New Industry Products

High-Power GaN Converter IMS Evaluation Platform

March 17, 2018 by Paul Shepard

This Insulated Metal Substrate (IMS) evaluation platform from GaN Systems can be used to evaluate the electrical and thermal performance benefits of GaNPX® E-HEMTs (Enhancement mode High Electron Mobility Transistors) on an IMS for high power applications. The platform consists of a motherboard and separate half-bridge IMS modules (3kW and 6kW).

These assemblies can be configured into any of 12 different topologies, architectures and operating modes. The IMS Evaluation modules can also be purchased independently for use as a high-power GaN intelligent power module (IPM) to be used with the designer's own board for in-system prototyping.

A frequent challenge for power designers is to engineer a product that has excellent power density while simultaneously reducing the cost of the system.

This IMS evaluation platform demonstrates an inexpensive way to improve heat transfer, to increase power density and reduce system cost. An IMS PCB is used to cool GaN Systems' bottom-side cooled power transistors. An IMS PCB is also known as Metal Core/Aluminum PCB.

Examples of applications that have successfully used this approach include:

  • Automotive: 3.3kW-22kW on board charger, dc-dc, 3-Φ inverter, high power wireless charger
  • Industrial: 3-7kW photovoltaic inverter and energy storage system (ESS), motor drive / VFD
  • Server/Datacenter: 3kW server ac-dc power supply.
  • Consumer: residential energy storage system (ESS)

This evaluation platform consists up of a motherboard and IMS evaluation modules The IMS evaluation modules are configured as a half bridge and are available in 2 power levels; 2-4kW and 4-7kW.

(click on image to enlarge)

With these building blocks, the evaluation platform can be purchased in 4 different configurations: low power and high power, half bridge and full bridge. The IMS Evaluation modules can also be purchased independently to be used with the users' own board for in-system prototyping.

Using this platform, power designers can evaluate the performance of GaN Systems' E-HEMT in high power and high efficiency applications.

The IMS evaluation module is populated with the newest and highest power E-HEMT from GaN Systems. The GS66516B is a bottom-side cooled E-HEMT, rated at 650V/25mΩ. The embedded GaNPX® SMD package has the following features:

  • Dual symmetrical gate and source sense (kelvin source) for flexible PCB layout and paralleling.
  • Large power source/thermal pad for improved thermal dissipation.
  • Bottom-side cooled packaging for conventional PCB or advanced IMS/Cu inlay thermal design.
  • Ultra-low inductance for high frequency switching.

The IMS evaluation module is a two-board assembly that includes GaN E-HEMTs, gate drivers, isolated dc-dc supply, dc bus decoupling capacitors and a heatsink to form a fully-functional half-bridge power stage. It was designed for users to gain hands-on experience in the following ways:

  • Evaluate the GaN E-HEMT performance in any half bridge based topology, over a range of operating conditions. This can be done using either the accompanying power motherboard (P/N: GSP65MB-EVB) or with the users' own board for in-system prototyping.
  • Use as a thermal and electrical design reference of the GS66516B GaNPX® SMD Package in demanding high-power applications
  • Design concept for compact GaN smart power modules (or IPMs)
  • Evaluate the performance of GaN E-HEMTs in parallel, for high power applications.
  • Achieve high power density with its vertical design concept.