5 August 2022
Navitas GaN ICs save first 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions
Gallium nitride (GaN) power integrated circuit firm Navitas Semiconductor of El Segundo, CA, USA and Dublin, Ireland has announced what it says is the first saving of 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions as GaN replaces legacy silicon chips.
GaN is reckoned to use up to 10x-lower CO2 footprint to manufacture and ship compared with silicon, while reducing the end-application CO2 footprint by up to 30%. Each GaN power IC shipped saves a net 4kg CO2 in comparison, and GaN offers the potential to address a reduction of 2.6Gtons CO2/year by 2050 – equivalent to the CO2 generated by over 650 coal-fired power stations, over 6 billion barrels of oil, over 560 million ICE passenger cars – or the annual electricity use of over 470 million homes.
Based on Navitas’ unit shipments, and third-party life-cycle assessment (LCA) of a 65W USB-C charger example, 100,000 tons is a conservative estimate of cumulative customer savings in CO2 emissions. This also considers a six-month delay, accounting for shipping inventory and customer assembly. Navitas completed a comprehensive analysis working together with EarthShift Global and completed an ISO14040/14044-compliant comparative LCA report quantifying the benefits of silicon power semiconductor components vs GaN power ICs and USB-C chargers using GaN power IC products.
“The analysis shows that GaN power ICs provide a step-function improvement in environmental impacts over the incumbent silicon solutions,” says Anthony Schiro, VP quality & sustainability. “Over the next 5-10 years, the sustainability benefits will become significant in achieving global customer and nation net-zero goals,” he adds.
“A total life-cycle assessment, spanning ‘cradle-to-(beyond-the)-grave’ presents a holistic view, and it is critical to understand energy-usage and CO2 emissions from boule to device, and to ensure that we’re not shifting impacts to other areas of concern,” comments EarthShift Global’s CEO Lise Laurin. “It’s critical that we apply a rigorous, data-driven approach to provide genuine insight into systems, products and processes, and broader perspectives are central to achieving greater sustainability.”
Founded in 2014, Navitas introduced what it claimed to be the first commercial GaN power integrated circuits. Its proprietary GaNFast power ICs integrate GaN power field-effect transistors (FETs) with drive, control, sensing and protection circuits, allowing systems to consume less energy, and minimize and reduce additional electronic components (e.g. magnetics, filters, capacitors), as well as mechanical components (e.g. PCB area, metal/plastic housing, aluminum heatsinks), which reduce oil/refinement demand, lowering shipping costs and CO2 footprint.
Navitas published what it claims is the world’s first GaN sustainability report ‘Electrify Our World’ to quantify the positive impact of GaN power semiconductors on climate change, based on global standards. Then in May 2021, Navitas became the world’s first semiconductor company to be CarbonNeutral-certified.