19 April 2017
PowerAmerica funding speeds Transphorm’s development of 900V GaN HEMT product
Due to funding assistance from PowerAmerica – a private-public partnership between the US Department of Energy, industry and academia – Transphorm Inc of Goleta, near Santa Barbara, CA, USA, which designs and manufactures what it claims are the industry’s only JEDEC-qualified 650V gallium nitride (GaN) field-effect transistors (FETs) for high-voltage power conversion applications, has developed what it says may be the first offerings of their kind on the market.
The first is a bilateral switch that will enable a reduction in 2-4x part count as well as a reduction in losses. The second is a 900V GaN HEMT, which will enable increased energy efficiency. The products are used to convert power in applications such as power supplies, solar inverters, AC-AC converters, industrial converters and electric vehicles.
Transphorm already has several GaN products on the market in the 650V range (its second-generation 650V GaN FET recently became the first GaN solution to earn automotive qualification). These have helped to dispel doubts about the reliability and manufacturability of GaN, says Transphorm. Previously, though, 900V GaN was not thought possible, the firm adds. While Transphorm had set a roadmap target to develop the higher node, its partnership with Power America enabled it to focus specifically on the higher-node 900V GaN devices.
“The fact that PowerAmerica provided 50% of the funding for this project allowed us to focus on it as a roadmap item and develop streamlined technology – and offer first engineering samples with a datasheet – within a year,” says Transphorm co-founder & chief operating officer, Primit Parikh. “PowerAmerica helped to get us to the next level with our product,” he adds.
“Working with PowerAmerica, we were able to leverage our strong baseline of industry’s highest-reliability, highest-quality GaN to improve existing technologies and get them closer to product commercialization,” Primit continues. “PowerAmerica helped accelerate and risk reduce our roadmaps of these advanced devices.”
Transphorm has preliminary samples released to select customers, and is continuing to focus on broader product release.