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In the field of motion control, there is a growing use of GaN devices, especially in low voltage applications. This paper provides guidelines for designers on the optimal use of GaN FETs in motor control applications, identifying the advantages and discussing the main issues.
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Silicon power MOSFETs have not kept pace with the evolutionary changes in the power electronics industry, where factors such as efficiency, power density, and smaller form factors are the main demands of the community. Silicon MOSFETs have reached their theoretical limits for power electronics, and with board space at a premium, power system designers need alternatives. Gallium nitride (GaN) is a high-electron-mobility transistor (HEMT) semiconductor that is adding real value in emerging applications.
Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) has dealt another blow to the silicon MOSFET power element with its Generation 5 (Gen5) process enhancements, bringing improved performance while decreasing the cost of off-the-shelf Gallium Nitride transistors and shrinking their die size and board footprint.
Alex Lidow, EPC’s CEO/co-founder, and his team have once again put their expertise to work in their efforts to provide designers these unique power solution choices for new markets that need performance beyond what silicon devices have been able to provide. The team’s technical capabilities and in-depth understanding, even into the quantum mechanics of the process, are enabling both better performance as well as shrinking the size and cost of their solutions
March 15, 2017
The $330 billion silicon chip industry is the foundation of everything electronic. But it’s slowing down as it reaches a new level of maturity that is prompting a bunch of mergers and acquisitions.
That’s why Alex Lidow, an industry pioneer and the chief proponent of an alternative material to silicon — gallium nitride (GaN) — feels like his time has come. His company, Efficient Power Conversion (EPC), is unveiling a new generation of eGaN chips that are half the size of previous chips and have significantly higher performance.
March 15, 2017
Power transistors with faster switching speeds will enable power supplies with smaller form factors and higher energy transfer efficiencies. Indeed, the elimination of heat sinks will give designers the ability to visualize entirely new form factors for power bricks and modules, including those enabling wireless power transfers. Gallium-nitride (GaN) transistors fabricated on silicon substrates can boost efficiencies and help shrink the footprint of power supplies.
DC-DC “brick” converters are familiar to many engineers, and have wide usage in telecommunications, networking, data centers, and many other applications. This is due in large part to adoption of a common footprint defined by the Distributed-power Open Standards Alliance (DOSA) and generally accepted input/output voltage ranges. These converters provide isolation and voltage step-down, and have become increasingly sophisticated, with features that enable advanced system optimization and control.
November 23, 2015
By: John Glaser
If expanding industries typically indicate vibrancy, a race to acquire and consolidate is generally reflective of the opposite – a period of slowed growth in mature, often once high-flying categories. And while many industries experience a period of stardom, followed by a sharp and steady decline, we should be extremely worried when they occur in industries that are fundamentally central to our socio-economic vitality.
June 26, 2015
Practical wireless power systems need to address the convenience factor of such systems. Standards such as the A4WP Class 3 have defined a broad coil impedance range that address the convenience factor and can be used as a starting point to compare the performance of the amplifiers. In this installment of WiGaN both the ZVS Class-D and Class-E amplifiers will be tested at 6.78 MHz to the A4WP Class 3 standard.
The previous columns in this series discussed the benefits of eGaN(r) FETs and their potential to achieve higher efficiencies and higher switching speeds than possible with silicon MOSFETs. This installment will discuss driver and layout considerations to improve the performance achievable with eGaN FETs.
By: Alex Lidow
The recent introduction of enhancement mode GaN transistors (eGaN™) as power MOSFET/ IGBT replacements in power management applications enables many new products that promise to add great system value. In general, an eGaN transistor behaves much like a power MOSFET with a quantum leap in performance, but to extract all of the newly-available eGaN transistor performance requires designers to understand the differences in drive requirements.
By Johan Strydom and Alex Lidow
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