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Low-Cost Motors Match Premium Motor Drive Performance with eGaN FETs for eBikes, eMotion, Drones, and Robots

Low-Cost Motors Match Premium Motor Drive Performance with eGaN FETs for eBikes, eMotion, Drones, and Robots

The EPC9145 GaN-based inverter enhances the performance of the motor for range, precision, torque, and, as a bonus, eliminates the electrolytic capacitors for lower overall system cost and higher reliability. The extremely small size allows integration into the motor housing for the lowest EMI, highest density, and lowest weight.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.— November, 2021 — EPC announces the availability of the EPC9145, a 1 kW, 3-phase BLDC motor drive inverter using the EPC2206 eGaN® FET

The EPC9145 demonstration board is a 3-phase BLDC motor drive inverter board featuring the 2.2 mΩ maximum RDS(on), 80 V maximum device voltage EPC2206 eGaN FET. This board is tailored to ebikes, eMotion, drones, and robot motor applications. With 48 V bus voltage, it can deliver 15 ARMS steady state at 50°C temperature rise in natural air convection and can reach 20 ARMS (28 APEAK) with a heatsink attached. The EPC9145 has been tested up to 100 kHz, 60 V input, and 50 APEAK.

The EPC9145 contains all the necessary critical function circuits to support a complete motor drive inverter and the dimensions of the board are only 130 mm x 100 mm (including connector). The EPC9145 also features the ST Microelectronics, STDRIVEG600, smart motor drive GaN half-bridge driver.

GaN FETs switch fast with zero reverse recovery. This feature enables higher switching frequency in the 100 kHz range to eliminate the need for electrolytic capacitors and to reduce the motor losses. Additionally, the deadtime can be reduced to approximately 20 ns to allow higher torque per ampere. Overall, GaN devices improve inverter and motor system efficiency and reduce size and weight by integrating the inverter inside the motor.

Major benefits of a GaN motor drive exhibited with this demonstration board are lower distortion for lower acoustic noise, lower current ripple for reduced magnetic loss, lower torque ripple for improved precision, lower filtering for lower cost.  The board’s lower weight and size, enables incorporation of the drive into the motor housing, and also supports low inductance, higher power density motors.

EPC provides full demonstration kits, which include interface boards that connect this inverter board to the controller board development tool. Compatible controller interface and controller boards to the EPC9145 are EPC9147A for Microchip, EPC9147B for Texas Instruments, EPC9147C for ST Microelectronics, and EPC9147E as a generic interface board.

“Everyone wants a motor that is smaller, lighter, is less noisy, has more torque, more range, and greater precision,” said Alex Lidow, CEO of EPC. “Thanks to eGaN devices, a cost-effective motor plus a GaN inverter offers the same performance as an expensive motor with a silicon MOSFET-based inverter. This is a great way to save system cost without sacrificing performance.”

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