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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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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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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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Podcast: EPC’s Progress in GaN Reliability in RadHard and New Space Applications

Podcast: EPC’s Progress in GaN Reliability in RadHard and New Space Applications

In this episode of Spirit: Behind the Screen, Spirit Electronics CEO Marti McCurdy chats with EPC’s CEO Alex Lidow and Marketing Director Renee Yawger about the progress of GaN. They discuss GaN’s performance under high radiation as well as the extensive testing, failure modes and device lifespan detailed in EPC’s Phase 15 reliability report. With the full potential of GaN still to be explored and new EPC products releasing frequently, including new half-bridge drivers, low-side drivers and full power stage, GaN is especially useful in New Space and commercial space applications.

Spirit: Behind the Screen
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EPC GaN Experts to Showcase Latest Generation Power Semiconductors at PCIM Europe 2023

EPC GaN Experts to Showcase Latest Generation Power Semiconductors at PCIM Europe 2023

EPC’s GaN Experts will be available during PCIM Europe 2023, showcasing the latest generation of GaN FETs and ICs in a wide variety of real-world applications.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — April 2023 — — EPC, the world’s leader in enhancement-mode gallium nitride FETs and ICs,will be delivering multiple technical presentations on GaN technology and showcasing applications at PCIM Europe 2023 in Nuremburg, 09 – 11 May (see detailed schedule below). In addition, the company will demonstrate its latest eGaN® FETs and ICs in a large variety of customer end products in Hall 9, Stand 318.

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The EEcosystem Podcast: Dr. Alex Lidow: The Mind behind Power MOSFET and the Rise of GaN

The EEcosystem Podcast: Dr. Alex Lidow: The Mind behind Power MOSFET and the Rise of GaN

In this episode of The EEcosystem Podcast, our guest is Dr. Alex Lidow, CEO and co-founder of Efficient Power Conversion. In this episode, we will find out more about Alex and learn about MOSFETs and the rise of GaN. How did MOSFETs grow so quickly? What technologies are driving GaN adoptions and why. We will also discuss the potential obstacles to GaN adoption. This and many more questions will be answered as we go along! Listen to this episode to learn more!

April, 2023
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How to Integrate GaN Power Stages for Efficient Battery-Powered BLDC Motor Propulsion Systems

How to Integrate GaN Power Stages for Efficient Battery-Powered BLDC Motor Propulsion Systems

This article discusses the advantages of GaN-based power stages and introduces a sample device from EPC, implemented in a half-bridge topology. It explains how to use associated development kits to quickly get started on a project. In the process, designers will learn how to measure the parameters of a BLDC motor and operate it in sensorless field orientation control (FOC) with minimal programming effort using Microchip Technology’s motorBench Development Suite.

Digi-Key Electronics
April, 2023
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GaN Transistors Bring Newest Rad Hard Technology to Demanding Space Applications

GaN Transistors Bring Newest Rad Hard Technology to 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 devices rated at 100 V and 200 V to address a multitude of critical spaceborne and other high-reliability .

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.— April 2023 — EPC announces the introduction of two new radiation-hardened GaN FETs. The EPC7020 is a 200 V, 11 mΩ, 170 APulsed, rad-hard GaN FET in a small 12 mm2 footprint. The EPC7003 is a 100 V, 30 mΩ, 42 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, EPC7019, EPC7014, EPC7004, EPC7018, EPC7007, are offered in a chip-scale package, the same as the commercial eGaN® FET and IC family.  Packaged versions will be available from EPC Space.

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Projected GaN Device Lifetime in Real World Applications Presented in EPC’s Phase 15 Report on GaN Reliability

Projected GaN Device Lifetime in Real World Applications Presented in EPC’s Phase 15 Report on GaN Reliability

Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) publishes Phase-15 Reliability Report adding to the extensive knowledge base on GaN reliability and mission robustness.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.— March 2023 — EPC announces the publication of its Phase-15 Reliability Report, documenting continued work using test-to-fail methodology and adding specific reliability metrics and predictions for real world applications including solar optimizers, lidar sensors, and DC-DC converters.

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ePower Stage ICs Boost Power Density and Simplify Design Across Power Budgets

ePower Stage ICs Boost Power Density and Simplify Design Across Power Budgets

Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) expands its family of footprint compatible ePower™ Stage ICs to boost power density and simplify design for different power requirements in DC-DC applications, motor drives, and class-d audio amplifiers.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.— March 2023 — EPC announces the introduction of two new 100 V power stage ICs rated at 15 A (EPC23104) and 25 A (EPC23103). The two devices join the 100 V 35 A power stage IC EPC23102 offered by EPC.

