15 March 2017
EPC launches eGaN FETs that halve size while improving performance and cost
Efficient Power Conversion Corp (EPC) of El Segundo, CA, USA – which makes enhancement-mode gallium nitride on silicon (eGaN) power field-effect transistors (FETs) for power management applications and ICs – has advanced the performance capability while lowering the cost of off-the-shelf GaN transistors with the launch of the EPC2045 (7mΩ, 100V) and the EPC2047 (10mΩ, 200V) eGaN FETs.
Widening the performance/cost gap with equivalent silicon power transistors, the EPC2045 cuts the die size in half compared with the prior-generation EPC2001C eGaN FET. The EPC2047 eGaN FET also cuts the size in half so that it is now about 15 times smaller than equivalently rated silicon MOSFETs.
Applications for the EPC2045 include single-stage 48V to load Open Rack server architectures, point-of-load converters, USB-C, and LiDAR. Example applications for the 200V EPC2047 are wireless charging, multi-level AC-DC power supplies, robotics, and solar micro inverters.
EPC says that designers no longer have to choose between size and performance, as they can now have both. The chip-scale packaging of eGaN products handles thermal conditions far better than plastic-packaged MOSFETs, says the firm, since the heat is dissipated directly to the environment with chip-scale devices whereas heat from the MOSFET die is held within a plastic package.
“These new products demonstrate how EPC and gallium nitride transistor technology is increasing the performance and reducing the cost of eGaN devices for applications currently being served by MOSFETs,” notes co-founder & CEO Alex Lidow. “Further, advancements in EPC’s GaN technology will continue to enable new end-use applications that go beyond the capability of silicon devices,” he adds. “These products are evidence that the performance and cost gap with MOSFET technology continues to widen.”
There are three development boards available to support easy in-circuit performance evaluation of the EPC2045 and the EPC2047 respectively. The EPC9078 and EPC9080 support the 100V EPC2045, whereas the EPC9081 features the 200V EPC2047.
A virtue of underlying GaN process developments is that these devices have significantly lower capacitance than their silicon counterparts, says EPC. This condition translates into lower gate drive losses and lower device switching losses at higher frequencies for the same on-resistance and voltage rating. In the case of the EPC2045, a 30% reduction in power loss with a 2.5 percentage points better efficiency than the best comparable MOSFET was achieved in a 48V-to-5V circuit operating at 500kHz switching frequency.
In contrast to silicon MOSFETs, the switching performance of eGaN FETs improves even though they are significantly smaller – this attribute introduces a ‘virtuous cycle’ for eGaN products going forward that will result in the continued introduction of smaller devices with higher performance, adds EPC.
The performance, size and cost improvement evidenced in these new products was enabled by an innovative method of both reducing the electric fields in the drain region during breakdown and significantly reducing the number of traps that could cause electrons to become inactive, notes EPC.
Low-volume pricing is $2.66 each for the EPC2045 100V, 7mΩ product and $4.63 each for the EPC2047 200V, 10mΩ product, in1000-unit quantities. The development boards are priced at $118.25 each. Both products and development boards are available for immediate delivery from Digi-Key.