When a new technology is introduced, it is not reasonable to think that engineers will intuitively know how to effectively and efficiently take advantage of the performance enhancements that the new technology offers – there is always a learning curve. This is being borne out in the case of the rapidly emerging technology of high performance gallium nitride transistors.
GaN FET technology was made available to the general power conversion engineering community in mid-2010 when Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) introduced the industry’s first commercially available GaN transistor. Since that time, EPC has continued on two parallel paths – one to expand their portfolio of products and the other to share what it learns about the use of the technology with power conversion systems design engineers. One of these educational efforts has been to work with the editors of Power Electronics magazine and publish a bi-monthly series of articles on the characteristics of GaN technology and its applications.
This series is entitled eGaN FET -- Power Silicon Shoot Out. Articles in the series took on both basic issues and specific applications using gallium nitride components. It is timely to make a quick review of the sixteen articles to make certain that we have accomplished the goal of assisting engineers in climbing the learning curve. This retrospective look will give us insight into what further topics and studies are needed to advance the adoption of GaN technology, the need to learn is never finished.
By: JOHAN STRYDOM, Ph. D., Vice President, Applications, Efficient Power Conversion Corporation
MICHAEL DE ROOIJ, Ph.D., Executive Director of Applications Engineering, Efficient Power Conversion Corporation
DAVID REUSCH, PH.D., Director, Applications, Efficient Power Conversion Corporation
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