SiC vs GaN Head-to-Head Performance Comparison

, , , ,

A lot of engineers don’t have a good feel for how gallium-nitride FETs perform compared to silicon-carbide equivalents. So GaN Systems devised two 650-V, 15-A switching supplies using SiC and GaN to see how they compared. In an interview conducted by WTWH Media’s Lee Teschler, Jim Witham explains the differences that emerged in this head-to-head study.

GaN Systems Releases New High Power Insulated Metal Substrate (IMS) Evaluation Platform

, , ,

OTTAWA, ONTARIO, December 14, 2017 – GaN Systems, the global leader of GaN (gallium nitride) power semiconductors, announced the launch and availability of its Insulated Metal Substrate (IMS) Evaluation Platform, which provides a flexible, low cost, high power development platform for high-efficiency power systems with 3kW or higher applications. The IMS Evaluation Platform, in combination with GaNPX packaging technology and smart design techniques, enables power engineers to quickly take full advantage of GaN power transistors in designing smaller, lighter, lower cost, and more efficient power systems for data center, automotive, and energy storage system applications.

This evaluation platform consists of a motherboard (GSP65MB-EVB) and two IMS evaluation modules in half bridge and full bridge variants. The modules can be configured as a half-bridge (single IMS module) or a full bridge (two IMS modules) on the high-power motherboard. IMS evaluation modules are available in two power levels: 3kW (GSP65R25HB-EVB) and 6kW (GSP65R13HB-EVB). The IMS evaluation module 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.

Platform benefits include:

  • Low Thermal Resistance & Optimized Layout: The IMS platform enhances the thermal and electrical performance benefits of GaNPX® E-HEMTs. The drive board is tightly coupled with the IMS board to minimize power commutation and gate driver loops to optimize performance.
  • More Flexibility: The platform is very flexible, enabling twelve different configurations, architectures, and operating modes. IMS evaluation modules can be used independently as a high-power GaN intelligent power module with developers’ own system boards for in-system prototyping.
  • Greater Power Density: Using IMS boards for transistor mounting takes advantage of the vertical space available in larger power applications. The optimized driver board not only minimizes both power and gate driver loops, it also increases the power density of the electronics.

“The power level that the new IMS platform provides is unrivaled,” said Peter Di Maso, Director, Product Line Management, GaN Systems. “Higher power density, at a low cost, makes possible new applications and new revenue streams of power systems in existing markets and applications.”

Please visit www.gansystems.com for more information and at major distributors such as Mouser Electronics Richardson RFPD.

 


About GaN Systems

GaN Systems is the global leader in GaN power semiconductors with the largest portfolio of transistors that uniquely address the needs of today’s most demanding industries including data center servers, renewable energy systems, automotive, industrial motors and consumer electronics.

As a market-leading innovator, GaN Systems makes possible the design of smaller, lower cost, more efficient power systems. The company’s award-winning products provide system design opportunities free from the limitations of yesterday’s silicon. By changing the rules of transistor performance, GaN Systems is enabling power conversion companies to revolutionize their industries and transform the world.  For more information, please visit: www.gansystems.com or on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Media Contacts:

Beth Trier

Trier and Company for GaN Systems

1.415.285.6147

and

Mary Placido

Trier and Company for GaN Systems

1.415.218.3627

 

台達與BMW i VENTURES一起參與加入作為GaN Systems公司的策略投資者

, , , , , ,

2017年12月11日,加拿大安大略省渥太華 – 作為全球氮化鎵功率半導體行業的領先企業GaN Systems公司日前宣布,全球電源系統行業的領導者 台達已決定與BMW i Ventures一起參與加入作為GaN Systems公司的策略投資者。GaN Systems公司計劃利用這筆新投入的資金來拓展全球銷售通路並加速新產品的創新,以幫助客戶降低整體系統成本,增加營業額並擴張市場的佔有率。 今天的新聞發布是繼BMW i Ventures,BDC Capital,Chrysalix Venture Capital,Cycle Capital Management,RockPort Capital和Tsing Capital等知名策略投資者之後的最新投資訊息。

BMW i Ventures公司常務董事Uwe Higgen表示:“這項投資重申了GaN Systems公司正在創造最節能的電力電子與電源系統的未來發展,繼續不懈努力。 同時也正在開創一種新的方式來設計和創造更輕,更小的電源系統,同時提供更有效和最可靠的電源轉換技術。

