New Industry Products

EPC Unveils 300 Watt 48V to 12V Bidirectional DC-DC Converter

January 25, 2021 by Gary Elinoff

The new power converter is available in a 33 x 22.9 mm 16th brick package and achieves efficiency levels of 95% and better

The EPC9151 integrates EPC’s EPC2152 ePower Stage integrated circuit with the dsPIC33CK digital signal controller (DSC) from Microchip


EPC Unveils 300 Watt 48V to/from 12V Bidirectional DC-DC Converter Figure
Image courtesy of EPC


GaN on silicon technology has made it possible to place power transistors, as well as logical and other elements, all on the same monolithic substrate. EPC’s EPC2152 ePower Stage integrated circuit includes high side and low side transistors to form a half bridge circuit. By also fabricating driver circuitry on the same substrate, EPC has developed a single chip, monolithic power solution. 

The fully integrated EPC9151 brick power converter is completed with the incorporation of Microchip’s dsPIC33CK digital signal controller (DSC).


Saving Space

Brick formatted DC converters are often employed in automotive and telecommunication applications to convert power from 48 volt rails to 12 volts, or vice versa. The high level of integration delivered by the EPC9151 enables an impressive power density. It also saves space, allows a lower BOM and ultimately greater overall system reliability.

These are all critical concerns in applications such as data center power, where space is at a premium and maximum up-time is a must.

As described by Alex Lidow, CEO of EPC, “eGaN FETs and integrated circuits provide the fast switching, small size, and low cost needed to meet the stringent power density requirements of leading-edge computing applications.” He goes on to say that “The EPC9151 is an ideal example of the capabilities of the integrated power stage, EPC2152, to increase the power density and reduce system costs for the 48 V power conversion requirement of these applications.” 


EPC’s EPC2152

The monolithic chip includes an eGaN Fet half-bridge power stage, and also sports all necessary input logic interfaces, bootstrap charging, level shifting and gate drive buffer circuitry. A key benefit of the close integration of the FETs and the gate drive buffers is that the effects of gate drive loop inductance and common source inductance are largely eliminated. 


Functional block diagram of the EPC2152
Functional block diagram of the EPC2152. Image courtesy of EPC


Key Specifications includes include:

  • Maximum PWM frequency range is 3 MHz
  • Operating input voltage range is up to 60 volts
  • Bias supply is 12 volts


Important features

  • High side and low side control inputs are separate
  • The unit work with 3.3 or 5.0 volt control logic inputs
  • There is over  100 V/ns false trigger immunity at the output node
  • Undervoltage lockout for low side and high side power supplies


The dsPIC33CK DSC from Microchip

The dsPIC33CK are a family of single core digital signal controllers available in a variety of versions. They feature up to 256 KB of program flash and up to 24 KB of RAM. There is either one or three 12-bit 3.6 Msps ADCs and one or three 12-bit DACs

Microchip has also collaborated with Transphorm. The collaboration involved the integration of the dsPIC33CK into Transphorm's 4 kW AC-to-DC power factor correction (PFC) evaluation board.


Getting to Market Faster

EPC offers the EPC9151 demonstration board. It features both the EPC2152 ePower stage and the  DSPIC33CK digital controller


EPC Unveils 300 Watt 48V to/from 12V Bidirectional DC-DC Converter Figure
Image courtesy of EPC


The unit is for evaluation purposes only. It can’t be used in final products.