GaN Talk a blog dedicated to crushing silicon

Aug 04, 2022

Use the Superior Power Density of Gallium Nitride FETs to Design a USB PD3.1 Power Supply with a 240 W, Universal AC Input

Cecilia Contenti, Vice President Of Strategic Marketing at Efficient Power Conversion

48 volts is increasingly being adopted as the new standard for computing data centers and consumer electronics such as laptops. The new USB PD3.1 standard is also making inroads into laptops driven in part by the increase in USB voltage to 48 V that increases the total power delivery up to 240 W given a current limit of 5 A for the connectors and cables. Compatible power supplies using the new USB PD standard also face increasing pressure to yield a small form factor solution driving the need for high power-density. The fast-switching speed and low RDSon of GaN FETs address this challenge in multiple circuits that make up the power supply.

Aug 03, 2022

CEO Corner – Alex Lidow Dispels the Myth that GaN Devices Cost More than Silicon

Alex Lidow, Ph.D., CEO and Co-founder

Back in 2015 Venture Beat published an article on gallium nitride chips taking over from silicon.  In that article I made the assertion that widespread adoption of gallium nitride-based power semiconductors would be possible because GaN FETs would have higher performance AND lower cost than silicon.  Yet, there is still a widespread misconception that GaN has not yet reached that milestone…that is a false myth.  In this blog post, I will attempt to dispel this myth with the caveat that this discussion is limited to devices rated at less than 400 V, as that is the application focus for EPC’s FET and IC products.

It has been more than 12 years since the first GaN-on-Si power transistors started in volume production, and in many applications, such as lidar and space electronics, adoption has been extremely rapid.  But what about other markets such as consumer products, computers, motor drives, and automotive?  Even in each of those areas GaN devices have started to appear in volume as the predicted tipping point of better performance AND lower cost is a reality.

Jul 21, 2022

GaN Power Devices Achieve a High-Efficiency 48 V, 1.2 kW LLC Resonant Converter in a ⅛th Brick Size

Jianglin Zhu, Senior Applications Engineer

There is increasing demand for extracting more power from standard 48 V bus converters for server applications' ever-increasing power requirements. GaN power devices allow a designer to achieve a converter's goals: high efficiency, small size & high current handling, ease, and high reliability. To whet your appetite, EPC designed a 1.2 kW resonant converter demo board (EPC9174) in an 1/8th brick form factor that achieves an impressive 97.3% peak efficiency.

May 07, 2022

How to Use the GaN FET Thermal Calculator to Boost Reliability and Shorten Time-To-Market in Power Electronics System Designs

Assaad El Helou, Senior Thermal/Mechanical Engineer, Applications Engineering

When “displacement” technologies such as EPC’s GaN power FETs and ICs are introduced and new levels of performance are possible, modeling your design offers comfort and insight to your circuits’ capabilities and needs. This blog post discussed the latest addition to the “EPC GaN Power Bench, our on-line modeling tool library, EPC’s GaN FET Thermal Calculator

Mar 16, 2022

See How GaN is Leading the 48 V Revolution Across Multiple Industries at APEC 2022

Rick Pierson, Senior Manager, Digital Marketing

APEC is The Premier Global Event in Applied Power Electronics

Preparations are well underway for EPC to head to Houston for the Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC). The team is excited to be back, in-person exhibiting a large variety of demonstrations showcasing how the superior performance of GaN is transforming the delivery of power across many industries, including computing, communications, and e-mobility.

Here’s a sneak peek at some of the key application areas we will be showcasing in Booth 1302 at APEC.

Mar 04, 2022

Efficient Motor Drive Performance at Low Cost for e-bikes, Drones, and Robotics with GaN FETs

Marco Palma, Director of Motor Drives Systems and Applications

Mobility is a driving factor in all economies. Electro mobility (or e-Mobility) is a clean and impactful way of keeping the gears of commerce grinding without contributing to the environmental stresses of inefficient motors or fossil fuel burning engines that cause damage to our planet. There is an ever-increasing demand for highly efficient and compact motor drive designs. EPC’s GaN-based motor drive reference designs for eMobility applications are in development to jump-start the competitive and environmentally friendly alternatives that support this trend.

Feb 11, 2022

The 48 V/12 V Automotive Evaluation Power Modules (EPC9137, EPC9163, EPC9165) Utilize the Two-Phase Synchronous Buck/Boost Topology

Yuanzhe Zhang, Director, Applications Engineering at EPC

The 48 V/12 V automotive evaluation power modules (EPC9137, EPC9163, EPC9165, etc) utilize the two-phase synchronous buck/boost topology. The edge connectors and controller card are also designed to operate two modules in parallel with one controller, effectively achieving four-phase and therefore double the rated current and power. An example using EPC9137 modules are shown in Figure 1.

Jan 07, 2022

How to Design a 12 V to 48 V / 500 W 2-Phase Boost Converter Using eGaN FETs and the Renesas ISL81807 Controller with Same BOM Size as Silicon, Offering Superior Efficiency and Power Density

Jianglin Zhu, Senior Applications Engineer

48 V is being adopted in many applications, including AI systems, data centers, and mild hybrid electric vehicles. However, the conventional 12 V ecosystem is still dominant, so a high power density 12 V to 48 V boost converter is required. The fast-switching speed and low RDS(on) of eGaN FETs can help address this challenge. In this post, the design of a 12 V to 48 V, 500 W DC-DC power module using eGaN® FETs directly driven by eGaN FET compatible ISL81807 controller IC from Renesas in the simple and low-cost synchronous boost topology is evaluated.

Oct 25, 2021

How to Design a 12V-to-60V Boost Converter with Low Temperature Rise Using eGaN FETs

Jianglin Zhu, Senior Applications Engineer

Modern displays, such as laptops and PC monitors, typically require a low power boost converter. In this application, the screen intensity is low to moderate and the converter is operated at light load most of the time, so the light-load efficiency is very important. The low switching loss of eGaN FETs can help address this challenge. This GaN Talk will examine the design of a 12 V to 60 V, 50 W DC/DC power module with low temperature rise using eGaN FETs in the simple and low-cost synchronous boost topology.

Sep 14, 2021

Motor Drives Showdown – GaN vs. Silicon

Marco Palma, Director of Motor Drives Systems and Applications

This GaN Talk blog discusses the advantages of using GaN-based inverters instead of silicon-based inverters for motor drive designs to operate smoother while reducing size and weight. These advantages are critical for motor drives used in typical applications such as warehousing & logistical robots, servo drives, e-bikes & e-scooters,  collaborative and low voltage robots and medical robotics, industrial drones, and automotive motors.

Omdia forecasts that worldwide shipments of warehousing and logistics robots will grow rapidly over the next 5 years from 194,000 units in 2018 to 938,000 units annually by 2022, with the rate of growth slowing after 2021 as many major players will have adopted robotic systems by then.  Worldwide revenue for this category will increase from $8.3 billion in 2018 to $30.8 billion in 2022, providing significant opportunities for established participants and emerging players.