EPC Technical Articles

GaN in Space: Unlocking Efficiency and Performance in Satellite Systems

The space industry is undergoing a transformative shift to “New Space,” driven by the increasing demand for ubiquitous connectivity and the emergence of innovative business models. One of the key elements of this transformation is the adoption of gallium nitride (GaN) technology in space applications. GaN holds immense potential due to its impressive radiation hardness, high system efficiency and lightweight characteristics.

In a discussion with EE Times Europe, Taha Ayari and Aymen Ghorbel, technology and market analysts at Yole Intelligence, part of Yole Group, explained how New Space—the low Earth orbit (LEO) mission segment, with a typical satellite lifespan of three to five years and lower reliability requirements—has become a focal point for GaN adoption. As a result, power GaN devices are being adopted for various satellite systems, including DC/DC converters, point-of-load systems, motor drives and ion thrusters.

EE Times Europe
October 2023
Read article

EPC optimistic about GaN sector

Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) is optimistic about GaN despite geopolitical challenges and the changing landscape in the compound semiconductor sector.

September, 2023
Read article

GaN power components will be cheaper than silicon ones, says EPC

Gallium Nitride (GaN) semiconductor company Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) is taking a fresh stab at the power component landscape, challenging the longstanding silicon hegemony.

September, 2023
Read article

Product roundup: GaN power semiconductors gain traction

(Image: Yole)

Manufacturers of GaN power semiconductors showcased their latest products, from 100 V to 650-V devices at PCIM Europe. PCIM Europe showcased several presentations about the benefits and use cases of wide bandgap (WGG) semiconductors, including gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC). Several manufacturers, including EPC, GaN Systems, Infineon, Nexperia, and STMicroelectronics announced several new families of GaN power semiconductors during the week.

Electronic Products
May, 2021
Read article

How GaN Integrated Circuits Are Redefining Power Conversion

Gallium nitride (GaN) power devices have been in production for over 10 years and, beyond just performance and cost improvements, the most significant opportunity for GaN technology to impact the power conversion market comes from the intrinsic ability to integrate multiple devices on the same substrate. This capability will allow monolithic power systems to be designed on a single chip in a more straightforward, higher efficiency, and more cost-effective way.

Power Electronic News
March, 2021
Read article

Podcast: Yes, We GaN: Gallium Nitride and Its Role in Power ICs

In this inaugural episode, guests are Alex Lidow, CEO of Efficient Power Conversion Corp., and Dinesh Ramanathan, co-CEO of NexGen Power Systems. EPC and NexGen both have expertise with gallium nitride technology and GaN power devices. EETimes speaks with both about the technology and about the market for GaN power devices.

August, 2020
Listen to podcast

Executive Interview with Alex Lidow on Winning GaN Applications

Ahead of December’s Power Conference in Munich, Bodo Arlt took the opportunity to get an insight into Alex Lidow’s thoughts on where the GaN market is now and where he sees the potential applications for the future. Dr. Lidow is the CEO and Co-founder of Efficient Power Conversion (EPC).

Bodo’s Power Systems
November, 2019
Read article

Power Semi Wars Begin

GaN and SiC are becoming much more attractive as prices drop. Several vendors are rolling out the next wave of power semiconductors based on gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC), setting the stage for a showdown against traditional silicon-based devices in the market.

Semiconductor Engineering
October, 2019
Read article

The Amazing New World of Gallium Nitride

From the heart of Silicon Valley comes a new buzzword. Gallium nitride is the future of power technology. Tech blogs are touting gallium nitride as the silicon of the future, and you are savvy enough to get in on the ground floor. Knowing how important gallium nitride is makes you a smarter, better consumer. You are at the forefront of your peer group because you know of an up and coming technology, and this one goes by the name of gallium nitride.

Read article

PSDtv - EPC on Why Silicon is Dead at APEC 2019

In this episode of PSDtv Alex Lidow, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) is at APEC 2019 in Anaheim and discusses why their GaN on Silicon devices make Silicon now dead.

