9 March 2022
EPC and Analog Devices collaborate to deliver up to 2MHz switching frequency for high-density DC-DC converters
Efficient Power Conversion Corp (EPC) of El Segundo, CA, USA – which makes enhancement-mode gallium nitride on silicon (eGaN) power field-effect transistors (FETs) and integrated circuits for power management applications – has announced the availability of the EPC9160, a dual-output synchronous buck converter reference design board operating at 2MHz switching frequency that converts an input voltage of 9-24V to a 3.3-5V output voltage and delivers up to 15A continuous current for both outputs. Due to the high switching frequency, the converter size is very small, only 23mm x 22mm for both outputs, and the inductor height is only 3mm.
The high density and thickness of the design plus the 2MHz switching frequency make this solution suitable for automotive console applications, where 2MHz switching frequency is preferred, and computing, industrial, consumer and telecom power systems requiring small size and a very thin profile. eGaN FETs provide the fast switching, high efficiency and small size that can meet the stringent power-density requirements of these leading-edge applications, says EPC.
The EPC9160 reference design uses the EPC2055 enhancement-mode GaN FET and the LTC7890 two-phase analog buck controller with integrated GaN drivers.
The LTC7890 100V low-Iq, dual, 2-phase synchronous step-down controller is fully optimized to drive EPC eGaN FETs and integrates a half-bridge driver and smart bootstrap diode. It offers optimized near-zero dead-time or programmable deadtime and programmable switching frequency up to 3MHz. The quiescent current of 5μA (VIN = 48V, VOUT = 5V, CH1 only) enables very low standby power consumption and excellent light load efficiency.
The EPC2055 40V eGaN FET offers 3mΩ max RDS(on), 6.6nC QG, 0.7nC QGD, 1.3nC QOSS and zero QRR in a small 2.5mm x 1.5mm footprint and can deliver up to 29A continuous current and 161A peak current. The excellent dynamic parameters allow very small switching losses at 2MHz switching frequency.
The efficiency of the EPC9160 is greater than 93% for 5V output and 24V input. In addition to light load operating mode and adjustable dead-time, the board offers UVLO, over-current protection, and power good output.
“GaN FETs ultra-low switching losses enable operations above 2MHz, with the new analog controller customers now having a full ecosystem able to work above 2MHz,” says CEO Alex Lidow. “We are delighted to work with Analog Devices to combine the benefits of their advanced controllers with the performance of GaN to provide customers with the highest-power-density and low-component-count solutions that increases the efficiency, increases power density, and reduces system cost,” he adds.
“Analog Device’s LTC7890 is designed to fully exploit the high performance of EPC’s eGaN FETs for high-power-density solutions” says Tae Han, senior product marketing manager at Analog Devices Inc of Wilmington, MA, USA. “The LTC7890 offers higher switching frequency and optimized dead-time that competes well above the current solution in the market while operating in very low power consumption,” he adds. “With these new controllers, customers can take advantage of the very fast switching of GaN for the highest power density.”
The EPC9160 demonstration board is priced at $300 each and is available for immediate delivery from distributor Digi-Key Corp.