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21 February 2017

Navitas launches first integrated half-bridge GaN power IC

Navitas Semiconductor Inc of El Segundo, CA, USA has launched what it claims is the first integrated half-bridge gallium nitride (GaN) power IC. Half-bridge circuits are essential building blocks in power electronics, used in everything from smartphone chargers and laptop adapters to TVs, solar panels, data centers and electric vehicles.

Navitas says that its proprietary 'AllGaN' half-bridge GaN power IC with iDrive monolithically integrates all the functions required to deliver switching speeds of up to 2MHz and enable a dramatic reduction in size, cost and weight while delivering faster charging. Previously, older silicon-based half-bridge components suffered from slow switching and parasitic power losses, slowing speeds by up to 30x, the firm adds.

The first half-bridge GaN power IC is the 650V-rated NV6250, in a 6mm x 8mm QFN package complete with dual drivers, level shifter, dual 560mΩ power FETs, boot-strap circuit and extensive protection features. Simple, low-power digital PWM inputs switch the half-bridge effortlessly at all frequencies, with significant ease-of-use and layout flexibility for the power system designer, claims Navitas. The NV6250 is compatible with a wide range of analog and digital controllers from multiple IC partners.

"High-voltage, high-speed power systems are now commercially viable and will enable a new class of high-density, fast-charging and lower-cost power systems," says CEO Gene Sheridan. "Since Navitas first demonstrated the half-bridge at APEC 2015 [Applied Power Electronics Conference], we have worked closely with partners to create the next generation of adapters and chargers with breakthrough size and efficiency." Navitas was founded in 2013, and in 2014 investment firm MalibuIQ licensed the GaN power electronics technology from HRL Laboratories LLC. Navitas raised $15.1m in equity financing in July 2015. "Our earlier announcement of the AllGaN platform's JEDEC qualification demonstrates GaN's maturity and readiness," he adds.

"The perennial difficulty with the half-bridge topology in high-frequency applications is how to power and control the high-side switch precisely, quickly and efficiently," comments Dr Milan M. Jovanovic, senior VP of R&D at power supply designer and manufacturer Delta. "By integrating the critical level-shifting, boot-strap, and dual-drive functions, all in gallium nitride, major practical challenges have been solved, paving the way for MHz high-voltage power systems," he adds.

"MIT has studied the opportunities and the limitations in high-frequency power converters for more than a decade," says professor David Perreault, leader of MIT's RLE (Research Laboratory of Electronics) Power Electronics Research Group. "One key bottleneck in many designs has been the limitation in high-speed level shifting and driving of high-side devices," he adds. "The introduction of high-voltage GaN power ICs with integrated, high-speed drivers has tremendous potential in many applications."

Samples and demonstration boards for the NV6250 are available now to qualified customers, with production planned for second-quarter 2017.

Navitas will demonstrate the NV6250 and other AllGaN GaN Power ICs in a private suite at the Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC 2017) in Tampa, Florida (26–30 March).

See related items:

Navitas delivers first GaN power ICs

Tags: GaN Power electronics

Visit: www.apec-conf.org

Visit: www.navitassemi.com

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