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9 February 2021
Efficient Power Conversion Corp (EPC) of El Segundo, CA, USA – which makes enhancement-mode gallium nitride on silicon (eGaN) power field-effect transistors (FETs) for power management applications – has announced availability of the EPC9157, a 300W DC-DC demo board in the 1/16th brick size, measuring just 33mm x 22.9mm x 9mm (1.3-inch x 0.9-inch x 0.35-inch).
The EPC9157 demo board the web integrates the Renesas ISL81806 80V dual synchronous buck controller with the latest-generation EPC2218 eGaN FETs to achieve greater than 95% efficiency for 48V input to 12V regulated output conversion at 25A.
Brick DC-DC converters are widely used in data-center, computing, telecom and automotive applications, converting a nominal 48V to a nominal 12V distribution bus, among other output voltages. The main trend has been towards higher power density. eGaN FETs provide the fast switching, high efficiency and small size that can meet the stringent power density requirements of these leading-edge applications. EPC2218 is claimed to be the smallest high-efficiency 100V eGAN FET on the market.
Renesas’ ISL81806 is said to be the first 80V dual-output or two-phase synchronous buck controller with integrated GaN drivers, supporting switching frequencies up to 2MHz. It uses peak current mode control and generates two independent outputs, or one output with two interleaved phases. It supports current sharing, synchronization for paralleling more controllers and/or more phases, enhanced light load efficiency, and low shutdown current. Protection features include input UVLO, over-current, over-voltage and over-temperature. The ISL81806 can directly drive EPC GaN FETs, ensuring easy design, low component count and low solution cost, it is reckoned. The highly integrated ISL81806 reduces bill-of-materials (BOM) cost for GaN solutions because it does not require any microcontroller, current sense amplifiers, or housekeeping power, says EPC.
“Renesas’ synchronous buck controller IC makes using GaN even easier,” says EPC’s CEO Alex Lidow. “We are delighted to work with Renesas to combine the benefits of its advanced controllers with the performance of GaN to provide customers with a low-component-count solution that increases efficiency and power density and reduces system cost for 48V power conversion,” he adds.
“The ISL81806 takes full advantage of the high performance of GaN FETs for high-power-density solutions while reducing BOM costs,” says Philip Chesley, VP, Industrial and Communications business division at Renesas. “It makes designing with GaN FETs as simple as using silicon-based FETs,” he adds.
The EPC9157 demonstration board is priced $378 each and is available for immediate delivery from distributor Digi-Key Corp.
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Tags: EPCE-mode GaN FETsPower electronics
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