EPC's Next-Generation GaN Technology Doubles Power Density

EPC's Next-Generation GaN Technology Doubles Power Density

EPC’s 80 V, 4 milli-ohms EPC2619 GaN FET is the first product in a new generation of eGaN devices that have double the power density compared to the company’s prior-generation products. This Gen 6 part has an RDS(ON) of just 4 milli-ohms in a tiny, 1.5 mm x 2.5 mm, footprint. The maximum RDS(ON) x area of the EPC2619 is 15 milli-ohms * mm2, which is five times smaller than 80 V silicon MOSFETs.

This product is designed for a range of motor drive applications such as 28 V to 48 V conversion for eBikes, eScooters, and power tools. It’s also suitable for use in high-density dc-dc converters, solar optimizers, and synchronous rectification at 12 V to 20 V in chargers, adaptors, and TV power supplies.

The EPC2619 also offers a major improvement in another figure of merit (FOM), the typical RDS(ON) x QGD, which is indicative of power losses in hard-switching applications. With the EPC2619, this FOM is 10 times better than that of 80 V silicon MOSFETs, which enables switching frequencies that are 10 times higher than silicon MOSFETs and without an efficiency penalty, thus producing the highest power density says the vendor. This makes the EPC2619 well-suited for high-frequency hard-switching 24 V to 48 V applications, such as those used in buck, buck-boost, and boost converters.

The typical RDS(ON) x QOSS, which is indicative of power losses in soft-switching applications, is 87 milli-ohms *nC for the EPC2619 - two times better than 80 V silicon MOSFETs. This makes the EPC2619 well suited for soft switching applications, such as the primary rectification full bridge for LLC-based DCX (dc transformer) dc-dc converters.

“This is just the first product of a new generation of discrete transistors and integrated circuits for EPC. With the launch of the EPC2619, EPC continues to keep GaN power devices on a path reminiscent of Moore’s Law,” noted Alex Lidow, EPC CEO and co-founder.

However, as Lidow explains, the improved performance in EPC’s Gen 6 GaN FETs comes not from a CMOS-like shrinking of transistor size versus Gen 5, but rather from improvement in device design and materials used in fabricating these GaN-on-silicon transistors. Known problem areas within the devices were addressed with advanced physics and supercomputer modeling, says Lidow.

The resulting Gen 6 devices can achieve the same RDS(ON) as Gen 5 devices in a die that is half the size. As a result, an 80 V Gen 6 device outperforms a 100 V Gen 5 device that is double its size. The familiar chart of specific on-resistance versus breakdown voltage shows the improvement in performance achieved by Gen 6 devices versus Gen 5 and where this performance stands versus the silicon and GaN limits.

The table shows how performance compares across the generations for devices of similar die size, listing RDS(ON) and various figures of merit for the 80 V EPC2619 versus the 100 V EPC2204. This table also documents the improvements in FOMs cited above versus silicon, specifically typical RDS(ON) x QOSS and RDS(ON) x QGD.

The graph illustrates the impact of Gen 6’s improved specifications on power stage performance, again comparing the similar-sized 80 V EPC2619 and the 100 V EPC2204, but also the larger 100 V EPC 2218, another Gen 5 device. With a 6.825 mm2 die, the EPC2218 is almost twice the size of the EPC2619, which has a 3.75 mm2 die. Note that the unit cost per thousand of the new Gen 6 EPC 2619 at $1.70 is greater than the same-sized Gen 5 EPC2204, but less than the larger Gen 5 EPC2218.

The EPC90153 development board is a half bridge featuring the EPC2619 GaN FET. It is designed for an 80 V maximum device voltage and 30 A maximum output current. The purpose of this board is to simplify the evaluation process of power systems designers to speed up their product’s time to market. This 2-in. x 2-in. (50.8 mm x 50.8 mm) board is designed for optimal switching performance and contains all critical components for easy evaluation.

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