EPC Technical Articles

GaN Devices Power the Next Generation of LiDAR Systems

For LiDAR systems to meet ever-higher performance specs, they must perform fast switching of high-current pulses, which is where a gallium-nitride power switch can step in to help.

Electronic Design
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How eGaN FETs power LIDAR

LIDAR is presently a subject of great interest, primarily due to its widespread adoption in autonomous navigation systems for vehicles, robots, drones, and other mobile machines. eGaN devices are one of the main factors in making affordable, high performance LIDAR possible in a small form factor thus further fueling the LIDAR revolution.

By John Glaser
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The Growing Ecosystem for eGaN FET Power Conversion

In recent years, GaN-based power conversion has increased in popularity due to the inherent benefits of eGaN FETs over conventional Si transistors. Migrating a converter design from Si to GaN offers many system-level improvements, which require consideration of all the components in that system. This trend has subsequently spurred a growth in the ecosystem of power electronics that support GaN-based designs.

Power Systems Designs
By Edward A. Jones, Michael de Rooij, and David Reusch
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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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Evaluation of measurement techniques for high speed GaN transistors

The increase in switching speed offered by GaN transistors requires good measurement technology, as well as good techniques to capture important details of high-speed waveforms. This article focuses on how to leverage the measurement equipment for the user’s requirement and measurement techniques to accurately evaluate high performance GaN transistors. The article also evaluates high bandwidth differential probes for use with non-ground-referenced waveforms.

EDN Network
By Suvankar Biswas , David Reusch & Michael de Rooij
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EPC at APEC 2018 by EE Online

EPC CEO & Co-Founder, Alex Lidow gives Lee Teschler from EE World Online a tour of the EPC booth at APEC 2018 where EPC demonstrations included a high-power density 48 V – 12 V non-isolated converter capable of delivering over 700 W. In addition, a range of 3-D real-time LiDAR imaging sensors used in autonomous vehicles were displayed. Also, a single desktop implementing a high power resonant wireless charging solution capable of generating 300 W to wirelessly power a wide range of devices including cell phones, notebook computers, monitors, wireless speakers, smart watches, and table lamps.

View videos below.

How eGaN Transistor Technology Improves LiDAR Performance
Why Gate Drivers are Joining eGaN Transistors on the Same Chip
Graphics-Intensive Applications Benefit From Power-Dense eGaN® DC-DC Converters

Diversity of trends in wireless power charging at APEC 2018

Wireless power charging was a big point of discussion with a number of different solutions on the APEC 2018 exhibit floor. The following wireless charging solutions had unique aspects in their strategies; let’s take a look at what I saw over the last few days.

EDN Network
By Steve Taranovich
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Alex Lidow walks Alix Paultre through the EPC booth at APEC 2018

In this video Alex Lidow, Founder and CEO of EPC, talks to Alix Paultre, Editor-in-Chief of Power Electronics News, about the various demonstrations of GaN-based solutions at the EPC booth at APEC 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. The high-frequency operation and other advanced performance advantages over Silicon enables GaN to empower applications from LIDAR to wireless power transmission. The booth exhibits include examples of these, from a real-time LIDAR demonstration to a running "wireless desk".

Power Electronics News
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Creating LIDAR apps with GaN speed, size, and power advantages

LIDAR is made up of a laser (or arrays) capable of transmitting pulsed light over the required range of interest, and a high-speed, low-noise receiver for reflected signal analysis. A portion of this light is reflected or scattered back to the receiver according to the reflectivity of the target.

EDN Network
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APEC2018: EPC Professional Education GaN Seminar

Alex Lidow and his team of Michael de Rooij, David Reusch, and John Glaser gave an excellent technical tutorial this morning to a packed audience of Professional Engineers (PEs). The topic was a very timely ‘Maximizing GaN FET and IC performance: Not just a drop-in replacement of MOSFETs’.

Planet Analog
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Gaming laptops will have smaller power supplies with EPC’s gallium nitride chips

Gamers may not care about the finer points of gallium nitride (eGaN) chips as evangelized by power pioneer Alex Lidow, CEO of Efficient Power Conversion (EPC). But they will care that those chips will enable a new generation of gaming laptops with much smaller power supplies than in the past.

Venture Beat
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Will GaN and the Tesla SpaceX car survive space radiation? Yes and no.

