ST Introduces GaN Power Transistors for Power Supplies and Home Appliances

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STMicroelectronics, a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, has revealed a new family of GaN power semiconductors in the STPOWER portfolio that can significantly reduce energy use and enable slimmer designs in a huge variety of electronic products. Target applications include consumer equipment such as chargers, external power adapters for PCs, LED-lighting drivers, and power supplies inside televisions and home appliances. This equipment is produced in high volumes worldwide and, with greater efficiency, can realize significant CO2 savings. In higher-power applications, ST’s PowerGaN devices also benefit telecom power supplies, industrial motor drives, solar inverters, and electric vehicles and chargers.

“Commercializing GaN-based products is the next frontier for power semiconductors, and we are ready to realize the potential of this exciting technology. Today ST is announcing the first product in a new family, belonging to the STPOWER portfolio, that can deliver breakthrough performance for a large variety of power supplies across consumer, industrial, and automotive applications,” said Edoardo Merli, Power Transistor Macro-Division General Manager and Group Vice President of STMicroelectronics’ Automotive and Discrete Group. “We are committed to progressively building up our PowerGaN portfolio to enable customers to design more efficient, smaller power supplies everywhere.”

Gallium Nitride (GaN) is a compound wide-bandgap semiconductor material capable of supporting far higher voltages than traditional silicon without compromising on-resistance thus reducing conduction losses. Products implemented in this technology can also be switched much more efficiently, resulting in very low switching losses. The possibility of operating at higher frequencies implies the adoption of smaller passive components. All these features enable designers to cut total losses (reduce heat generated) and improve efficiency in power converters. As a result, GaN allows for miniaturization, making a PC adaptor smaller and lighter than today’s ubiquitous chargers, for example.

According to a third-party estimate, a standard mobile phone charger can be reduced by up to 40% in size when using GaN components, or it can be designed to deliver more power in the same size. Similar performance improvement in efficiency and power density can be envisioned for a broad number of applications across consumer, industrial, and automotive electronics.

The first device in ST’s new G-HEMT transistor family is the 650V SGT120R65AL with 120mOhm maximum on-resistance (RDS(on)), 15A maximum current capability, and a Kelvin source connection for optimum gate driving. It is available now in an industry-standard PowerFLAT 5×6 HV compact surface-mount package, at $3.00 (1000 pieces). Its typical applications are PC adaptors, USB wall chargers, and wireless charging.

Click here to learn more about SGT120R65AL.