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Tuesday I was fortunate enough to have a meeting with Alex Lidow, founder of chip company EPC of El Segundo, California, and something of an luminary of the chip world. Lidow came up with the “power MOSFET,” a device that went on to be the basis of billions in semiconductor sales, in 1977.
His new company, whose initials stand for “Efficient Power Conversion,” proposes replacing silicon, the original basis of the MOSFET, and one of the most prevalent types of semiconductor around, with a different material, Gallium Nitride, commonly abbreviated as GaN — or “eGaN,” as Lidow calls the ...
There have been several comparisons of eGaN FETs with silicon MOSFETs in a variety of applications, including hard-switched, soft-switched, and high-frequency power conversion. These studies have shown that eGaN FETs have large efficiency and power density advantages over silicon MOSFETs. Here we’ll focus on the use of eGaN FETs in synchronous rectifier (SR) applications and the importance of dead-time management. We show that eGaN FETs can dramatically reduce loss due to dead-time in synchronous rectifiers above and beyond the benefits of low RDS(on)and charge.
Power Systems ...
ANDOVER, Mass.—At the front door of Raytheon's Integrated Air Defense Center, there's a reminder of how big microwave electronics used to be—the original microwave oven. The now ever-present kitchen device was invented after a Raytheon engineer discovered his candy bar melted while he was standing near a magnetron used in a radar system the company was developing. Nearly the size of a refrigerator, the original microwave looks like it would cook a whole lot more than whatever was put within its metal grate, which was meant to contain the microwaves from its magnetron.
For the last three years, Intel has been stoking demand for PCs ahead of the next big buying cycle with the promise that new machines will be totally wireless. “We carry around a lot of wires,” Kirk Skaugen, Intel’s senior PC exec said at Computex Taipei 2015. “We carry about six cables each for our phones, our tablets and our PCs. We want to get rid of all those cables.”
June 6, 2016
With power converters demanding higher power density, transistors must be accommodated in an ever decreasing board space. Beyond gallium nitride based power transistors’ ability to improve electrical efficiency, they must also be more thermally efficient. This article evaluates the thermal performance of chip-scale packaged eGaN® FETs and compares their in-circuit electrical and thermal performance with state-of-the-art silicon MOSFETs.
Bodo’s Power Systems
David Reusch, Ph.D. and Alex Lidow, Ph.D.
June 1, 2016