Articles Demystify Use of GaN Transistors In Power Supply Designs

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In a three-part article series in How2Power Today, engineers from Efficient Power Conversion Corporation will instruct power supply designers on how to apply the new GaN technology, easing the transition from silicon power MOSFETs to gallium-nitride power transistors.

Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) Corporation in conjunction with How2Power Today will present a series of technical articles revealing how engineers can achieve the extraordinary benefits of gallium nitride (GaN) power technology in their power supply designs. In this three-part series, EPC application engineers will explain how designers can apply the new enhancement-mode GaN (eGaN) power transistors to maximum advantage, deliver much anticipated data on device reliability, and showcase breakthrough capabilities in power supply design made possible by eGaN technology. The articles are available to all subscribers of How2Power Today, a free monthly newsletter that presents the latest technology for power conversion.

"EPC designed our family of enhancement-mode GaN transistors to function just like a power MOSFET but with a quantum leap in performance. We also designed these products to be produced in a standard, low-cost CMOS foundry so the engineer can access this new capability without having to overcome a huge cost penalty," said Alex Lidow, co-founder and CEO of EPC. "The cost of a new system design, however, is also significant. In an effort to reduce this cost, EPC has put extensive resources behind characterizing the products and developing practical applications guides. This series of articles should give the power supply designer a clear idea of when their products will be ready for an eGaN upgrade, and how much time, effort, and risk will be involved," Lidow added.

"The introduction of eGaN power devices promises to revolutionize the way cutting-edge power supplies are designed. However, before engineers can obtain the benefits of this technology, they must understand how the use of eGaN transistors differs from that of the silicon MOSFETs they replace," said David G. Morrison, Editor of How2Power Today. "By publishing this series of application-oriented articles in How2Power Today, EPC will provide engineers with the in-depth knowledge they need to confidently approach their first power supply designs using the new eGaN devices."

The article series begins in the June 2010 issue of How2Power Today with Johan Strydom's "How2 Get The Most Out Of GaN Power Transistors." In this design feature, Strydom will explain how enhancement-mode GaN transistors operate, discuss their gate-drive requirements, and present different gate-driver solutions.

In the September issue, a feature on device reliability will present the results of the most comprehensive reliability testing conducted to date on GaN power transistors. This data will reflect the testing of hundreds of GaN devices over hundreds of thousands of hours under severe operating conditions. These results will give designers a realistic assessment of eGaN's readiness for commercial power conversion applications.

And finally in October, an article on dc-dc conversion at high input-to-output voltage ratios showcases a breakthrough capability enabled by eGaN power transistors. In this feature, the performance of stepdown power converters with stepdown ratios as high as 48 to 1, designed using eGaN transistors, will be measured against a comparable design based on silicon MOSFETs. The results of this study reveal that eGaN offers significantly better efficiency than even state-of-the art silicon devices.

About How2Power Today
An extension of the website, How2Power Today is a free monthly e-newsletter that presents innovative design techniques and solutions for power conversion, in-depth reporting on power components, and articles on career opportunities for engineers specializing in power electronics. The publication offers practical information on power supply design for engineers working on a wide range of applications. To receive your free subscription to How2Power Today, see

About Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) Corporation
EPC is the leader in enhancement-mode Gallium Nitride based power management devices. EPC is the first to introduce enhancement-mode Gallium-Nitride-on-Silicon transistors as power MOSFET replacements in applications such as servers, netbooks, notebooks, LED lighting, cell phones, base stations, flat-panel displays, and class-D audio amplifiers with device performance many times greater than the best silicon power MOSFETs. Visit the company's web site at


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