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Power Steering with GaN ePower™ ICs

Power Steering with GaN ePower™ ICs

With Electronic Power Steering (EPS), the hydraulic system is replaced with an electric motor that aids the driver only when needed. Its digital assistance control can be modified online to adapt to driving conditions. There are, however, several design constraints to consider. One is that the driver does not want to lack the haptic feedback from the tires, especially when a vehicle is large, such as a truck. Other constraints are determined by safety regulations, particularly for automatic guided vehicles. These constraints require adopting an efficient, accurate and redundant system. Gallium nitride technology helps the designers in all these areas.

Power Electronics News
March, 2023
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Sharge Selects GaN FETs from EPC for High-power USB PD Charger

Sharge Selects GaN FETs from EPC for High-power USB PD Charger

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.—  March 2023 – Efficient Power Conversion (EPC), the world’s leader in enhancement-mode gallium nitride FETs and ICs, has teamed up with SHARGE Technology (SHARGE) to design a 67 W USB PD charger with a power display screen. The Retro 67 fast charger uses EPC’s 100 V GaN FET, EPC2218, which can deliver 231 A pulsed current in a tiny footprint of 3.5 mm x 1.95 mm offering designers a significantly smaller, more efficient device than silicon MOSFET for USB PD fast chargers.

EPC2218 provides SHARGE’s All-GaN fast charger with higher efficiency, state-of-the-art power density and lower system cost.

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Power Packaging for the GaN Generation of Power Conversion

Power Packaging for the GaN Generation of Power Conversion

Since the launch of GaN-on-Si enhancement mode power transistors in March 2010 there has been a slow but monotonic shift towards adoption and replacement of silicon-based power MOSFETs. Initial adoption came from risk-taker visionaries in applications such as lidar, high-end audio amplifiers, robots, vehicle headlamps, and high-performance DC-DC converters. For the expansion of GaN for power conversion to get beyond the early adopters, a more user-friendly format than the WLCP needed to be developed. This format, however, needed to preserve the key attributes of small size, low RDS(on), high speed, excellent thermal conductivity, and low cost. In other words, the best package would be the least amount of package technically possible. Enter the PQFN…

Bodo’s Power Systems
March, 2023
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GaN-based Design of a 2 kW 48 V/12 V Bi-directional Power Module for 48 V Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicles

GaN-based Design of a 2 kW 48 V/12 V Bi-directional Power Module for 48 V Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicles

With the increase in government mandates to combat climate change, automakers are moving quickly to leverage new technology to respond by switching from the internal combustion engine to electric-drive vehicles. This article presents the design of a 2 kW, two-phase 48 V/12 V bi-directional converter using GaN FETs that achieves 96% efficiency and is targeted for the 48 V mild hybrid system.

PSD North America
March, 2023
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Meet with the EPC GaN Experts at APEC 2023 to See how the Latest Generation Power Semiconductors are Providing Best-in-Class Power Density Across Multiple Industries

Meet with the EPC GaN Experts at APEC 2023 to See how the Latest Generation Power Semiconductors are Providing Best-in-Class Power Density Across Multiple Industries

EPC’s GaN Experts will be available during APEC, showcasing the latest generation of GaN FETs and ICs in a wide variety of real-world applications.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — March 2023 — EPC, the world’s leader in enhancement-mode gallium nitride FETs and ICs,will be delivering multiple technical presentations at the premier power electronics conference; the IEEE Applied Power Electronics Conference and Exposition (APEC 2023) in Orlando from March 19th through the 23rd (see detailed schedule below).  In addition, the company will demonstrate it’s latest generation of eGaN® FETs and ICs in applications ranging from high-power density computing, eMobility, robotics, solar power, battery charging, and more in booth # 732 in the Orange County Convention Center.  Stop by to see the ‘Wall of GaN’ – the broadest portfolio of GaN power semiconductors in the market available for off-the-shelf delivery.

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EPC Presents Sixth eGaN Generation

EPC Presents Sixth eGaN Generation

Five times smaller than an equivalent silicon MOSFET and twice as powerful as the previous generation of eGaN devices is the new sixth generation of devices introduced by Efficient Power Conversion (EPC). We asked CEO Alex Lidow in the video.

Electroniknet.de
November 29, 2022
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