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Aveox and GaN Systems Partner on 3-Phase Active Power Factor Correction

March 18, 2019 by Scott McMahan

GaN Systems announced a strategic partnership with Aveox, a leading provider of electro-mechanical power solutions. The intention of the partnership is to significantly reduce the size and weight of their 3-phase ac power converters with active power factor correction (APFC).

According to GaN Systems, this partnership enables the development of the most power-dense, aerospace-compliant power conversion modules for a variety of cockpit, galley and cabin equipment that utilizes 3-phase power. Aveox says its high-efficiency power conversion modules for aerospace and defense systems are quickly becoming the go-to replacement for legacy transformer rectifier units (TRUs). (See image above comparing  GaN APFC in the foreground with a TRU behind).

GaN Systems says its power devices let the modules be more than five times smaller than conventional units that use silicon technology. GaN switches have very-low losses which enable an efficiency of >97%, significantly reducing the amount of heat generated.

Using compact GaNpx bottom-cooled devices from GaN Systems, Aveox was able to combine both the semiconductor switches and surface-mounted magnetics onto a single Insulated Metal Substrate (IMS) board, making the converter smaller than previously possible.

Leveraging technology from GaN Systems and the features of GaN, Aveox was able to deliver what both companies describe as the smallest 3-Phase APFC modules for defense and aerospace applications. Aveox was able to deliver a power density of 10kW/kg and compliance with stringent RTCA DO-160 power quality requirements the company was also able to create "simple electronics" architecture as defined per DO-254 and ABD Sec 1.8, which reduces certification costs.

Other performance and feature improvements resulting from the use of GaN technology inlcude achieving higher power than a silicon-based system in a smaller footprint.

"Running GaN Systems devices at high frequency has enabled us to significantly reduce the size and weight of our newest generation power conversion modules, said David Palombo, CEO of Aveox Inc. "Together with GaN Systems, we are excited to see our advanced technologies enable leading aerospace companies to develop some of the world's most efficient and lightest weight power systems for safety critical applications."

"We are excited to be working with leading companies like Aveox and seeing the growing number of innovative, state-of-the-art GaN-based products released in the market, especially in industries where durability and reliability count," said Jim Witham, CEO of GaN Systems. "With this partnership, we are seeing how GaN Systems is playing a pivotal role in providing an innovative energy-efficient solution. Most noticeably, there is a significant amount of momentum in various markets, as more companies realize the outcomes with GaN to enable smaller, lower cost, energy-efficient power systems."