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17 March 2015

Infineon expands GaN-on-Si portfolio with energy-efficient E-mode and cascode configuration platforms

At the 30th IEEE Applied Power Electronics Conference & Exposition (APEC 2015) in Charlotte, NC, USA (15-19 March), Infineon Technologies AG of Munich, Germany has announced the expansion of its gallium nitride (GaN)-on-silicon technology and product portfolio.

The firm now offers both enhancement-mode (E-mode) and cascode configuration GaN-based platforms optimized for high-performance applications requiring higher levels of energy efficiency, including switch mode power supplies (SMPS) used in server, telecom, mobile power and consumer goods such as Class D Audio systems. GaN technology significantly reduces the size and weight of power supplies, which will open up new opportunities in end-products such as ultra-thin LED TVs, says the firm.

"Infineon's GaN-on-silicon portfolio - combined with the acquisition of International Rectifier's GaN platform together with our partnership with Panasonic - clearly positions Infineon as the technology leader in this promising GaN market," believes Andreas Urschitz, president of Infineon's Power Management & Multimarket Division. "In line with our 'Product to System' approach, our customers can now choose enhancement-mode or cascode configuration technologies according to their application/system requirements," he adds.

"At the same time, Infineon is committed to developing surface-mount device (SMD) packages and ICs that will further leverage the superior performance of GaN in a compact footprint," Urschitz continues. "As a real-world example, using our GaN technology, a laptop charger found on the market today could be replaced by one that is up to four times smaller and lighter," he reckons.

Infineon's expanded range will include dedicated driver and controller ICs which enable the topologies and higher frequencies that fully leverage the benefits of GaN. It is further enhanced by a broader patent portfolio, GaN-on-Si epitaxy process and 100-600V technologies resulting from the acquisition of International Rectifier.

Additionally, through a strategic partnership, Infineon and Panasonic Corp will jointly introduce devices utilizing Panasonic's normally-off (enhancement-mode) GaN-on-Si transistor structure integrated into Infineon's SMD packages, providing a highly efficient 600V GaN power device with the added benefit of dual sourcing.

As a result, Infineon now offers complete system know-how combined with what is claimed to be the industry's most comprehensive range of GaN technologies and products. Additionally, it has volume manufacturing capabilities and capacity as well as second sourcing for normally-off GaN power devices in an Infineon SMD package.

Infineon says that GaN-on-Si-based technology delivers increased power density and higher energy efficiency in a smaller footprint compared to silicon-based solutions, and is hence well suited to a wide range of applications from consumer goods such as TV power supplies to Class D Audio amplifiers to SMPS used in server and telecom equipment. According to a market research report from IHS, the GaN-on-Si power semiconductor market will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 50%, from $15m in 2014 to $800m by 2023.

At APEC 2015, Infineon and Panasonic is showcasing samples of a 600V 70mΩ device in a DSO package. Also featured are demonstrations of both E-mode and cascode configuration technologies, for which device samples will be available to customers under specific non-disclosure agreements (NDA). Fully released mid-voltage cascode devices are available for complying Class D audio customers.

See related items:

Infineon and Panasonic to establish dual sourcing for normally-off 600V GaN power devices

IR presenting power management solutions at APEC

Infineon completes acquisition of International Rectifier

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