7 October 2020
EPC Space launches rad-hard eGaN drivers and power stages
EPC Space LLC of Haverhill, MA, USA has announced a family of radiation-hardened enhancement-mode GaN drivers and power stages. Rad Hard GaN drivers are optimized to drive Rad Hard GaN transistors in critical spaceborne systems. Rad Hard power stages integrate a high-speed gate drive circuit with power switches to provide a complete power stage in a tiny footprint for smaller, lower-weight systems.
EPC Space was established in June as a joint venture between Efficient Power Conversion Corp of El Segundo, CA, USA – which makes enhancement-mode gallium nitride on silicon (eGaN) power field-effect transistors (FETs) for power management applications – and VPT Inc of Blacksburg, VA, USA (part of the HEICO Corp subsidiary HEICO Electronic Technologies Group). The JV is focused on designing and manufacturing high-reliability, radiation-hardened enhancement-mode GaN-based power conversion devices for space and other harsh environments.
The new product line of drivers and power stages includes ultra-fast low-side eGaN drivers, ultra-fast dual low-side eGaN drivers, and half-bridge drivers with integrated eGaN power switches. The devices are suitable for high-speed DC-DC conversion, synchronous rectification, commercial satellite electrical power systems (EPS) and avionics, and multi-phase motor drives. Thousands of these devices are currently flying in orbit as motor drivers for satellite reaction wheels.
EPC Space says that, beyond the performance improvement inherent from using GaN-based devices, these products offer superior radiation hardness under heavy ions (SEE) and gamma radiation (TID). The firm’s devices are manufactured in an AS9100D-certified facility in the greater Boston area.
“These devices provide engineers with a higher-performance, modular solution with guaranteed electrical, thermal, and radiation performance,” says chief technology officer Max Zafrani. “In addition to very high efficiencies and extremely low parts count, operation above 1MHz enables smaller magnetics for smaller, lower-weight designs and an extremely cost-competitive solution.”