EPC Technical Articles

Interview with Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) Corporation

Easy Engineering interviewed EPC’s Director of Marketing, Renee Yawger, on the current state of GaN adoption and the future of GaN technology.

Easy Engineering
May, 2022
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Wide-bandgap (WBG) Components Build a Green World that is Highly Efficient and Saving Energy

The mainstream materials for wide-bandgap (WBG) semiconductor power components are silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN). They become various power system applications' most-preferred devices today with the rising awareness of energy conservation and sustainability. This was the first time Tech Taipei 2022 Conference used WBG as its theme. Speakers from key players in the industry were invited from design, manufacturing and testing fields to share with over 400 participants at the conference their latest technology and application trends.

EE Times Taiwan
March 25, 2022
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GaN technology drives power density in data centers

As servers move to 48V, GaN transistors will beat today's silicon MOSFETs, leading to better performance and cost.

Data Center Dynamics
March, 2022
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High Efficiency, High Density 1 kW LLC Resonant Converter in a 1/8th Brick Size using eGaN FETs

With the continuous and fast-paced growth of data processing infrastructures, higher power levels that can be delivered in smallest areas are demanded.

Power Systems Design
September, 2021
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Data center power in 2019

It is expected that there will be more than 175 zettabytes of data by 2025. Data center construction and deployment, as well as upgrading efforts in existing older ones, is booming with the advent of 5G, starting in earnest at the 2020 Olympics in Japan (6G is already being discussed for future development) and the growth of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

It makes so much sense to me that GaN should be the power transistor of choice in Data Center power architectures where size, efficiency and speed are critical. In all the topologies with 48 VIN, the highest efficiency was achieved with GaN devices.

June 2019
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EPC: Ahead of the Pack

EPC's chief executive, Alex Lidow, believes his GaN devices now beat silicon on performance and price, reports Rebecca Pool.

For EPC chief executive, Alex Lidow, this year's PCIM Europe 2019 has been all about applications. Presenting myriad enhanced-mode GaN FETs and ICs in end-products, the company is making a big play for 48 V DC-DC power conversion in advanced computing and automotives.

Compound Semiconductor
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GaN enhancement for 48V DC/DC power conversion in servers and automotive

Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) has recently introduced two new, 100V, GaN devices that are able to handle 48V server and automotive needs. I will be examining the 48V server power solutions to the processor as well as in automotive and energy storage systems (See my article Bi-directional DC/DC power supplies: Which way do we go?) bi-directional supplies, in an EDN exclusive article coming up in the near future. GaN power transistors MUST be a part of these kinds of architectures; from my point-of-view there is no better alternative.

Planet Analog
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Powering graphics processors from a 48-V bus

New converter topologies and power transistors promise to reduce the size and boost the efficiency of supplies that will run next-generation Artificial Intelligence (AI) platforms. In all the topologies with 48 VIN, the highest efficiency comes with using GaN devices. This is due to their lower capacitance and smaller size. With recent pricing declines in GaN power transistors, the cost comparison with silicon-based converters now strongly favors GaN in all the leading-edge solutions.

Power Electronic Tips
March, 2019
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Building the Smallest and Most Efficient 48 V to 5 - 12 V DC to DC using eGaN FETs and ICs

The Power and Evolution of GaN – Part 2 of 6 part series

With the power architecture transition from a 12 V to a 48 V bus power distribution in modern data centers, there is an increased demand to improve 48 V power conversion efficiency and power density. In this context, DC-DC converters designed using eGaN® FETs and ICs provide a high efficiency and high power density solution. Additionally, with the advent of 48 V power systems in mild-hybrid, hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, GaN transistors can provide a reduction in size, weight, and Bill of Materials (BOM) cost.

Power Systems Design
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GaN-Based VRM Hybrid Converter Achieves 95% Efficiency for 48V to 1-2V/10A Power Conversion

With the emergence of the 48V bus architecture, a new hybrid converter using gallium nitride (GaN) transistors can be employed which achieves a peak efficiency that exceeds 95% and with 225W/in3 power density. Of great interest for data center applications, where light load efficiency is critical for energy savings, the converter efficiency is kept higher than 90% down to a 20% load.

