EPC Technical Articles

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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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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It's Time to Rethink Power Semiconductor Packaging

When the issue invariably turns to the packaging of the power semiconductor – transistor, diode, or integrated circuit – the requests for improvement fall into six categories:

1. Can you make the package smaller?
2. Can you reduce the package inductance?
3. Can you make the product with lower conduction losses?
4. Can you make the package more thermally efficient?
5. Can you sell the product at a lower price?
6. Can you make the package more reliable?

Why go for GaN?

GaN technology has matured to a point where it can challenge traditional silicon technology.  Gallium nitride(GaN)-on-silicon low voltage power devices have enabled many new applications since commercial availability began in 2010. New markets, such as light detection and ranging (LiDAR), envelope tracking, and wireless power, emerged due to the superior switching speed of GaN. These new applications have helped develop a strong supply chain, low production costs, and an enviable reliability record. All of this provides adequate incentive for the more conservative design engineers in applications, such as DC/DC converters, AC/DC converters, and automotive to start their evaluation process. In this article, the factors leading to the rapid acceleration of the adoption rate are explored.

Electronics Weekly
January 2019
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eGaN FET-Based Synchronous Rectification

As GaN-on-Si becomes more common in DC-DC converter designs, questions often arise from experienced designers about the impact of the unique characteristics of GaN transistors when used as synchronous rectifiers (SRs). In particular, the third quadrant off-state characteristics, better known as “body diode” conduction in Si MOSFETs, which is activated during converter dead-time, is of interest. For this article, the focus will be on the similarities and differences of Si MOSFETs and eGaN® FETs when operated as a “body diode” and outline their relative advantages and disadvantages.

Bodo’s Power Systems
By David Reusch & John Glaser
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Facts Say About An Account from a Scientist: he saved the world's 15% energy consumption prior. Now, he discovers silicon's replacement material

This scientist got his Ph.D 40 years ago who saved the world's 15% energy consumption at one time. He is continuing his journey of innovations now in discovering silicon's replacement material for humankind.

My father always taught me that the true worth of an individual is measured based on their contribution to society. As I entered graduate school in 1975 I knew my passion was in the field of semiconductors, and I felt my best contribution to society would come from finding a successor to silicon. I did my graduate work in Gallium Arsenide, but realized by the time I received my PhD in 1977 that Gallium Arsenide’s prospects were limited as a semiconductor due to the basic materials properties, I went to work applying everything I learned to making better devices in silicon.

Fortune China
June 15, 2017
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CMOS finds its match: GaN ignites shift in power

Speaking from an industry perspective, technologies only exist for as long as they yield the benefits and capabilities that promise man a certain advantage. That said, mainstream silicon CMOS technology has afforded the industry immeasurable gains that it has thoroughly benefitted from. The question now is this. Is the sun shining down on CMOS ready to set? An emerging class of GaN power chips is finally knocking down the final cost barriers to their adoption. The chips will enable a wide range of applications from wireless charging to autonomous vehicles and more efficient cellular communications, according to a DesignCon keynoter.

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EETimes Asia
February, 2015