20 September 2021
TI’s GaN used in Delta’s enterprise server power supplies for data centers
Dallas-based Texas Instruments Inc (TI) — which designs, manufactures and tests analog and embedded processing chips for markets such as industrial, automotive, personal electronics, communications equipment and enterprise systems — says that its gallium nitride on silicon (GaN-on-Si) technology and C2000 real-time microcontrollers (MCUs) are being combined with Delta Electronics’ high-efficiency power electronics expertise in the design of an enterprise server power-supply unit (PSU) featuring an 80% improvement in power density with 1% better efficiency — up to 99.2% — for data-center applications, compared with enterprise server power supplies using a traditional architecture. A 1% improvement equals 1MW (or 800 households) total cost of ownership (CoO) savings per data center, according to Energy Innovation.
Delta Electronics — which provides power- and thermal-management solutions and AC/DC, DC/DC and DC/AC power systems for applications including IT, electric vehicle (EV) charging, appliances and industrial power — chose TI due to its decade-long investment in GaN technology as well as its real-time control solution with C2000 MCUs.
“Our GaN technology enables a whole new world of higher-efficiency and smaller, more reliable solutions,” says Steve Lambouses, VP for High Voltage Power at TI. “In addition to technology investments, TI’s investments in internal manufacturing will allow new technologies like GaN to scale quickly and support customers like Delta,” he adds.
“Delta’s long-term focus on reducing mankind’s carbon footprint through energy-efficient products and solutions entails long-term collaboration with industry leaders such as TI in regards to next-generation technologies. GaN has crossed the threshold from being a future technology to an immediate, viable option available today for new designs of power supply systems,” says Jimmy Yiin, VP & general manager of the Power and System Business Group at Delta Electronics. “This is especially true for server PSUs, for which we are looking to exceed 98% efficiency and 100W/inch3 of power density,” he adds. “The next several years will be exciting because GaN will revolutionize power design and architectures as we know them.”
Integrated GaN ICs deliver higher efficiency, power density and system reliability
- In high-voltage, high-power industrial applications, integrated power-supply solutions are better able to achieve high performance within limited board space. TI’s GaN field-effect transistors (FETs) integrate a fast-switching driver, plus internal protection and temperature sensing.
- The ICs are backed by more than 40 million hours of device reliability testing and more than 5GWh of power conversion testing, providing rigorous reliability data to support engineers who want to consider GaN to build power systems that are smaller, lighter and more efficient.
- When coupled with TI GaN power solutions, TI’s C2000 real-time MCUs deliver benefits such as complex, time-critical processing, precision control, and software and peripheral scalability, says the firm. Additionally, the MCUs unlock the potential of GaN-based power solutions for server PSUs by supporting different power-design topologies and high switching frequencies to maximize the design’s power efficiency.
Manufacturing and long-term investment strategy offer volume scalability
- TI says that its unique combination of process, package and circuit-design techniques simplifies manufacturing and enables it to scale GaN-on-Si production volume by configuring different options to support the changing needs of telecom, industrial and automotive companies.
- TI’s GaN epitaxy and assembly/test footprint enables the firm to address tool redundancies, as required.
- TI reckons that its long-term investment and flexible manufacturing strategy will allow it to grow as a GaN and real-time MCU supplier, as market demand increases and the trend continues toward smaller systems supporting more data.
During the TI Live! Tech Exchange virtual event (27-29 September), TI and Delta Electronics are co-presenting an ‘Industry Insight’ session ‘The Impact of GaN Technology and What It May Mean for Future Industrial Designs’. During the event, TI experts will discuss power management, automotive, real-time control, vision sensing and design trends in a series of keynotes, roundtable discussions, technical sessions and demonstrations.