AES Semigas


12 October 2022

EPC launches GaN-based inverter reference design for motor drive systems

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 EPC9176, a 3-phase brushless DC (BLDC) motor drive inverter using the EPC23102 ePower Stage GaN IC with embedded gate driver function and two GaN FETs with 5.2mΩ typical RDS(on).

The EPC9176 operates from an input supply voltage between 20V and 80V and can deliver up to 28Apk (20ARMS). This voltage range and power level makes the solution suitable for a variety of 3-phase BLDC motor drive applications with 36V–80V input including e-bikes, e-scooters, power tools, drones, robots, DC servo, medical robots and factory automation.

The use of the EPC23102 integrated GaN-on-silicon device offers higher performance in a smaller footprint with significantly reduced design effort requirements for fast time to market. The EPC23102 is a fully integrated power stage with 100V rating including the half-bridge FETs, driver, level shifter, and synchronous bootstrap charging, with an enable pin for low quiescent current in disabled mode and 5V bias.

The EPC9176 mates with an assortment of compatible controllers, supported by various manufacturers leveraging existing resources for quick development purposes that reduce design cycle times. EPC offers interface boards (EPC9147X) to operate this inverter reference design with the most common motors. The EPC9176 contains all the necessary critical functions circuits to support a complete motor drive inverter including gate drivers, regulated auxiliary power rails for housekeeping supplies, voltage and temperature sense, accurate current sense, and protection functions.

“Designers can use GaN ICs to make lighter-weight and more efficient battery-operated motor drives for a wide variety of e-mobility and robotic applications,” says CEO Alex Lidow. “GaN enables motor systems that are smaller, lighter, less noisy, have more torque, more range and greater precision while improving EMI, reducing EMI filtering and capacitor count, and eliminating electrolytic capacitors and input filter inductors.”

The EPC9176 reference design board is priced at $900 and is available for immediate delivery from distributor Digi-Key Corp.

Tags: EPC E-mode GaN FETs