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48V-to-1V Conversion - the Rebirth of Direct-to-Chip Power

During last week's PCIM Europe event in Nuremberg, Germany, direct 48V-to-1V power conversion architectures were a significant topic. “The use of GaN switches in 48V-to-1V direct dc-dc converters can improve system performance by 30%, compared with today’s best silicon-based designs,” commented Alex Lidow, CEO of Efficient Power Conversion.

May 31, 2017
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Power chips, but not as we know them

Max Smolaks welcomes gallium nitride, a new material which will replace silicon in the power chain

For the past 35 years, most power supplies have relied on power MOSFETs (metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistors) – voltage-controlled devices made of silicon that are used to switch and condition electricity.

Data Center Dynamics
April 19, 2017
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GaN is Eyeing Silicon’s Data Center Lunch

As deep learning proliferates, the question of data center power density is once again on the rise, creating new business opportunities for specialized cloud services, hosted in facilities that can support north of 30 kW per rack, and companies in the power conversion space, who can tackle the density issue by making systems more energy efficient. Replacing silicon as the semiconductor material in power conversion chips with gallium nitrate, or GaN, leads to much smaller and more energy efficient devices that provide much faster switching.

Data Center Knowledge
February, 2017
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Data center next generation power supply solutions for improved efficiency

Claude Shannon started it all when he wrote “A Mathematical Theory of Communication” in 1948 in which he reduced the communication of information to 1s and 0s, essentially binary digits. That theory led to the ability to transmit data without error in the noise-filled environment of the real world. Shannon would have been 100 years old on April 30, 2016.

EDN Network
Steve Taranovich
April 16, 2016
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The Quest for Server Power Efficiency

Glamour items like energy harvesting and wireless power transfer are likely to make "guest appearances" at next week's APEC Conference. GaN transistor deployments will be carefully monitored. But on-going efforts to promote data-center energy transfer efficiency retain their "bread-and-butter" utility.

EE Times
By: Stephan Ohr, Consultant, Semiconductor Industry Analyst
March 16, 2016
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Rethinking Server Power Architecture in a Post-Silicon World

The demand for information in our society is growing at an unprecedented rate. With emerging technologies, such as cloud computing and the Internet of Things, this trend for more and faster access to information is showing no signs of slowing. What makes the transfer of information at high rates of speed possible are racks and racks of servers, mostly located in centralized data.

Alex Lidow, Ph.D., David Reusch, Ph.D., and John Glaser, Ph.D.
March, 2016
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Getting from 48 V to load voltage

Improving low-voltage DC/DC converter performance with GaN transistors:
The emergence of commercially available and cost-effective gallium nitride (GaN) power transistors begins a new age in power electronics. There are significant benefits in using enhancement-mode gallium nitride FET (eGaN FET) devices in power converters for existing data center and telecommunications architectures centering around an input voltage of 48 VDC with load voltages as low as 1 VDC. High-performance GaN power transistors can enable new approaches to power data center and telecommunications systems with higher efficiency and higher power density than possible with previous Si MOSFET based architectures.

Power Systems Design
David Reusch, Ph.D., and John Glaser, Ph.D.
January, 25, 2016
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'Tis the season to be wasteful

In 2014, data centers in the United States consumed approximately 100 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy. To add insult to injury, the power needed to support this rapidly growing demand comes from an electrical grid that is wildly inefficient and is based on infrastructure that was created, in large part, more than a century ago. Just how significant is this waste? It turns out that the power grid supplies 150W of power to meet the demands of a digital chip that may need only 100W. Moreover, the amount of wasted energy is even greater because every watt of power lost through power conversion is transferred into heat. And it is necessary to remove that heat from the server farm by expensive and energy-intensive air conditioning. It takes about 1W of air conditioning to remove 1W of power losses, effectively doubling the inefficiency of this power conversion process.

New materials have emerged that can convert electricity more efficiently and at a lower cost. By eliminating the inefficiencies in this final stage in the server farm power architecture we can realize a direct saving of 7 billion kWh per year. This is doubled when air conditioning energy costs are added, bringing the total to about 14 percent of the total energy consumed by servers in the US alone. The cost savings are also significant. At the average cost of $0.12 per kWh, that’s a savings of $1.7 billion annually, which does not include the additional savings in system cost resulting from fewer power converters and air conditioners.

Datacenter Dynamics
December 15, 2015
By: Alex Lidow
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