New Industry Products

EPC eGaN Power Transistors Break Silicon Cost-Speed Barriers

April 28, 2015 by Jeff Shepard

Efficient Power Conversion Corporation (EPC) announces the 60V EPC2035 and 100V EPC2036 eGaN power transistors designed to compete in price, while outperforming silicon. Price, the last major barrier to widespread adoption of GaN transistors as silicon MOSFET replacements, has fallen. These products demonstrate that gallium nitride can displace silicon semiconductors and drive the industry back onto the Moore's Law growth curve.

The power MOSFETs used for comparison to these new GaN FETs were selected based on having comparable maximum rated on-resistance (RDS(on)) and having the same maximum rated breakdown voltage (VDS(max)). Note that the indicators of switching speed, QOSS, QGD, and QG, are shown in the table for comparison (lower values are better).

Likewise, the capacitances are significantly less for the new EPC2035 and EPC2036 than for their counterpart MOSFETs. Device area is also shown for comparison and it can be seen that the EPC2035 and EPC2036 are one-fortieth the area of their equivalent MOSFET component. Power system designers can, for the first time, realize lower cost, superior switching speeds, and a meaningfully smaller final product when designing with gallium nitride parts.

“EPC has done it . . . we have broken through the competitive MOSFET price barrier and are announcing two new products that have the performance of GaN at the price of a MOSFET!" proclaimed Alex Lidow, CEO of Efficient Power Conversion Corp.

(click here to view larger table)

“The foundation of the entire electronics industry and the namesake of a region known for its incredible technology innovation, is in peril,” Lidow continued. “Silicon has reached its inherent performance limitations, failing to fuel innovation at the speed required to fulfill the promise of Moore’s Law and help companies drive maximum sales and valuation. GaN is being used by companies the world over to fuel their innovation pipelines, deliver a performance advantage and bring to market applications never before possible,” concluded Lidow.

Development boards are available to support “in circuit” performance evaluation of this new family of eGaN FETs. The boards measure 2” x 1.5” and are in a half-bridge topology, featuring the eGaN FETs, onboard gate drives, supply and bypass capacitors. The boards contain all the critical components are laid out for optimal switching performance.

Pricing for the EPC2035 power transistors at 1K units is $0.36 each and $0.38 for the EPC2036. The 10K unit prices are $0.29 and $0.31 respectively. The EPC9049 and EPC9050 development boards are $104.40 each.