View video

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
Read article

GaN-on-Silicon Power Devices: How to Dislodge Silicon-Based Power MOSFETs

Gallium nitride (GaN) power transistors designed for efficient power conversion have been in production for seven years. New markets, such as light detection and ranging, envelope tracking, and wireless charging, have emerged due to the superior switching speed of GaN. These markets have enabled GaN products to achieve significant volumes, low production costs, and an enviable reliability reputation. 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. So what are the remaining barriers to the conversion of the US$12 billion silicon power metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET) market? In a word: confidence. Design engineers, manufacturing engineers, purchasing managers, and senior management all need to be confident that GaN will provide benefits that more than offset the risk of adopting a new technology. Let's look at three key risk factors: supply chain risk, cost risk, and reliability risk.

IEEE Spectrum
Read article

Tesla starts Autopilot upgrades tonight

Tesla Motors is releasing a new version of Autopilot overnight, adding features the company says will make it safer and more reliable. Investigators are probing what role the self-driving system played in a pair of fatal crashes in Florida and China.

Silicon Beat
September 21, 2016
Read article

Silicon Rival Stalks Apple, Google, Tesla-Facing Chip Markets

Silicon Valley's namesake raw material faces a promising new rival: gallium nitride (GaN). Some say the newcomer is poised to swarm the $30 billion semiconductor power supply market. It's a market that involves "anything that plugs into a wall" ranging from Apple (AAPL) iPhone chargers to Tesla Motors' (TSLA) luxury electric cars.

Investor's Business Daily
Allison Gatlin
July 2016
Read article

Why gallium nitride is '6,000 times better' than silicon

Silicon -- the core ingredient in semiconductors and the driving force behind the electronics industry -- is reaching its limit, says Alex Lidow, CEO of Efficient Power Conversion Corporation. His Los Angeles-based company is investigating the capacity of gallium nitride (GaN) to disrupt the $400 billion (£277bn) silicon industry with its improved powers of semiconducting. "This is the first 
time that there is a semiconductor that is both lower cost and has a higher performance than silicon," Lidow says.

Wired Magazine
Emma Bryce
March 31, 2016
Read article

Like Drug Companies, Big Chipmakers Are Planning To Spend On M&A Instead of R&D

“The semiconductor industry will become one where there are a lot of large corporations and smaller companies will, in effect, be outsourced R&D, much like the pharmaceutical sector,” says Alex Lidow, CEO of Efficient Power Conversion. He says in this scenario Qorvo Corporation and Intersil Corp. could become attractive targets.

Lidow, however, believes consolidation may bring a dark ages to innovation in the semiconductor industry.

November 23, 2015
By: Antoine Gara
Read article

GaN Semiconductor Device Market registering growth at a remarkable CAGR of 24.6% by 2019

According to a new research publication by Transparency Market Research, the global GaN semiconductor devices market that was valued at US$379.82 million in 2012, is estimated to reach US$2,203.73 million by the end of 2019, registering growth at a remarkable CAGR of 24.6% during the forecast period of 2013 to 2019.

Industry Today
October 14, 2015
Read Article

Smaller, Faster, Cheaper, Over: The Future of Computer Chips

In recent years, the acceleration predicted by Moore’s law has slipped. However, silicon could give way to new materials for making faster and smaller transistors.

New York Times
By: John Markoff
September 26, 2015
Read Article

The Man on a Mission to Turn Silicon Valley into Gallium Valley

Alex Lidow, scion of an engineering dynasty, thinks the essential material at the heart of the tech industry needs to change. Lidow, 60, is currently head of a company called Efficient Power Conversion, and is one of the tech world’s loudest advocates for making transistors and semiconductors from gallium nitride. Silicon is traditionally used for the transistors and semiconductors on which the technology industry relies. This is an amazingly lucrative business: according to the Semiconductor Industry Association, which represents U.S.-based firms, the worldwide semiconductor industry was responsible for approximately $335.8 billion of sales last year alone.

Fast Company
September, 2015
Read Article

Alex Lidow's Quest To Replace Silicon And Revolutionize Electronics

The company Alex founded in 2007, called Efficient Power Conversion, or EPC, is wholly dedicated to the task of putting GaN in the forefront for use in a variety of things. Wireless power transmission, Class D audio amplifiers, (using a small circuit board, this would produce less heat, and extend battery life on portable systems); and pulsed lasers, or LiDAR (Light Distancing and Ranging), designed to quickly create 3D images useful in mapping and meteorology.

By: Bruce Rogers
September 3, 2015
Read Article