Gallium Nitride Integration and the End of Discretes
Speaker: Alex Lidow, Ph.D., CEO and Co-Founder of Efficient Power Conversion
Integrated circuits made using GaN-on-Si substrates have been in production for over seven years. During that time, GaN-based ICs have evolved from pure discrete devices to monolithic half-bridge devices and then onto power FETs that included their own monolithically integrated driver, and more recently, to fully monolithic power stages including power FETs, drivers, level shifting circuits, logic, and protection. In this talk we will look at the roadmap of GaN-on-Si integration and show how the role of discrete transistors is destined to diminish to near-zero in the next few years.
Extreme GaN - What Happens When eGaN® FETs are Exposed to Voltage Levels Well Above Data Sheet Limits
Authors: Alejandro Pozo, Robert Strittmatter, Alex Lidow, Ph.D.
GaN transistors, and more recently integrated circuits, have been in mass production for over a decade  with several manufacturers reporting tens of millions of units shipped with billions of hours in actual end-use applications. The track record has been extraordinarily successful, and one of the key reasons is that GaN devices are far more rugged than their silicon MOSFET ancestors. Recently, Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) did a series of tests to take eGaN FETs beyond their data sheet limits to quantify the effects of large amounts of overstress voltage . This paper will examine the results of some of those tests to show how operation under extreme conditions for long periods of time can be a practical new tool for power system design engineers.
GaN Devices for Motor Drive Applications
Author: Marco Palma, Director of Motor Drives Systems and Applications
DC and battery-powered motor applications are moving from conventional silicon MOSFET, low PWM frequency inverters to GaN, high-frequency PWM inverters. The advantages rely on a higher system efficiency and on the elimination of the electrolytic capacitors, and the input inductor. To further reduce the EMI and to increase the voltage for traction applications, multilevel topologies are getting more popular and are poised to become the standard topologies soon. In this paper, gallium nitride-based discrete FETs and integrated circuits are shown to increase power density to a new level and move to high-frequency PWM inverters for electric motors used in many different applications including, but not limited to; servo drives, e-bikes, e-scooters, collaborative and low-voltage robot, medical robots, industrial drones, and motors used in automobiles.
Quick Estimation of Chip Scale Package GaN FETs Thermal Performance Using a Simple Circuit Model
Author: Assaad El Helou, Ph.D., Senior Thermal Mechanical Applications Engineer
We present a reduced physics-based thermal model to predict the thermal performance of Chip Scale Package (CSP) GaN FETs mounted to printed circuit boards (PCBs) and provide an easy-to-use thermal characterization tool for engineers and designers to quickly assess thermal management strategies. The heat conductance from the GaN FET to both the PCB side and to the “case” (i.e., die exposed surface) are modeled using resistive-network circuit modeling. The thermal resistance in each conductance path is presented for different parameters relating to PCB construction (stack-up, area, via density), FET size, and cooling approach (TIM material, heat spreader and heatsink). A comprehensive set of thermal finite-element simulations was run over the set of parameters. The results, presented in easy “look-up” style graphs, show that even with a small footprint, GaN FETs power-handling capability can be extended when effectively cooled using a simple PCB design and thermal management approach.
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