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22 May 2015

GaN Systems presents opportunities for large-area GaN power switching devices in auto industry

At the Power Conversion Intelligent Motion (PCIM) Europe 2015 event in Nurnberg, Germany (19-21 May), president Girvan Patterson of GaN Systems Inc in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada - a fabless developer of gallium nitride (GaN)-based power switching semiconductors for power conversion and control applications - presented a paper 'The Automotive Market Opportunity for GaN'.

According to a report from market research firm Yole Developpement, electric vehicle/hybrid electric vehicle (EV/HEV) applications will be a key sector in the automotive market opportunity for the ultra-fast switching and conduction performance offered by GaN power switching semiconductors, with sales expected to rise rapidly over the next five years to more than $500m by 2020. 'The Automotive Market Opportunity for GaN' looks at the requirements of EV/HEV applications including power and operating voltage requirements, specific on-resistance and figure of merit (FOM), and examines in detail a yieldable large-area 650V/100A GaN transistor. Current and projected cost/performance parameters of such very large-area GaN power switching transistors, silicon carbide (SiC) and silicon insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) are compared. 

The special session of the cinference also included presentations by Efficient Power Conversion Corp (EPC) of El Segundo, CA, USA, Transphorm Inc of Goleta, near Santa Barbara, CA, USA and Germany's Infineon, followed by a Q&A session and debate in the afternoon.

GaN Systems showcases customer products for first time at PCIM Europe

Also at PCIM Europe, GaN Systems showcased three customer applications incorporating its Island Technology devices for the first time. Displayed as finished products, each has been designed to bring the unique benefits offered by GaN Systems' broad product range of small highly efficient, industrial-scale power switching transistors to its particular market.

DRS Technologies (a supplier of integrated products, services and support to the military and prime contractors) has used GaN Systems' GS66508P, 650V E-HEMT power switch to design a 2kW vehicle power inverter that achieves 92% efficiency due to the advantages brought by the GS66508P's ultra-low figure of merit (FOM) Island Technology die in its low-inductance, proprietary GaNPX packaging. As well as dramatically improving energy efficiency, the use of GaN Systems' technology has reduced the inverter's part count and is entirely passively cooled, says the firm.

Virideon BlueSky Mast (which designs and builds multi-purpose, portable mast platforms for military communications and surveillance) has used GaN Systems' GS61008P 100V E-HEMT to design and produce the TPS-2C 2kWh tactical power package, which offers 40A continuous discharge, 89Ah capacity, and 98% peak charger efficiency.

South Korea's LS Industrial Systems (which delivers clean energy) has designed its SISPM full-bridge power module around GaN Systems' 650V 30A GS66508P E-HEMT power switch. 

"These three products are among thousands of innovative applications currently being readied for launch by our global customer base," says Patterson. "Our broad range of Island Technology power switching devices and our core IPs make GaN Systems' devices are easy for designers to work with, enabling leading companies around the world to harness the power of GaN and bring its benefits to industrial and consumer products ranging from solar inverters to ultra-slim TVs," he adds.

GaN Systems claims to be the first company to have developed and brought to the global market a comprehensive portfolio of GaN enhancement-mode high-electron-mobility transistor (E-HEMT) power devices with current ratings from 8A to 250A. The firm's Island Technology die design - combined with the extremely low inductance and thermal efficiency of  GaNPX packaging and Drive Assist technology - provides its GaN transistors with what is reckoned to be 40x improvement in switching and conduction performance over silicon MOSFETs and IGBTs. Devices are available now through its worldwide distribution network.

Tags: GaN Systems Power electronics GaN SiC

Visit: www.gansystems.com

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