Evaluation platform for GaN transistor range, from GaN Systems

November 21, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Gallium nitride power switch specialists GaN Systems recently introduced an evaluation platform that allows designers to explore the characteristics of a range of power devices, using a single bas- board. Rather than having to source an evaluation kit for each device and power level, the kit uses a common motherboard and plug-in daughter cards appropriate to individual devices.

The universal motherboard and four daughterboards will, the company says, help power design engineers to easily evaluate GaN E-HEMT performance in any system design. GaN Systems (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) builds lateral-transistor device in gallium nitride-on-silicon, using its “island” technology, and makes a range of switches in a proprietary top-and-bottom contact, thin package outline.


GaN Systems is also launching the GS61008P-EVBBK, a highly efficient 48V to 12V synchronous buck converter based on the GS61008P 100V, 90A GaN E-HEMT. This system demonstrates very high efficiency at frequencies up to 2 MHz.


Using the universal motherboard (GS665MB-EVB), a family of four daughterboards (pictured) ranging from 750W to 2,500W consists of two GaN Systems 650V GaN Enhancement-mode HEMTs (E-HEMTs) and all necessary circuits, including half-bridge gate drivers, isolated power supplies and an optional heatsink to form a high performance half bridge power stage.


The platform serves as a reference design and evaluation tool as well as a deployment-ready solution for easy in-system evaluation. It is already established that as GaN switches are extremely fast, correct drive conditions are essential. The circuit on ech daughter card, and the exact layout – which can be critical in achieving peformance – can be duplicated in a target design.

The vertical mount style has a 35 mm height, which fits the majority of 1U design and allows evaluation of GaN E-HEMT in a traditional through-hole type power supply board. A current shunt position is provided for easy switching energy characterization testing. A universal form factor and footprint are used to allow engineers to compare various power levels for optimal cost/performance decisions.


The evaluation family of boards comprises;


Evaluation Board

Part Number


Part Number




GaN E-HEMT 650 V/15 A, 100 m Ω



GaN E-HEMT 650 V/30 A, 50 m Ω



GaN E-HEMT 650 V/30 A, 50 m Ω, top side cooled