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GaN and 48 V – Where are We and Where are We Going?

GaN and 48 V – Where are We and Where are We Going?

Three years ago, the cost of making medium voltage eGaN FETs fell below the cost of equivalently rated power MOSFETs. At that time EPC decided to use the performance and cost advantages of eGaN FETs to aggressively pursue applications with input, or output, voltage around 48 V. Specifically, automotive and computer applications is where 48 V conversion is becoming the new architecture, the new standard for power systems.

Power Systems Design
March 31, 2020
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Gallium Nitride Integration: Breaking Down Technical Barriers Quickly

Gallium Nitride Integration: Breaking Down Technical Barriers Quickly

An integrated circuit made using GaN-on-Si substrates has been in production for over five years. The ultimate goal is to achieve a single component IC that merely requires a simple digital input from a microcontroller and produces a power output that drives a load efficiently, reliably under all conditions, in the smallest space possible, and economically. Discrete power transistors, whether silicon-based or GaN-on-Si, are entering their final chapter. Integrated GaN-on-Si can offer higher performance in a smaller footprint with significantly reduced engineering required.

IEEE Power Electronics Magazine
March 2020
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GaN Transistor for Several Power Applications

GaN Transistor for Several Power Applications

Silicon power MOSFETs have not kept pace with the evolutionary changes in the power electronics industry where factors such as efficiency, power density, and smaller form factors are the main demands of the community. The power electronics industry has seen the theoretical limit of silicon MOSFETs reached and now needs to move to a new element. Gallium Nitride or GaN is a highly mobile semiconductor electron semiconductor (HEMT) that is proving to be a real added value in meeting new applications.

Power Electronics News
March 25, 2020
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Just How Fast is GaN Fast?

Just How Fast is GaN Fast?

A recent design for an ultra-high speed, low-impedance pulse generator to evaluate oscilloscope probe performance and for determining the feasibility of an in-socket load for ASIC emulation using EPC eGaN™ FET, EPC2037 reveals just how fast these power devices are.

Signal Integrity
March 12, 2020
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Testing GaN Devices to Failure

Testing GaN Devices to Failure

Gallium Nitride (GaN) power devices have been in volume production since March 2010 with remarkable field reliability. This article details how by testing parts to the point of failure an understanding of the amount of margin between the data sheet limits can be developed, but more importantly, an understanding of the intrinsic failure mechanisms can be found. By knowing the intrinsic failure mechanisms, the root cause of failure, and the device’s behavior over time, temperature, electrical or mechanical stress, the safe operating life of a product can be determined over a more general set of operating conditions.

Power Systems Design
March 3, 2020
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What’s New with Gallium Nitride?

What’s New with Gallium Nitride?

Alex Lidow is the CEO of Efficient Power Conversion, probably the most prominent advocate for gallium nitride, delivering the first GaN transistor in 2009. After a decade of selling products, DESIGN&ELEKTRONIK editor Ralf Higgelke met him to discuss some of the latest advances in that area.

DESIGN&ELEKTRONIK
February 20, 2020
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GaN for Power Conversion

GaN for Power Conversion

With silicon near its theoretical limits new designs heavily favor the continued adoption of GaN devices. GaN devices are early in their evolution, with advances in performance and integration and more products coming.

Electronics Weekly
December, 2019
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Go-Ahead for GaN

Go-Ahead for GaN

Smaller, faster, lower cost, and more integrated, GaN-on-Silicon devices have the confidence of designers across a spectrum of power conversion applications. In this article, Alex Lidow explains why it’s getting harder to avoid using GaN power transistors and ICs.

Electronic Specifier
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Go-ahead for GaN

Go-ahead for GaN

It’s getting harder to avoid using GaN power transistors and ICs, says Alex Lidow. There are many reasons to use GaN-on-Si power transistors such as eGaN FETs, in telecoms, vehicles, healthcare and computing. Smaller, faster, lower cost, and more integrated, GaN-on-Si devices have spent a decade gaining the confidence and trust of designers across the spectrum of power conversion applications.

Electronic Specifier
November 20, 2019
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Qualifying and Quantifying GaN Devices for Power Applications

Qualifying and Quantifying GaN Devices for Power Applications

It’s okay to start using gallium-nitride (GaN) devices in your new designs. GaN transistors have become extremely popular in recent years. These wide-bandgap devices have been replacing LDMOS transistors in many power applications. For example, GaN devices are broadly being adopted for new RF power amplifiers used in cellular base stations, radar, satellites, and other high-frequency applications. In general, their ability to endure higher voltages and operate at frequencies well into the millimeter-wave (mmWave) range have them replacing traditional RF power transistors in most amplifier configurations.

