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12 July 2016

Peregrine unveils fastest GaN FET driver

Peregrine Semiconductor Corp of San Diego, CA, USA – a fabless provider of radio-frequency integrated circuits (RFICs) based on silicon-on-insulator (SOI) – has launched what it claims is the fastest gallium nitride (GaN) field-effect transistor (FET) driver.

Built on Peregrine's UltraCMOS technology, the PE29100 GaN driver is targeted at enabling design engineers to extract the full performance and speed advantages from GaN transistors. Designed to drive the gates of a high-side and a low-side GaN FET in a switching configuration, the PE29100 delivers what are claimed to be the industry's fastest switching speeds, shortest propagation delays and lowest rise and fall times to AC-DC converters, DC-DC converters, class D audio amplifiers and wireless charging applications.

Peregrine notes that, in the power conversion market, GaN-based FETs are displacing silicon-based metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs), as they operate much faster and have higher switching speeds in the smallest possible volume. GaN promises to dramatically reduce the size and weight of any power supply. To reach their performance potential, GaN transistors need an optimized FET driver that must charge and discharge gate capacitance as fast as possible and must have very low propagation delay to allow fast signals. It also must avoid 'shoot through' by not turning on high-side and low-side FETs at the same time. The PE29100 is designed specifically for this purpose.

"Our enhancement-mode GaN (eGaN) transistors deliver a whole new spectrum of performance compared to MOSFETs," claims Alex Lidow Ph.D., CEO & co-founder of Efficient Power Conversion Corp (EPC) of El Segundo, CA, USA, which makes eGaN power FETs for power management applications. "GaN FET drivers like Peregrine's UltraCMOS PE29100 enable design engineers to unlock the true potential of eGaN FET technology," he adds. "The availability of the PE29100 further enhances our ability to deliver the best possible solution into the power conversion market where size, efficiency and simple design are critical."

As the driving force behind the PE29100's speed, Peregrine's UltraCMOS technology platform enables integrated circuits to operate at much faster speeds than conventional CMOS technologies. The speed of Peregrine's new GaN FET driver results in much smaller power converters, offering the design engineer increased power density.

"Design engineers are increasingly using GaN transistors for applications where higher switching frequency and high power is required," says Mark Moffat, director of Peregrine's power management product line. "However, the currently available gate drivers and controllers do not support the full potential of GaN," he adds. "With the enabling power of UltraCMOS technology, the PE29100 achieves the industry's fastest switching speeds at frequencies higher than competing products."

Manufactured on a truly insulating substrate, UltraCMOS technology has no bulk or well junctions, and therefore has low parasitics. It also has low on-resistance for improved efficiency and low off-capacitance at higher operating frequency.

The PE29100 is a half-bridge GaN FET driver with internal dead-time control. The high-speed driver operates at switching frequencies up to 33MHz and handles voltages up to 80V. It delivers a short propagation delay of 8ns, and has a rise time of 2.5ns and fall time of 1.8ns when driving a 1000pF load and 1ns rise and fall times with 100pF load. The PE29100 has a one-pin, single-phase input mode, and an output source current of 2A and an output sink current of 4A.

Volume-production parts, samples and evaluation kits for the PE29100 are available now. Offered as a 2mm x 1.6mm flip-chip die, pricing for the PE29100 is $1.80 each for 1000-unit orders.

Tags: Peregrine SOI EPC E-mode GaN FETs

Visit: www.psemi.com

Visit: www.epc-co.com

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