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Using GaN FETs to Burst Through 5 kW/in3 in a 48 V to 12 V LLC Converter

Using GaN FETs to Burst Through 5 kW/in3 in a 48 V to 12 V LLC Converter

LLC resonant converters have emerged as the preferred topology for an intermediate 48 V to 12 V conversion due to their high efficiency, high power density and good dynamic response. The outstanding performance resulting from the combination of this topology with GaN transistors has been demonstrated in the past. This article presents how the newest generation of GaN devices, such as those from EPC, continues to push the envelope even further.

Bodo’s Power Systems
November, 2023
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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

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GaN in Space: Unlocking Efficiency and Performance in Satellite Systems

GaN in Space: Unlocking Efficiency and Performance in Satellite Systems

The space industry is undergoing a transformative shift to “New Space,” driven by the increasing demand for ubiquitous connectivity and the emergence of innovative business models. One of the key elements of this transformation is the adoption of gallium nitride (GaN) technology in space applications. GaN holds immense potential due to its impressive radiation hardness, high system efficiency and lightweight characteristics.

In a discussion with EE Times Europe, Taha Ayari and Aymen Ghorbel, technology and market analysts at Yole Intelligence, part of Yole Group, explained how New Space—the low Earth orbit (LEO) mission segment, with a typical satellite lifespan of three to five years and lower reliability requirements—has become a focal point for GaN adoption. As a result, power GaN devices are being adopted for various satellite systems, including DC/DC converters, point-of-load systems, motor drives and ion thrusters.

EE Times Europe
October 2023
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The State of GaN Adoption

The State of GaN Adoption

What are the factors impacting gallium nitride’s adoption across a wide range of power management applications? In this article, we will explore the feedback that EPC has received from customers we have visited over the last 13 years that the company has been in volume production.

Power Electronics News
October, 2023
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EPC optimistic about GaN sector

EPC optimistic about GaN sector

Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) is optimistic about GaN despite geopolitical challenges and the changing landscape in the compound semiconductor sector.

DIGITIMES
September, 2023
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EPC Space Brings GaN to the Edge of the Atmosphere

EPC Space Brings GaN to the Edge of the Atmosphere

Bringing GaN to the final frontier, EPC Space introduced two new radiation-hardened GaN transistors for high-current switching in space-based applications. As the number of commercial satellites continues to increase, designers require more options for space-ready power electronics with improved current handling.

All About Circuits
September, 2023
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GaN HEMT Package Improves Paralleling Of Devices In Space Power Applications

GaN HEMT Package Improves Paralleling Of Devices In Space Power Applications

As more processing power and more complex loads are placed on-orbit or into deep space missions, it is sometime necessary to parallel two or more power switches. However, conventional power device packages, such as the FSMD-A/B/C/D and their I/O pad provisioning make it difficult to accomplish paralleling these devices in a performance-conscious manner. When paralleled, the gate and source-sense pads on these packages either serve to block the most efficient/shortest interconnect from package-to-package for the drain and source connections or for the gate and source-sense pads. So in parallel configurations, there is always a compromise between optimized drain-source load-circuit performance and gate-source-sense drive-loop performance. This article introduces the FSMD-G discrete HEMT package and explains how the reconfiguration of its I/O pads overcomes these limitations when paralleling GaN HEMTs.

How2Power
September, 2023
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Benchmark Power Density of 5130 W/in3 with GaN FETs Powers Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Computing Applications

Benchmark Power Density of 5130 W/in3 with GaN FETs Powers Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Computing Applications

The EPC9159 is a 1 kW, 48 V/ 12 V, LLC converter in a tiny 17.5 mm x 22.8 mm footprint for state-of-the-art power density of 5130 W/in3

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.— September 2023 — EPC announces the availability of the EPC9159, a 48 V / 12 V, LLC converter designed for high-density 48 V server power and DC-DC converters. This reference design can deliver 1 kW of power in a tiny 17.5 mm x 22.8 mm footprint for a power density of 5130 W/cm3. This is achieved by employing gallium nitride (GaN) power switches operating at high switching frequencies in both the primary and secondary circuits.

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Predicting GaN Device Lifetimes In Solar Microinverters And Power Optimizers

Predicting GaN Device Lifetimes In Solar Microinverters And Power Optimizers

Microinverters and power optimizers are widely utilized in modern solar panels to maximize energy efficiency and conversion. Such topologies and implementations usually require a minimum of 25 years of lifetime, which is becoming a critical challenge for market adoption. Low-voltage gallium nitride (GaN) power devices (VDS rating < 200 V) are a promising solution and are being used extensively by an increasing number of solar manufacturers.

In this article, a test-to-fail approach is adopted and applied to investigate the intrinsic underlying wear-out mechanisms of GaN transistors. The study enables the development of physics-based lifetime models that can accurately project the lifetimes under the unique demands of various mission profiles in solar applications.

