Eighth brick DC-DC power converter demonstration board features eGaN FETs

May 24, 2012 // By Paul Buckley
Efficient Power Conversion Corporation has introduced a fully functional eighth brick converter. The board is a 36 V – 60 V input to 12 V output, 375 kHz phase-shifted full bridge eighth brick converter with 17 A maximum output current.

TheEPC9102 uses the 100 V EPC2001 eGaN FETs in conjunction with the recently introducedLM5113100V half-bridge gate driver from Texas Instruments. The LM5113 is the industry’s first driver to optimally drive and fully release the benefits of enhancement mode gallium nitride FETs.  The EPC9102 demonstrates the performance capabilities of high switching frequency eGaN FETs when coupled with this eGaN driver.

The whole converter is constructed within the standard eighth brick footprint and height (2.300 x 0.900 x 0.400 inch) requirements.  Despite its small size, the board has a peak power efficiency of 94.8% while delivering 10 amps of current with a 36 V input.

The EPC9102 demonstration circuit was designed to showcase the size and performance that can readily be achieved at 375 kHz operation using eGaN FETs rather than to optimize the design for maximum output power. The operating frequency is roughly 50% - 100% higher than similar commercial eighth brick DC-DC power converters.

To assist the power system design engineer, the EPC9102 demonstration board is oversized to allow connections for bench evaluation. There are various probe points to facilitate simple waveform measurements and efficiency calculation. The board is intended for bench evaluation with low ambient temperature and forced air cooling.

Availability and Pricing

EPC9102 demo boards are priced at $306.25 each and are available for immediate delivery from Digi-Key.

A Quick Start Guide, http://epc-co.com/epc/documents/guides/EPC9102_qsg.pdf, is included with the EPC9102 demo board for reference and ease of use.