AES Semigas


14 February 2024

EPC GaN FETs deliver power density and efficiency for computing, industrial and consumer 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 several reference designs that feature EPC GaN FETs and Analog Devices Inc (ADI) controllers.

The newly released EPC9195 synchronous buck converter reference design board, operating at 750kHz switching frequency, converts an input voltage of 36V–48V to a regulated 13.5V output. It delivers up to 16A in a very small footprint of 28mm x 14mm and with a profile lower than 5mm (3.5mm inductor height). This type of high-density DC/DC converter is used to convert the 48V DC input from batteries or chargers to a regulated typical 12V load. 48V input is becoming popular due to USB PD 3.1 efforts to increase power and to reduce cabling for up to 240W. The combination of ADI’s new LTC7891 100V synchronous GaN buck controller with ultra-efficient EPC2619 GaN FETs from EPC helps to enable a super small and highly efficient solution with 96.4% efficiency at 48V to 13.5V and 16A continuous current.

“GaN FETs are required to achieve the maximum power density for DC–DC converters,” says EPC’s CEO Alex Lidow. “We are delighted to work with ADI 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 solution that increases efficiency, increases power density, and reduces system cost.”

“ADI’s LTC7890, LTC7891, LT8418 and LT8390A are designed to pair with the high performance of EPC’s eGaN FETs for high-power-density solutions,” says Keith Szolusha, system and application director at ADI. “They offer higher switching frequency and optimized dead-time that competes well above the current solution in the market while operating in very low power consumption. With these new ICs, customers can take advantage of the very fast switching of GaN for the highest power density.”

The reference design features EPC’s Generation 6 GaN FET EPC2619, rated for 100V and 3.3mΩ typical RDS(on) in a 1.5mm x 2.5mm footprint (3.8mm2), while offering a 40% RDS(on)*Area improvement versus EPC’s Generation 5 devices and a better Tempco. For upgrades, the footprint is the same as Generation 5 EPC2204.

The EPC9158, a dual-output synchronous buck converter reference design board operating at 500kHz switching frequency, converts an input voltage of 48V–54V to a regulated 12V output and delivers up to 25A per phase or 50A total continuous current. The combination of ADI’s new LTC7890 100V dual, 2-phase synchronous buck controller for driving GaN with ultra-efficient EPC2218/EPC2088 GaN FETs from EPC enables a highly efficient solution in a small footprint for high-power-density applications. The solution achieves 96.5% efficiency at 48V to 12V and 50A continuous current.

The EPC9160, a dual-output synchronous buck converter reference design board operating at 2MHz switching frequency per phase, converts an input voltage of 9V to 24V to a 3.3V or 5V output voltage and delivers up to 15A continuous current for both outputs. Due to the high switching frequency, the solution size is very small (only 23mm x 22mm for both outputs) and the inductor height is only 3mm. This, coupled with the LTC7890, makes the solution suitable for automotive console applications, where 2MHz switching frequency is preferred, says EPC. In addition, computing, industrial, consumer and telecom power systems require small size as well as a very thin profile.

ADI’s LTC7890 and LTC7891 integrate a half-bridge driver and smart bootstrap diode. They offer low Iq, optimized near-zero dead-time or programmable dead-time 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, says EPC. ADI’s EVAL-LTC7890-AZ evaluation board features EPC2088 and EPC2204 EPC FETs, and delivers 20A current for each 5V and 12V output with input voltage of 30V–72V. The EVAL-LTC7891-AZ evaluation board features EPC2088 EPC FET and delivers 20A output current with output voltage 12V and input voltage 36V–72V.

ADI’s LT8418 100V half-bridge gate driver with smart integrated bootstrap switch is well suited to drive EPC GaN FETs due to the high switching frequency capability (up to 10MHz), fast propagation delay (10ns typical), and propagation delay matching (1.5ns typical) for shorter dead-time, short minimum pulse width (11ns), and very low-resistance gate drive. It also offers accurate under-voltage and over-voltage lockout protections. ADI’s evaluation board EVAL-LT8418-BZ features EPC EPC2204 GaN FETs in a half-bridge configuration and supports 80V maximum input, 100kHz–10MHz fsw, 10A maximum current. The application note includes results at 500kHz and 1MHz with and without heatsink.

ADI’s LT8390A is a 60V high-frequency 4-switch buck-boost controller with integrated 5V gate driver and up to 2MHz switching frequency. It offers current and voltage control loops for optimizers and battery charging and discharging. ADI’s reference design EVAL-LT8390A-AZ operates from an input voltage of 8–60Vin to an output voltage of 24V and delivers 5A continuous current at 2MHz switching frequency with high efficiency. The size is only 2cm x 3cm (half of the current 100W silicon MOSFET solution size) with small 6mm 6mm x 6mm inductor.

The EPC9158, EPC9160 and EPC9195 demonstration boards from EPC are priced at $480 each and available for immediate delivery from distributor Digi-Key Corp.

Tags: EPC E-mode GaN FETs


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