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How To GaN: eGaN® FETS in High Performance Class-D Audio Amplifiers

The quality of sound reproduced by an audio amplifier, measured by critical performance parameters such as THD (Total Harmonic Distortion), damping factor (DF), and T-IMD (Inter-modulation Distortion), is influenced by the characteristics of the switching transistors used. Class-D audio amplifiers typically use power MOSFETs, however, lower conduction losses, faster switching speed, and zero reverse recovery losses provided by enhancement-mode GaN (eGaN) FETs enable a significant increase in the sonic quality, and higher efficiency that can eliminate heatsinks. The result is a system with better sound quality in a smaller form factor that can be built at a lower cost.

By: Alex Lidow
February, 2014