GaN Technology Is Coming To Cars

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Traditionally, power conversion has been accomplished using silicon-based power transistors. However, many emerging computing applications require more power in much smaller form factors. Silicon-based power conversion is not keeping pace with these demands. The advent of commercial and cost-effective gallium nitride (GaN) power transistors and integrated circuits signals a new age in power electronics.

Automotive electronics is one of the emerging areas which can take full advantage of the improved efficiency, speed, smaller size, and lower cost of GaN devices.

AEC Q101 qualification of two new GaN devices

In order to pursue the automotive industry’s trend of replacing Si MOSFETs with GaN devices, Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) has recently completed automotive AEC Q101 qualification for two enhancement mode gallium nitride (eGaN) devices.

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Both products, the EPC2202 and EPC2203, are designed for a wide range of emerging automotive applications including light detection and ranging (LiDAR), High-Intensity Headlights, 48 V – 12 V DC-DC Converters and ultra−high fidelity infotainment systems.

The EPC2202 and EPC2203 are discrete transistors in wafer level chip-scale packaging (WLCS) with 80 VDS ratings. These are the first EPC products to have completed AEC Q101 qualification testing, the company says.

Key features of EPC2202 and EPC2203 at a glance:

  • The EPC2202 is an 80 V, 16 mΩ enhancement-mode FET with a pulsed current rating of 75 A in a 2.1mm x 1.6mm chip-scale package.
  • The EPC2203 is an 80 V, 73 mΩ part with a pulsed current rating of 18 A in a 0.9mm x 0.9mm chip-scale package.
  • These eGaN FETs are many times smaller and achieve switching speeds 10 – 100 times faster than their silicon MOSFET counterparts.
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To complete AEC Q101 testing, EPC’s eGaN FETs underwent rigorous environmental and bias-stress testing, including humidity testing with bias (H3TRB), high-temperature reverse bias (HTRB), high-temperature gate bias (HTGB), temperature cycling (TC), as well as several other tests.

EPC’s CEO and co-founder Alex Lidow notes, “This is just the beginning. These two initial automotive products will be followed by a constant stream of transistors and integrated circuits designed to enable autonomous driving and improve fuel economy and safety. Our eGaN technology is faster, smaller, more efficient, and more reliable than the aging silicon power MOSFET used in today’s vehicles.”

The EPC2202 eGaN FET is priced for 1K units at $1.57 each, while the EPC2203 is priced for 1K units at $0.44 each. Both products are available for immediate delivery from Digi-Key.

For more information, click here.

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