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TMCNet:  eGaN® Technology from Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) Takes a Quantum Leap in Both Performance and Cost

[March 15, 2017]

eGaN® Technology from Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) Takes a Quantum Leap in Both Performance and Cost

Efficient Power Conversion Corporation, the world's leader in enhancement-mode gallium nitride on silicon (eGaN®) power FETs and ICs, advances the performance capability while lowering the cost of off-the-shelf gallium nitride transistors with the introduction of the EPC2045 (7 m?, 100 V) and the EPC2047 (10 m?, 200 V) eGaN FETs. Applications for the EPC2045 include single stage 48 V to load Open Rack server architectures, point-of-load converters, USB-C, and LiDAR. Wireless charging, multi-level AC-DC power supplies, robotics, and solar micro inverters are example applications for the 200 V EPC2047.

Widening the performance/cost gap with equivalent silicon power transistors, the 100 V, 7 m? EPC2045 cuts the die size in half compared to the prior-generation EPC2001C eGaN FET. The 200 V, 10 m? EPC2047 eGaN FET also cuts the size in half so that it is now about 15 times smaller than equivalently rated silicon MOSFETs.

Designers no longer have to choose between size and performance - they can have both! The chip-scale packaging of eGaN products handles thermal conditions far better than the plastic packaged MOSFETs since the heat is dissipated directly to the environment with chip-scale devices, whereas the heat from the MOSFET die is held within a plastic package.

Alex Lidow, EPC's co-founder and CEO, commented, "We are very excited about how our innovative gallium nitride technology used in the development of these eGaN FETs is changing the industry." He further stated, "These new products demonstrate how EPC and gallium nitride transistor technology is increasing the performance and reducing the cost of eGaN devices for applications currently being served by MOSFETs. Further, advancements in EPC's GaN technology will continue to enable new end-use applications that go beyond the capability of silicon devices. These products are evidence that the performance and cost gap with MOSFET technology continues to widen."

There are three development boards available to support easy in-circuit performance evaluation of the EPC2045 and the EPC2047, respectively. The EPC9078 and EPC9080 support the 100 V EPC2045, whereas the EPC9081 features the 200 V EPC2047.

Start of a "Virtuous Cycle" for the Development of eGaN Products

A virtue of underlying GaN process developments is that these devices have significantly lower capacitance than their silicon counterparts. This condition translates into lower gate drive losses and lower device switching losses at higher frequencies for the same on-resistance and voltage rating. In the case of the EPC2045, a 30 percent reduction in power loss with a 2.5 percentage points better efficiency than the best comparable MOSFET was achieved in a 48 V to 5 V circuit operating at 500 kHz switching frequency.

In contrast to silicon MOSFETs, the switching performance of eGaN FETs improves even though they are significantly smaller - this attribute introduces a "virtuous cycle" for eGaN products going forward that will result in continued introduction of smaller devices with higher performance.

The performance, size, and cost improvement evidenced in these new products were made possible by an innovative method of both reducing the electric fields in the drain region during breakdown, and significantly reducing the number of traps that could cause electrons to become inactive.

Price and Availability

Low volume pricing for the EPC2045 100 V, 7 m? product at 1K units is $2.66 each, and low volume pricing for the EPC2047 200 V, 10 m? product at 1K units is $4.63 each. The development boards are priced at $118.25 each. Both products and development boards are available for immediate delivery from Digi-Key at http://www.digikey.com/Suppliers/us/Efficient-Power-Conversion.page?lang=en.

About EPC

EPC is the leader in enhancement mode gallium nitride based power management devices. EPC was the first to introduce enhancement-mode gallium-nitride-on-silicon (eGaN) FETs as power MOSFET replacements in applications such as DC-DC converters, wireless power transfer, envelope tracking, RF transmission, power inverters, remote sensing technology (LiDAR), and class-D audio amplifiers with device performance many times greater than the best silicon power MOSFETs.

Visit our web site: www.epc-co.com.

eGaN is a registered trademark of Efficient Power Conversion Corporation, Inc.


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