15 November 2022
CGD’s ICeGaN HEMTs available in high volume
Fabless semiconductor company Cambridge GaN Devices Ltd (CGD) says that its IceGaN smart high-electron-mobility transistor (HEMT) monolithically integrated power solutions are now available for volume shipment. What is said to be the industry’s first easy-to-use and scalable 650V GaN HEMT family is also expected to be verified as the industry’s most rugged GaN platform.
Spun out of the University of Cambridge Department of Engineering’s Electrical Power and Energy Conversion group in 2016 by Dr Giorgia Longobardi and professor Florin Udrea, CGD designs, develops and commercializes power semiconductors products that use GaN-on-silicon substrates.
“The principal values of GaN have been understood for a long time,” notes co-founder & CEO Longobardi. “Cambridge GaN Devices’ contribution has been to innovate the easiest-to-use, most reliable devices so that design engineers can take advantage of the efficiency benefits offered by GaN, and deliver products and systems that contribute to a sustainable world.”
Unlike other discrete or hybrid solutions, CGD’s IceGaN HEMTs are fully integrated GaN-only devices, leading to several key advantages, First, devices are stable, reliable and simple to drive, using an internal GaN interface attached to the gate. Devices also exhibit high Vth performance of about 3V, eliminating the risk of damage at turn-on, and are available in an extended voltage range of up to 20V. Also, current sensing, a Miller clamp for safe turn-off and gate protection, and integrated ESD protection are included on-chip. Finally, there is no negative voltage requirement, which avoids potential problems of dynamic RDS(on) degradation over time.
Compared with other GaN devices, designers of low-side and half-bridge topologies can use standard silicon gate drivers and reduce the bill-of-materials (BOM) count.
Available now in production-order quantities and through distribution, ICeGaN HEMTs have a unique set of intrinsic capabilities that elevate device reliability well above current state-of-the-art GaN competition, CGD claims. This is due to the higher voltage threshold and higher voltage range, stronger gate voltage clamping action at lower temperatures, high gate over-voltage margin and higher dV/dt and dI/dt immunity. Less exposure to dynamic Ron stress, DC voltage flexibility (9-20V) and a high-efficiency current sense also contribute to what is claimed to be industry-leading device ruggedness.
“Our mission is to make deciding to use and implement high-efficiency, sustainable solutions the obvious choice,” says Longobardi. “We aim to deliver on four key values: sustainability, knowledge, innovation and collaboration. The IceGaN smart HEMT family of monolithically integrated power solutions is the realization of our goals to date, and customers have told us how easy they are to employ, one user explaining that ‘CGD’s GaN can work on our 65W system and support high gate drive voltage – just like silicon’,” she adds.