EPC adds 7 mΩ/200V, and 5 mΩ/150V GaN power transistors

May 29, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) says it has “widened the performance gap” by introducing its latest gallium nitride power transistors; lower on-resistance, lower capacitance, higher current, and superior thermal performance enable high power density converters, the company asserts.

These eGaN FETs – enhancement-mode, or normally-off – have a maximum operating temperature of 150°C and pulsed currents capabilities of 260A (150V EPC2033) and 140A (EPC2034). Applications include DC-DC converters, synchronous rectification in DC/DC and AC/DC converters, motor drives, LED lighting, and industrial automation.

In a recent conversation with EDN Europe, EPC CEO Alex Lidow commented on the progress of GaN, “I said five years ago that we would deliver devices at lower cost than equivalent silicon [transistors] – now we have done that, with parts in the 100V and 60V ranges. For equivalent performance, [and even at low volume] in one-off or in 1000s, we have parts priced less than the silicon equivalent.” Lidow comments that the lower losses of GaN allow like-for-like electrical parameters to be achieved with smaller dice, and [once routine volume production is established] at lower costs. He emphasises that the parts he describes are not “loss leaders”, “We’re a start-up, still a small company – we can’t do that.”

In terms of making GaN a larger part of the power control market, Lidow believes that device technology is now in place; what is not there? “The supporting silicon,” he says, referring to functions such as driver ICs, “isn’t fast enough to make use of the speed of GaN. The pace is being set by the control ICs, in areas such as wireless power and LiDAR.”

In December’s EDN Europe we carried an item on testing to evaluate the real speed of samples of EPC devices: Alex Lidow says that others making the same assessments have had to develop specialised test fixtures and methods to resolve power switching waveforms at 200 psec or better, “You can’t do that with the device in a package, with gate connection inductances over 100 pH.”

The products in the present announcement join EPC’s family of “Relaxed Pitch” devices featuring a 1 mm ball pitch. The wider pitch allows for