Electronic Design
November, 2019
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GaN in Space

GaN in Space

This article discussed an oft forgotten or little-noticed part of the spacecraft enabling travel into outer space---power management in the space vehicle. Wide bandgap semiconductors like gallium nitride (GaN), silicon carbide (SiC), as well as diamond, are looking to be the most promising materials for future electronic components since the discovery of silicon. These technologies, depending upon their design, offer huge advantages in terms of power capability (DC and microwave), radiation insensitivity, high temperature and high frequency operation, optical properties and even low noise capability. Therefore, wide bandgap components are strategically important for the development of next generation space-borne systems. eGaN devices are quickly gaining momentum in the space industry and we will see many more applications for them by NASA and commercial contractors in future programs like Artemis and other programs in countries around the globe pursuing efforts into Space.

Power Systems Design
November, 2019
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Executive Interview with Alex Lidow on Winning GaN Applications

Executive Interview with Alex Lidow on Winning GaN Applications

Ahead of December’s Power Conference in Munich, Bodo Arlt took the opportunity to get an insight into Alex Lidow’s thoughts on where the GaN market is now and where he sees the potential applications for the future. Dr. Lidow is the CEO and Co-founder of Efficient Power Conversion (EPC).

Bodo’s Power Systems
November, 2019
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Power Semi Wars Begin

Power Semi Wars Begin

GaN and SiC are becoming much more attractive as prices drop. Several vendors are rolling out the next wave of power semiconductors based on gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC), setting the stage for a showdown against traditional silicon-based devices in the market.

Semiconductor Engineering
October, 2019
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GaN Technology is Transforming Medicine

GaN Technology is Transforming Medicine

GaN is making possible what was once thought to be impossible in many industries. Alex Lidow, EPC, explains how GaN technology is contributing to significant improvements in medicine.

Electronic Specifier
August, 2019
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DC-DC Conversion for 48 V – 12 V Automotive Applications

DC-DC Conversion for 48 V – 12 V Automotive Applications

GaN transistors, with favorable figures of merit (FOM) for 48 V applications, can provide a reduction in size, weight, and bill of material costs. This article presents a five-phase, fully regulated, bidirectional 48 V to 12 V DC-DC converter. An advancedthermalmanagement solution suitable for use with eGaN FETs results in a system that can provide 3kW of power at an efficiency exceeding 97.5% into a 14.5 V battery.

Power Systems Design
July, 2019
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GaN Powers Small Satellites

GaN Powers Small Satellites

Small satellites bring a more cost-effective approach to low-Earth-orbit (LEO) missions, helping to deliver low-cost internet access across the globe. For this application, GaN FETs partnered with a radiation tolerant pulse width modulation controller and GaN fet driver allow more efficient switching, higher frequency operation, reduced gate drive voltage and smaller solution sizes compared to the traditional silicon counterparts.

Electronics Weekly
July, 2019
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Data center power in 2019

Data center power in 2019

It is expected that there will be more than 175 zettabytes of data by 2025. Data center construction and deployment, as well as upgrading efforts in existing older ones, is booming with the advent of 5G, starting in earnest at the 2020 Olympics in Japan (6G is already being discussed for future development) and the growth of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

It makes so much sense to me that GaN should be the power transistor of choice in Data Center power architectures where size, efficiency and speed are critical. In all the topologies with 48 VIN, the highest efficiency was achieved with GaN devices.

EDN
June 2019
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GaN Makes a Frontal Attack on Silicon Power MOSFETS

GaN Makes a Frontal Attack on Silicon Power MOSFETS

Today’s GaN FETs are improving rapidly in size and performance. The benchmark devices are still 300 times away from their theoretical performance limits. The early GaN adopters needed the speed. Big examples were lidar systems for autonomous cars, drones, and robots, and 4G/LTE base stations. The volume has grown, and now GaN power devices are at a point where the prices are equivalent to the slower, bigger and aging power MOSFET. Thus, it is time for GaN’s frontal assault!

Bodo’s Power Systems
June 2019
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Thermal design for a high density GaN-based power stage

Thermal design for a high density GaN-based power stage

eGaN FETs and ICs enable very high-density power converter design, owing to their compact size, ultra-fast switching, and low on-resistance. The limiting factor for output power in most high-density converters is junction temperature, which prompts the need for more effective thermal design. The chip-scale packaging of eGaN FETs and ICs offer six-sided cooling, with effective heat extraction from the bottom, top, and sides of the die. This article presents a high-performance thermal solution to extend the output current capability of eGaN-based converters.

EDN
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