21 September 2017
Transphorm partner Yaskawa Electric’s new servo motor first to use GaN
Transphorm Inc of Goleta, near Santa Barbara, CA, USA – which designs and manufactures JEDEC- and AEC-Q101-qualified 650V gallium nitride (GaN) field-effect transistors (FETs) for high-voltage power conversion applications – says that the Σ-7 F of Japan’s Yaskawa Electric Corp is the first servo motor to use high-voltage (HV) GaN.
Transphorm says that its technology enables Yaskawa to deliver better performance in a smaller form factor versus what is possible with incumbent silicon. The co-developed Σ-7 F device integrates the servo amplifier with the servo motor itself. Further, Yaskawa’s use of Transphorm’s GaN FETs produces an integrated servo motor half the size of a similar design using silicon technology.
The Σ-7 F resulted from a strong multi-year partnership between Yaskawa and Transphorm. Yaskawa’s R&D team as well as its Quality and Production team worked closely with members of Transphorm’s GaN Development, Applications, Quality and Manufacturing teams. Additionally, Yaskawa tapped into Transphorm’s design resources and tools throughout the development process, which are available to customers through Transphorm’s Silicon Valley Center of Excellence.
The Σ-7 F series — AC servo motors in a three-phase bridge configuration — uses Transphorm’s HV GaN FETs in a standard three-lead TO-220 package. The topology will be deployed across Yaskawa’s full Σ-7 F product line, which currently includes three servo motors ranging from 100W to 400W. The integrated motor allows the industrial manufacturing system to simplify cabling in a daisy-chain configuration. Further, it reduces the system’s control panel cabinet size by as much as 30%, given: a reduction in the size of the servo motor itself; elimination of the power supply cable’s terminal block due to a reduction in cabling required; and a smaller heat-sink due to lower losses using Transphorm’s GaN
Transphorm says that, compared with incumbent technologies, its HV GaN technology inherently delivers better efficiency via lower gate charge, faster switching speeds and smaller reverse recovery charge, while offering high reliability. Applications designed on Transphorm GaN also achieve smaller device size, higher power density and lower overall system costs, it adds.
The Σ-7 F targets industrial multi-axis automation systems commonly used in conveyance equipment as well as food product and packaging manufacturing. Such automation systems must provide high precision, high throughput, repeatability and design flexibility.
“The Σ-7 F servo motor is our second Transphorm GaN product,” says Kazuhiro Imanaga, general manager, Servo Drives Technology Department, Motion Control Division, Yaskawa Electric. “When delivered by trusted suppliers, GaN has the potential to radically change what’s possible in industrial automation systems,” he comments. “Our belief in the Q+R of Transphorm’s GaN, along with our positive partnership experience with the company’s engineers, enables us to fulfill that vision.”