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Shrink Motor Drives for eBikes, Robots, and Drones with 100 V Gallium Nitride (GaN) FETs from EPC

Shrink Motor Drives for eBikes, Robots, and Drones with 100 V Gallium Nitride (GaN) FETs from EPC

The EPC9194 GaN-based inverter reference design significantly enhances motor drive system efficiency, range, and torque, while more than doubling power per weight. The inverter’s extremely compact size allows seamless integration into the motor housing resulting in the lowest electromagnetic interference (EMI,) highest density, and lowest weight.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.— October, 2023 — EPC announces the availability of the EPC9194, a

3-phase BLDC motor drive inverter reference design. It operates from an input supply voltage range of 14 V to 60 V and delivers up to 60 Apk (40 ARMS) output current. This voltage range and power level makes the solution ideal for a variety of 3-Phase BLDC motor drives including eBikes, eScooters, drones, robots, DC servo motors.

The EPC9194 demonstration board features six (6) EPC2302 100V eGaN FETs in a 3 mm x 5 mm QFN package.  The board’s size is only 130 mm x 100 mm (including the connector). The EPC2302 eGaN FET offers an incredibly small RDS(on), of just 1.8 mOhm, combined with very small QG, QGD, and QOSS parameters for reduced conduction and switching losses. The package is a thermally enhanced QFN with exposed top for enhanced heat dissipation to the heatsink, and wettable flanks for easy inspections.

The estimated total power loss with six EPC2302’s at 20 ARMS and with 100 kHz PWM frequency is half that of a Si MOSFET solution with the same RDS(on) operating at 16 kHz PWM frequency. The 100 kHz PWM frequency enables a quasi-pure sinusoidal current, reducing vibration and distortion in the motor and resulting in about 7% higher motor system efficiency. Additionally, 100 kHz PWM frequency allows for the reduction of the input filter and the elimination or reduction of electrolytic capacitors.

The EPC9194 incorporates all the critical circuit functions required to support a complete motor drive inverter, including gate drivers, regulated auxiliary power rails for housekeeping supplies, voltage, and temperature sense, accurate current sense, and protection functions.

With a 48 V input and 100kHz PWM frequency, the board can deliver 20 ARMS steady state without heatsink with a temperature rise of 60 °C, and more than 30 ARMS with a heatsink.

The EPC9194 is compatible with various controllers from different manufacturers allowing for quick development and reduced design cycle times. EPC offers control interface boards (EPC9147X) to operate this inverter reference design with the many common BLDC motors. The EPC9194KIT includes the EPC9194 evaluation board and a controller board that allows to easy interface the board with a microcontroller design kit:

  • EPC9147A controller board to interface to popular Microchip microcontrollers
  • EPC9147C controller board to interface to popular ST microcontrollers
  • EPC9147B controller board to interface to popular TI microcontrollers
  • EPC9147E controller board to interface to generic microcontrollers

“Designers can use EPC GaN FETs to make lighter-weight and more efficient battery-operated motor drives for a wide variety of e-mobility and robotic applications”, said Alex Lidow, CEO of EPC. “GaN enables motor systems that are smaller, lighter, quieter, more powerful, and more precise while improving EMI, reducing the need for EMI filtering and capacitors, and eliminating electrolytic capacitors and input filter inductors.”

Price and Availability

The EPC9194 reference design board is priced at $909.00 and is available for immediate delivery from Digi-Key at  

Designers interested in replacing their silicon MOSFETs with a GaN solution can use the EPC GaN Power Bench’s cross-reference tool to find a suggested replacement based on their unique operating conditions. The cross-reference tool can be found at:

About EPC

EPC is the leader in enhancement mode gallium nitride (eGaN®) based power management. eGaN FETs and integrated circuits provide performance many times greater than the best silicon power MOSFETs in applications such as DC-DC converters, remote sensing technology (lidar), motor drives for eMobility, robotics, and drones, and low-cost satellites.

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eGaN is a registered trademark of Efficient Power Conversion Corporation, Inc.

Press contact: Efficient Power Conversion:  Renee Yawger tel: +1.908.619.9678 email: [email protected]