18 November 2021
Navitas and Anker sign strategic partnership for next-gen mobile fast chargers
Gallium nitride (GaN) power integrated circuit firm Navitas Semiconductor of El Segundo, CA, USA and Dublin, Ireland and consumer electronics firm Anker Innovations of Changsha, Hunan, China have signed a new strategic partnership.
Founded in 2014, Navitas introduced what it claimed to be the first commercial GaN power integrated circuits. Its proprietary GaNFast power ICs monolithically integrate GaN power field-effect transistors (FETs) and GaN drive plus control and protection circuits in a single SMT package. Since GaN is reckoned to run up to 20x faster than silicon, GaNFast power ICs are said to deliver up to 3x faster charging or 3x more power in half the size and weight, and with up to 40% energy savings compared with silicon chips. Integrated in over 130 mobile chargers, over 30 million GaNFast power ICs have been shipped with zero reported field failures.
Anker and Navitas have an established relationship, starting in 2017 when Anker was one of the first companies to create fast-charger prototypes and then qualify the new GaN technology. The 2019 Anker PowerCore Fusion PD combination charger and portable power bank used Navitas’ GaNFast power ICs to reach higher levels of efficiency and power density.
“Having engineering teams from Anker and Navitas sitting side by side on a daily basis will greatly improve the efficiency of the product development process, translating into faster and better chargers for our customers,” believes Anker Innovations’ CEO Steven Yang.
The new agreement dedicates engineering teams from both Navitas and Anker to be co-located at Anker offices to develop and launch GaNFast chargers to accelerate time-to-market. The initial focus will be on next-generation mobile chargers but will expand into the high-growth energy-storage markets. The deal also provides a longer planning horizon for co-operative marketing across all media platforms and in-person events, such as January’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
“As both a long-term customer and investor in Navitas, Anker has demonstrated a passion for innovation and vision for the future of charging,” says Navitas’ co-founder & CEO Gene Sheridan. “Mobile charging is a $2bn target market for GaN power ICs, and working with Anker on energy storage is aligned with our renewable/solar energy expansion strategy.”
The first two fast chargers released under the new partnership are the 30W USB-C and 65W 2C+A chargers in Anker’s collaboration with the ‘League of Legends’ multi-player online battle arena video game, played on phones, tablets and laptops. With fast action and intensive, detailed graphics, the game has a high draw on battery power, and fast charging – with portability – is crucial.
At only 28mm x 29mm x 32mm, the 30W USB-C ‘Jinx’ is a similar size to the original 5W so-called ‘sugar-cube’ phone charger and 70% smaller than the standard silicon-based 30W.
The 65W 2C1A ‘Yasuo’ charger has 2x USB-C and 1x USB-A port to simultaneously charge three devices (such as a phone, headphones and a laptop) with enough power for high-performance gaming laptops.