Two space travel related stories hit my desktop this week; one that rapidly generated major international headlines and one that slid very quietly onto my email screen.

The headline-hitter was the successful launch of Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket with its payload of a Tesla sports car, complete with a dummy driver at the wheel. The second was about Gallium Nitride technology that would be suitable for space applications.

Electro Pages
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Renesas Electronics Ships Space Industry’s First Radiation-Hardened 100V and 200V GaN FET Power Supply Solutions

SL70040SEH Low Side GaN FET Driver Powers ISL7002xSEH GaN FETs in Launch Vehicle and Satellite Power Supplies

TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE:6723), a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced the space industry’s first radiation-hardened, low side Gallium Nitride (GaN) field effect transistor (FET) driver and GaN FETs that enable primary and secondary DC/DC converter power supplies in launch vehicles and satellites, as well as downhole drilling and high reliability industrial applications. These devices power ferrite switch drivers, motor control driver circuits, heater control modules, embedded command modules, 100V and 28V power conditioning, and redundancy switching systems.

Business Wire
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Best Practices for Integrating eGaN FETs

Best design practices utilize the advantages offered by eGaN FETs, including printed circuit board (PCB) layout and thermal management. As GaN transistor switching charges continue to decrease, system parasitics must also be reduced to achieve maximum switching speeds and minimize parasitic ringing typical of power converters.

Power Electronics
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Lidar: A Gold Rush Is On to Help Your Car See Better

Developers are hard at work on the machine learning necessary for safer and more-autonomous vehicles. But all the AI in the world won’t be enough if the car relies on inadequate sensors. That was clearly demonstrated in one fatal Tesla crash that occurred in part because the car’s camera didn’t correctly identify an oncoming truck. To ensure smart vehicles have a reliable model of surrounding objects — particularly the ones the cars identify as “threats” — most rely on one or more lidars, or laser-based remote sensors.

Extreme Tech
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CES 2018 in Photos: What We Remember Most

LAS VEGAS — Once again the marathon that is CES is drawing to a close. Four days of trade show plus two days of media events. All sprawled across five miles of Las Vegas in some insane number of hotels and conference venues. As usual, I stuck it out so you don’t have to. Here are some of the images that struck me as interesting, weird, or just plain worth remembering:

Extreme Tech
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EPC’s Wireless Power Fix: Get a Load of This Antenna

Wireless power, the ability to deliver electricity to gadgets without plugging those gadgets into a cable, is a hotbed of innovation at the moment. The dominant standard, called “Qi,” is ever under attack from other efforts.

This week saw interesting developments from Energous (WATT), which aims to transfer power via radio frequency transceivers, with limited results so far, and some controversy about its business.

There are other contenders. On Wednesday in Las Vegas, during the Consumer Electronics Show, I met with Alex Lidow, who is founder of a privately held chip company EPC of El Segundo, California.

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Why experts believe cheaper, better lidar is right around the corner

This article takes a deep dive into lidar technology. It explains how the technology works and the challenges technologists face as they try to build lidar sensors that meet the demanding requirements for commercial self-driving cars.

The bottom line is that while bringing lidar costs down will take a significant amount of difficult engineering work, there don't seem to be any fundamental barriers to bringing the cost of high-quality lidar down below $1,000—and eventually below $100. That means the technology—and ultimately, self-driving vehicles that depend on lidar—should be well within reach for ordinary consumers.

Ars Techinca
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WIRELESS POWER GaN FETs Enable Large Area Wireless Power Transfer

To ensure widespread adoption, wireless power systems need to move beyond small charging pads and become active power sources over large surface areas. For magnetic resonant systems, this demands fundamental changes in coil technology, system architecture, and power amplifiers. Gallium nitride based amplifiers have proven capable of delivering 60 W with greater than 90 percent efficiency into the transmit coil over a wide load range.

By: Yuanzhe Zhang and Michael A. de Rooij
Power Electronics Europe
November/December 2017
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This Week in Technology – Triangulation Episode 319 “Our Friend Gallium Nitride”

Alex Lidow, CEO of Efficient Power Conversion, talks to Leo Laporte about Gallium Nitride, and how it is being used to create the next generation of microchips and wirelessly power the world.

This Week in Technology
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