ROHM and Delta Electronics Announce GaN-focused Strategic Partnership

May 03, 2022 by Gary Elinoff

With Delta’s power supply development know-how and ROHM’s vast experience in power semiconductors, the companies will look to develop 600 V gallium nitride (GaN) power devices optimized for a wide range of power supply systems.

Electric motors and power supplies account for a significant portion of the modern world’s electricity consumption, making the optimization of their efficiency absolutely essential in the transition to decarbonized societies. Power semiconductors are the key to that effort, and the growing adoption of GaN devices, whose quicker switching speeds enable more robust power density, represents a monumental step forward. 

Amidst that backdrop, ROHM last Thursday entered into a strategic partnership with power supply developer Delta Electronics, whereby the two will together design and mass produce next-gen GaN offerings.


Delta Electronics brings decades of power supply development experience to its partnership with ROHM. Image used courtesy of Delta Electronics 


The move builds on ROHM’s March release of its 150 V GaN HEMTs, the first in a new EcoGaN line of power devices that the company is looking to quickly expand.


The New Strategic Partnership

ROHM and Delta have been engaged in what ROHM describes as “technological exchanges” for many years, enabling both companies to advance their sophisticated power device technology. 

Per Kazuhide Ino, ROHM’s managing executive officer and CSO, power semiconductors and their related semiconductor peripherals are, and will continue to be, a key focus for the company. In addition to expanding its lineup of EcoGaN FETs, Kazuhide said, ROHM will look to utilize this strategic partnership to develop GaN intelligent power modules (IPM) that adapt ROHM’s peripherals at the earliest stages of the design process.


With Delta Electronics, ROHM will look to develop GaN IPMs; Here, its BM65364S-VA. Image used courtesy of ROHM


As for Delta Electronics, the company sees the strengthening of its product lineup as a key business strategy, Vice Chairman Mark Ko said in a written statement. The company has high expectations for this collaboration with ROHM, Ko said, particularly that ROHM’s strength in analog (Nano) and other technologies will allow for the provision of a wide range of solutions that meet the needs of the global power supply market. 


ROHM’s EcoGaN Line of Power Semiconductors

Through its GaN development with Delta Electronics, Kyoto-based ROHM will look to further an ambitious sustainability target set by the government of Japan — achieve 30% energy savings at new data centers by 2030. Here, EcoGaN is the method.

One of the highlights of the power SiC chips fabricated under the EcoGan umbrella is their ultra-low RDS(ON)s. What this means is that when the chip is in its “ON” state, there will be as little as 7 milliohms resistance between the chip’s drain and source. This is of vital importance, because power is wasted when it has to cross resistance; So the lower the resistance, the less power is wasted, leaving more available as useful output power.

Another great advantage of ROHM’s EcoGaN devices is that they can be turned “ON” with 5 V at the gate, but can tolerate as much as 8 V with no damage. 

Conventional GaN devices can only tolerate 6 V, making fast overshoot voltages all too common and in turn forcing designers to add in extra circuitry as necessary protection. This takes space, adds weight, costs money and, of course, wastes yet more power. But all of this is avoided with the tech ROHM employs in its EcoGaN FETs. 


EcoGan FETs sport an enhanced voltage buffer. Image used courtesy of ROHM


The first of those FETs deliver breakdown voltages of 150 V, and together ROHM and Delta Electronics will look to develop 600 V editions that can be optimized for a wide range of power supply systems. 


Delta Electronics’ Commitment to Sustainability

For its part, Delta Electronics will look to the partnership in furthering its own reputation for sustainability. Though the practice is now a standard tenet of most companies’ visions, the company, based in Taiwan, has pursued it with particular zeal. 

This February, the company was honored by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) as an “A” Grade Supplier Engagement Leader, in recognition of its global leadership on climate change and water security. And in 2021 the company won the first Climate Champion Award from the British Chamber of Commerce in Taipei. 


Feature image used courtesy of Glassdoor