CAD | USD

Power GaN Products and Resources Available at Digi-Key Electronics

GaN-related technical content has been showing up in my inbox and media streams I follow with increasing frequency. Much of the content discusses GaN’s power efficiency and size reduction benefits as compared to traditional silicon. GaN is making inroads into power design from wireless charging to telecommunications infrastructure, so I thought it would be useful to provide some background and an overview of some relevant GaN products and resources now available at Digi-Key.

What is GaN?

Gallium Nitride (GaN) is a wide band-gap semiconductor material that provides high electron mobility. At the transistor level, GaN provides higher current, faster switching speed and smaller physical size than conventional silicon transistors. Enhancement mode GaN (e-GaN) and cascode depletion mode GaN (cascode d-GaN) switch architectures are also available.

(Image source: Texas Instruments)

The e-GaN switch is a normally off GaN high-electron mobility transistor (HEMT) that operates like a normal MOSFET but requires more attention to gate-drive circuit design. Gate-drivers specifically designed for switching e-GaN HEMTs are recommended. The cascode depletion mode GaN switch uses a normally on depletion mode GaN HEMT in series with a silicon MOSFET in a cascode structure. The silicon MOSFET controls the turning on and off of the GaN HEMT in the cascode switch so standard MOSFET gate drivers can be used. Parts integrating a GaN HEMT and associated GaN gate-drive circuitry are also available.

(Image source: Infineon)

GaN Applications

Use of GaN in power applications has grown significantly as more suppliers provide products to the market. GaN’s advantages over silicon include higher switching frequencies, lower losses, and smaller physical size. This translates to engineers having more choices when designing space constrained and highly efficient power circuits. Applications that benefit most from GaN are those requiring high efficiency or tight physical space requirements. Markets include server, telecom, adaptors/chargers, wireless charging, and Class D audio.

GaN Products

GaN FETs, drivers, and integrated devices are available at Digi-Key. Manufacturers include EPC, Infineon, Navitas, Texas Instruments and transphorm.

EPC

(Image source: EPC)

Since delivering commercial enhancement-mode GaN (eGaN®) transistors in 2009, EPC now offers a broad selection of GaN FETs and integrated GaN devices. FETs are available in both single transistors and arrays. Single transistors are available with Vdss ratings up to 200 V and continuous ID up to 90 A (TA = 25˚C). Transistor arrays are available in Dual Common Source, Half Bridge and Half Bridge + Synchronous Bootstrap configurations. Recommended gate-drivers are referenced in EPC’s How2AppNote 005. Integrated GaN devices include the EPC2112 and EPC2115. The EPC2112 contains a 200 V GaN power transistor and optimized gate driver in a 2.9 mm x 1.1 mm package. The EPC2115 contains two monolithic 150 V GaN power transistors, each with an optimized gate driver, in a 2.9 mm x 1.1 mm package.

EPC’s devices are provided in chip-scale packaging and GaN transistors are much smaller than their silicon counterparts. This combination results in significantly smaller devices using less PCB real estate and at a lower cost. The smaller footprint and greater performance of GaN enables designs not possible with larger silicon parts. Evaluation and demonstration boards are available for EPC’s FETs and ICs. Boards include access to Quick Start guides, schematics, BOMs, and Gerber files.

Infineon

Infineon offers semiconductor-based power devices in silicon (Si), silicon carbide (SiC), and gallium nitride (GaN) technologies. In GaN technology, Infineon has developed their 600 V CoolGaN™ enhancement-mode (normally off) GaN power transistors and EiceDRIVER™ single-channel isolated gate driver ICs for high voltage GaN switches. The 1EDF5673K, 1EDF5673F, and 1EDS5663H EiceDRIVER™ gate driver ICs are highly complementary to the CoolGaN™ power FETs. Key benefits of the GaN EiceDRIVER™ family include positive and negative gate drive currents, firmly holding gate voltage at zero during off­ phase and integrated galvanic isolation.

(Image source: Infineon)

The EVAL1EDFG1HBGANTOBO1 half-bridge evaluation board enables easy, rapid setup and test of CoolGaN™ transistors along with the dedicated GaN EiceDRIVER™ isolated gate driver IC. The EVAL2500WPFCGANATOBO1 is a 2500 W full-bridge totem-pole power factor correction evaluation board using CoolGaN™ FETs and EiceDRIVER™ GaN driver ICs.

Navitas

Navitas offers GaN power integrated circuits. The ICs are monolithic GaN chips integrating a GaN power FET, gate-driver, and logic. Having the complete circuit in a single die provides significant benefits in size, switching speed, efficiency, and ease of integration. NV6113, NV6115, and NV6117 are single switch devices that can be used in topologies such as buck, boost, half-bridge, and full-bridge. The NVE031E is a power supply demonstration board available that uses the NV6115.

Texas Instruments

Texas Instruments offers both GaN drivers and integrated GaN power stage devices. Drivers provide designers with flexibility in choice of GaN output FETs to meet specific requirements. Integrated power stage devices minimize parasitic inductance to increase switching performance and reduce board space.

TI’s GaN drivers include the LMG1205, LMG1210, LMG1020, and LM5113-Q1. The LMG1205 is designed to drive both the high-side and low-side enhancement mode GaN FETs in a synchronous buck, boost, or half-bridge configuration. The LMG1210 has the same functionality as LMG1205 but offers superior switching performance, resistor-configurable deadtime, and an internal LDO for a wider VDD range. LMG12xx evaluation boards include the LMG1205HBEVM and LMG1210EVM-012. The LMG1020 is a single, low-side driver designed for driving GaN FETs and logic-level MOSFETs in high-speed applications. Its evaluation board is the LMG1020EVM-006. The LM5113-Q1 is AEC-Q100 qualified and designed to drive both the high-side and low-side enhancement mode GaN FETs or silicon MOSFETs in a synchronous buck, boost, or half bridge configuration for automotive applications. Its evaluation board is the LM5113LLPEVB.

(Image source: Texas Instruments)

TI’s integrated power stage devices include the LMG3411 and LM5200. The LMG3411 integrates a 600 V GaN FET, driver, and protection circuitry. Its evaluation board is the LMG3411EVM-029. The LMG5200 integrates two 80-V GaN FETs driven by one high-frequency GaN FET driver in a half-bridge configuration. Evaluation boards for this product include the LMG5200EVM-02 and BOOSTXL-3PHGANINV.

transphorm

Finally, transphorm offers GaN power switches based on a normally-off low voltage silicon MOSFET and a normally-on high voltage GaN HEMT in cascode configuration.

(Image source: transphorm)

GaN devices from transphorm act like ultra-fast FETs with low-charge body diodes. Performance advantages over conventional silicon are low recovery charge and short recovery time. The switches provide extremely fast rise with rise times of <10 ns. Both 650 V and 900 V devices are available. Multiple evaluation boards are also available including AC/DC converters and DC/AC inverters.

 

Additional Resources:

1 – Digi-Key’s Reference Design Library includes several GaN-based reference designs.

About this author

Image of Scott Raeker

Scott Raeker, Technical Marketing Manager at Digi-Key Electronics, has been with the company since 2006. He has over 35 years of experience in the electronics industry and holds an Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Minnesota. In his spare time, Scott enjoys the outdoors of Northwest Minnesota and working on his turn-of-the-century farmhouse.

More posts by Scott Raeker