How2Power
August, 2023
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A high efficiency, 3 kW capable, 2-phase, 3-level Converter using paralleled eGaN FETs

A high efficiency, 3 kW capable, 2-phase, 3-level Converter using paralleled eGaN FETs

As the revolution of renewable energy as well as transportation electrification progresses, the need for residential energy storage systems is increasing. A high efficiency DC-to-DC converter is usually required to exchange energy generated from renewable sources, such as solar panels, with a battery. The fast-switching speed and low RDS(on) of gallium nitride (GaN) FETs can help save energy by reducing power consumption inside the DC-to-DC converter. This article shows how to design a high efficiency 100 – 250 V to 40 - 60 V DC-to-DC converter.

Power Electronics Europe
May, 2023
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The Evolution of Low Voltage Power Distribution in Automotive Electronics – From ICE to MHEV to BEV

The Evolution of Low Voltage Power Distribution in Automotive Electronics – From ICE to MHEV to BEV

Automotive electronics have gone through several eras of evolution in the past 30 years. From the pure internal combustion engines (ICE) that had mostly mechanical, or engine-driven systems, to the mild hybrid (MHEV) with the addition of electrical motivation, to the fully battery-electric car (BEV). In each of these three eras, the architecture, and even the basic semiconductor components for converting and distributing electrical power changed. This article discusses this evolution and makes some speculations about likely further evolutionary directions.

Power Systems Design
August, 2023
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Accurate Characterization of Low-Voltage, Small-Form–Factor GaN FETs

Accurate Characterization of Low-Voltage, Small-Form–Factor GaN FETs

Lower-voltage GaN FETs are reducing size, minimizing cooling requirements and improving efficiency.

Lower-voltage GaN FETs (i.e., 100 V) are reducing size, minimizing cooling requirements and improving efficiency for many traditional Si-based power MOSFET applications. In this article, the challenges to repeatably and reliable characterization of the dynamic performance of these devices is discussed. Careful and thoughtful mechanical and electrical design of a customized GaN fixture and test board can overcome many of these challenges, enabling the confident use of these new WBG devices in your power-converter designs.

Power Electronics News
July, 2023
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40 V Rad Hard GaN FETs Set New Performance Standards for Demanding Space Applications

40 V Rad Hard GaN FETs Set New Performance Standards for Demanding Space Applications

Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) expands its family of radiation-hardened (rad-hard) gallium nitride (GaN) products for power conversion solutions with two new 40 V devices rated at 62 A and 250 A to address critical spaceborne and other high-reliability applications.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.— July 2023 — EPC announces the introduction of two new 40 V rated radiation-hardened GaN FETs.EPC7001 is a 40 V, 4 mΩ, 250 APulsed, rad-hard GaN FET in a small 7 mm2 footprint. EPC7002 is a 40 V, 14.5 mΩ, 62 APulsed, rad-hard GaN FET in a tiny 1.87 mm2 footprint.  Both devices have a total dose radiation rating greater than 1,000K Rad(Si) and SEE immunity for LET of 83.7 MeV/mg/cm2 with VDS up to 100% of rated breakdown. These new devices, along with the rest of the Rad Hard family, are offered in a chip-scale package.  Packaged versions are available from EPC Space.

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In-situ RDS(on) Characterization and Lifetime Projection of GaN HEMTs under Repetitive Overvoltage Switching

In-situ RDS(on) Characterization and Lifetime Projection of GaN HEMTs under Repetitive Overvoltage Switching

Transient voltage overshoot is a common phenomenon in GaN high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) under high slew rate switching conditions. The dynamic parametric instability under such stress is a critical concern for GaN applications. This work, for the first time, accurately characterized the evolution of dynamic on-resistance (RDS(on)) in GaN HEMTs under repetitive voltage overshoot up to billions of switching cycles. The dynamic RDS(on) increase was found to be the dominant device degradation under overvoltage switching. Such findings were obtained from a high-frequency, repetitive, unclamped inductive switching (UIS) test with active temperature control and accurate in-situ RDS(on) monitoring. A physics-based model was proposed to correlate the dynamic RDS(on) drift with the peak overvoltage, and a good agreement with experimental data was achieved. This model was further used to project the lifetime of GaN HEMTs. For 100 V rated GaN HEMTs switched under 100 kHz and 120 V spikes, the model projects less than 10% dynamic RDS(on) shift over 25 years of continuous operation. This work addresses the major concerns of overvoltage switching reliability of GaN HEMTs and provides new insights of the electron trapping mechanism.

IEEE Xplore
Ruizhe Zhang, Ricardo Garcia, Robert Strittmatter, Yuhao zhang, Shengke Zhange
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EPC Confirms Continued Supply of Leading-Edge Gallium Nitride Power Devices

EPC Confirms Continued Supply of Leading-Edge Gallium Nitride Power Devices

On July 3rd, 2023, China’s Ministry of Commerce announced it would put in place certain restrictions on the exporting of gallium and germanium, among other materials, starting in August of this year. EPC’s wafer technology is ‘GaN-on-Si’, although the amount of gallium in each device is miniscule. There are significant sources of gallium available worldwide and EPC’s needs are relatively small, we expect no short or long-term interruption of supply.

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