See, Learn, and Discuss eGaN Technology at CES 2017
12 04, 2016
Every year in January 2017, the world’s consumer electronics community gathers in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to see, learn and discuss the latest innovations and products available in the world of electronics.
More than 3,800 exhibitors spread out across 2.47 million net square feet of exhibit space, is the location where over 170,000 industry professionals, 50,000 outside of the U.S. wander, ogle, and “play with” the latest electronic devices.
Last year, a great deal of attention at CES was given to virtual reality (VR) systems that placed the participant in a 3D world of their choosing, while others marveled over the emergence of self-driving cars roaming the parking lots, artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms dazzled the minds, and the airborne maneuvers of drones flying in precision formation captivated the interest of “want to be” pilots.
This year’s CES promises more of the same, with the added addition of the emergence (finally) of the widespread application of wireless charging. The promise of this technology has been known for many years, but this year promises to provide a plethora of practical charging applications, including well-known cell phone pads, embedded charging capability in furniture, and the automobile with the ability to charge devices wirelessly while safely driving. Further, the “connected car,” with its ability to provide internet access with a wireless local area network allowing occupants of a car to share internet access with other devices both inside as well as outside the vehicle.
Interestingly, all of the aforementioned applications planned to be on display at CES 2017 have a need for the use of GaN devices, based on gallium nitride technology which is the emerging semiconductor technology destined to displace the venerable silicon material. This technology provides both significantly higher performance and lower cost. EPC, the world’s leader in GaN technology for power conversion will be hosting a customer suite replete with a wide range of products and end-use applications of GaN FETs and ICs.
Autonomous vehicles and virtual reality (VR) devices are based upon the same LiDAR (Light Distancing and Ranging) technology to provide the three-dimensional imaging of the users’ surroundings. GaN technology, with its ability for rapid transition from “off to on” without excessive ringing, results in the highest resolution images from a LiDAR system.
On display (and ready for discussion) within the EPC hospitality suite will be the industry’s first integrated circuit. With Velodyne as a partner, this GaN-based device combines FETs with the requisite driver and controller circuits in a single monolithic device, thus reducing the size, weight and cost while enhancing the performance and image resolution of the overall LiDAR system.
The emergence of the use of artificial Intelligence algorithms and the need for augmented computational “horse power” is putting added demands on data centers, aka server farms, to find ways to increase their efficiency and lower their energy consumption. These architectural changes in providing power to the high performance computers include the elimination of an intermediate power conversion bus so that the power can be converted from 48V backplane to needed point-of-load power in a single step. GaN FETs provide the speed necessary to make this single-stage conversion and a demonstration unit will be available for in-depth technical analysis and discussion with GaN experts at the EPC suite.
Up, up, and away with drones – given the higher efficiency and significantly smaller size than silicon, GaN FETs and ICs are ideal for drone (and other airborne) applications. Higher efficiency gives longer battery life, meaning longer flight times. Operating at higher frequencies, GaN devices can be used in wireless charging platforms so that drones can be refueled in mid-air. And, of course, when drones are used for 3D topographical mapping, GaN devices provide the needed high performance for high image resolution.
Advances in wireless power are leading the way to finally “cutting the cord” to power our myriad of electronic devices, which, according to the latest IHS forecast, will exceed 200 million units per year in 2016. This growth, although led by mobile phones and wearable devices, is a 40 % increase over 2015 levels. But the use of wireless charging does not only apply to mobile devices. End products, such as desks and nightstands, will be on display at CES showing the ability to lay a device on a table and pick it up later fully charged…without having to “plug in the cord!” This same technology can be used in the center console of a car to have devices charged wirelessly while driving. Widespread adoption of wireless charging is, in part, dependent upon achieving high efficiency. High frequency GaN-based wireless power systems are significantly more efficient than silicon-based systems and will be demonstrated within the EPC suite.
Equipped with internet access, serviced with a wireless local area network, a connected car is a vehicle that allows the car to share internet access with other devices both inside and outside the vehicle. Not only can a single vehicle be in constant connection with a cloud or back office, but it also has the ability to share dynamic driving information with other vehicles. The connected car can communicate safety and efficiency information, in real time.
As the connected car gains widespread adoption, the implementation of communication systems, such advanced 4G and 5G, to pass mass amounts of data become necessary. The high speed of GaN devices is ideal for making 4G/5G systems possible. CES has a special focus on the connected car this year and the connected car will be on display and the core communication technology can be explored at the EPC suite.
Finally, while visiting the EPC hospitality suite enjoy the high performance sound of the Panasonic Grand Class SU-G30 class-D amplifier that will be providing a soothing backdrop for technical discussions on the reasons for adopting GaN technology with its audiophile performance.
Excited, interested in finding out more about this amazing, higher performance semiconductor technology…see, learn, and discuss the use of GaN technology with EPC experts at CES, submit a request for a private meeting.