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8 February 2016

UK's EPSRC Centre for Power Electronics and GaN Systems launch Future Power Challenge

GaN Systems Inc of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, a fabless developer of gallium nitride (GaN)-based power switching semiconductors for power conversion and control applications, together with the Centre for Power Electronics of the UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), have launched the Geoff Haynes Future Power Challenge, a new competition open to all UK power electronics postgraduates. 

The annual award will be worth £2000 for the research paper or poster that makes the strongest contribution to accelerating the use of GaN transistors in future power conversion or control applications. The prize is established to mark the occasion of Geoff Haynes' recent retirement as a founder & vice president of GaN Systems and is in recognition of his contribution to the firm and the formative gallium nitride power industry.

In the last year GaN Systems has introduced to production two families of GaNPX normally-off transistors housed in embedded, almost chip-scale packages, optimized for low inductance and low thermal resistance. Now, to achieve their full value in production systems, key enabling issues still need to be addressed.

Papers or posters submitted to the Centre for Power Electronics' 2016 Postgraduate Summer School (to be held at the National College, Nottingham, UK on 1-2 June) will qualify for entry to the competition if they clearly identify research relevant to accelerating the use of GaN components in applications with performance that cannot be achieved using existing silicon technology. Entries will be judged by a panel of academic and industrial experts and the prize will be awarded at the the EPSRC Centre of Power Electronics' annual conference on 5-6 July. 

In view of the limited timescale and in order not to restrict the entry of relevant work in pre-existing projects using SiC technology, that work will also qualify for entry where demonstration or simulation shows its relevance to a future GaN-based solution. The judges will select a shortlist of projects for presentation at the event, from which the winner will be chosen.

Projects including elements of study of any of the following or related issues will qualify for entry:

  • new or improved circuit configurations enabled by the unique operating characteristics of these transistors, leading to system-level benefits;
  • new or improved digital control solutions for high-frequency converters;
  • thermal management and packaging design for high-density power converters;
  • improved inductor and capacitor technologies for energy storage in fast, high-operating-temperature converters;
  • study of failure mechanisms in GaN transistors, their control and their impact on system performance and reliability;
  • management of EMI in higher-switching-speed converters;
  • component choice, board layout and circuit design for fast-switching systems;
  • measurement of currents and voltages in fast-switching cells (even the introduction of a scope probe at a critical node can distort performance);
  • modeling of the transistors and the new systems that they enable;
  • advances in device fabrication technology or device design;
  • design of drivers for wide-bandwidth switches; and
  • exploring the impact of GaN device characteristics on electrical machines able to benefit from faster switching.

See device characteristics and models for the entire GaNPX family at: www.gansystems.com/trans-temp.php

Tags: GaN Systems E-mode GaN FETs Power electronics

Visit: www.gansystems.com

Visit: www.powerelectronics.ac.uk

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