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The GaN semiconductor design view from upcoming APEC show


Gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductor technology and applications are going to be a key highlight at this year’s Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC) to be held on March 20th to 24th in Houston, Texas. The analog and power show is expected to demonstrate product roadmaps for GaN-based designs and applications with live demos, seminars, and technical presentations.

Take Innoscience Technology, an integrated device manufacturer (IDM) entirely focused on GaN technology. It will demonstrate applications such as PD chargers, DC-DC converters for data centers, and laser drivers for LiDARs. The company will also exhibit low voltage (30 V-150 V) and high voltage (650 V) GaN devices widely used in applications spanning from USB PD chargers and adapters to data centers and mobile phones to LED drivers.

Figure 1 Innoscience will make low- and high-voltage demos in collaboration with specialized gate driver houses like Heyday and MinDCet. Source: Innoscience

Denis Marcon, general manager of Innoscience Europe, will also make a presentation on GaN’s mass manufacturing and reliability as well as advance tests that Innoscience has been performing on its gallium-nitride-on-silicon (GaN-on-Si) power devices. Innoscience boasts a monthly capacity of 10,000 8-inch wafers per month, and it expects that this capacity will grow to 70,000 wafers by 2025.

Another GaN specialist, Efficient Power Conversion (EPC), will give multiple presentations and demonstrate its eGaN FETs and ICs serving high-density power applications in automotive and computing markets. EPC sees these markets coalescing on the 48-V bus and GaN becoming the voltage node of choice.

Figure 2 A 5000 W/in3 LLC design will demonstrate high density for power-hungry AI and crypto mining applications. Source: Efficient Power Conversion (EPC)

For automotive, EPC will show how GaN enables 2-kW bidirectional converters that increase efficiency, shrink the size, and reduce system costs for mild hybrid and electric vehicles. Next, the chipmaker will exhibit GaN-based motors capable of driving everything from eScooters to server fans to vacuum cleaners.

EPC will also showcase the GaN-based USB-C PD 3.1 fast chargers that can be up to 40% smaller and charge 2.5x faster than traditional silicon-based chargers. Moreover, the semiconductors firm will work live with users to demonstrate the web-based design tools available in the GaN Power Bench to accelerate design cycles.

GaN power IC maker Navitas Semiconductor will be another notable presence at the APEC show floor; besides product demos, the El Segundo, California-based company will be staging a competition to win a $60,000 Model 3 Tesla. Navitas will also give away fast chargers based on its GaNFast power ICs.

Figure 3 The GaNFast ICs power the ultra-fast chargers for Vivo iQoo mobile phones. Source: Navitas Semiconductor

The GaNFast ICs power the ultra-fast chargers from Dell, Lenovo, Xiaomi, LG, Lenovo, Vivo, and many others. Beyond fast chargers, Navitas will demonstrate GaN-based hardware for higher-power applications such as high-efficiency power supply for data centers and fast charging for electric vehicles.

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