associated with voltage bias at the gate electrode of gallium nitride (GaN) field effect transistors (FETs). Here we look at the case of taking the gate control voltage to the specified limit and beyond to investigate how eGaN FETs behave over a projected lifetime.

eGaN Technology Reliability and Physics of Failure - Thermo-mechanical board level reliability of eGaN devices

eGaN Technology Reliability and Physics of Failure - Thermo-mechanical board level reliability of eGaN devices
Jan 13 2017

The first three installments in this series covered field reliability experience and stress test qualification of Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) Corporation’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).