GaN Systems公司的首席執行官Jim Witham表示:“在過去的十年中,GaN Systems公司已經實現了將公司經營成為全球最大的氮化鎵功率晶體管製造商和全球氮化鎵功率器件市場領先廠商的目標。我們很榮幸有台達加入我們作為一個策略性的企業投資者。有著台達和BMW i Ventures的策略投資合作夥伴,這是一個巨大的信心,能將GaN Systems公司的技術領先地位與策略投資者相結合,而正在朝著解決電力轉換浪費能源的普遍問題邁出重要的一步。

這項策略合作投資,將是GaN Systems公司的特殊一年且是重要的里程碑,將與客戶一起歷經市場的快速增長,尤其是Notebook電源適配器,計算機伺服器電源和工業電機馬達控制應用的需求日益增長。GaN Systems公司的解決方案使致力於開發更高效率的電力電子與電源系統,以減少全球的電力能源消耗。透過更高效能的系統開發,能夠提供最先進的解決方案應用在消費電子,數據中心,工業控制,電動車運輸和無線充電市場。

對於GaN Systems公司,我們的策略投資合作夥伴不論是台達和BMW i Ventures,以及我們在世界各地的客戶 – 共同的目標是透過解決他們的電力電源系統的挑戰改變當今一些最苛刻的行業的經濟。


關於GaN Systems公司
GaN Systems公司是GaN功率半導體領域的全球領先企業,擁有最多元的產品組合,能夠滿足當今要求最苛刻的行業(包括數據中心伺服器,可再生能源系統,汽車,工業電機和消費電子產品)的需求。

作為市場領先的創新者,GaN Systems公司的多元產品提供可以設計更小,更低成本,更高效率的電源轉換系統成為可能。 該公司屢獲殊榮的多元產品提供了系統輕薄小的設計機會,擺脫了以往Silicon晶體管的限制。 透過改變晶體管的特性與性能的規則,GaN Systems公司正支持專業的電源設計公司徹底改變他們的行業,改變世界。 欲了解更多信息,請訪問:www.gansystems.com或Facebook,Twitter和LinkedIn。

DELTA JOINS BMW i VENTURES AS STRATEGIC INVESTOR IN GAN SYSTEMS

, , , , , ,

OTTAWA, Ontario, December 11, 2017 – GaN Systems, the global leader in GaN power semiconductors, has announced that Delta, the worldwide leader in power systems, has joined BMW i Ventures in participation of a strategic investment in GaN Systems. GaN Systems plans to use the funding to expand global sales and accelerate product innovation to help customers reduce system costs, increase revenue and gain market share. Today’s announcement follows previous investments from prominent backers including BMW i Ventures, BDC Capital, Chrysalix Venture Capital, Cycle Capital Management, RockPort Capital and Tsing Capital.

“This investment reaffirms GaN Systems’ continued accomplishment in creating the future of the most energy efficient power electronics,” said Uwe Higgen, Managing Director of BMW i Ventures. “GaN Systems’ is pioneering a new approach to the design and creation of power systems that are smaller and lighter, while simultaneously providing more efficient and reliable power conversion.”  

Jim Witham, CEO of GaN Systems stated: “Over the past decade, GaN Systems has achieved its goal of building the company into the world’s most prominent manufacturer of GaN power transistors and the leading player in the global GaN power device market. We are honored to have Delta join us as a strategic corporate investor. It’s a huge vote of confidence, both in GaN as a technology and GaN Systems’ approach to GaN transistors, to have investment partners such as Delta and BMW i Ventures. With the opportunity to combine the technological leadership of GaN Systems with our strategic investors, we are taking a major step forward in solving the universal problem of energy wasted in power conversion.”

This investment builds on an exceptional year for GaN Systems where the company is experiencing a rapid increase in customer growth and increasingly strong demand for GaN transistors especially in notebook travel adapters, computer server and industrial motor power applications. GaN Systems solutions enable the development of more efficient power systems to reduce global power consumption. By facilitating the development of more efficient systems, customers deliver state-of-the-art solutions across the consumer, datacenter, industrial, transportation and wireless charging markets.

For GaN Systems, our strategic investment partners BMW i Ventures and Delta, as well as our customers around the world – the common goal is about changing the economics of some of today’s most demanding industries by solving their power system challenges.

About GaN Systems

GaN Systems is the global leader in GaN power semiconductors with the largest portfolio of transistors that uniquely address the needs of today’s most demanding industries including data center servers, renewable energy systems, automotive, industrial motors and consumer electronics.

As a market-leading innovator, GaN Systems makes possible the design of smaller, lower cost, more efficient power systems. The company’s award-winning products provide system design opportunities free from the limitations of yesterday’s silicon. By changing the rules of transistor performance, GaN Systems is enabling power conversion companies to revolutionize their industries and transform the world. For more information, please visit: www.gansystems.com or on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


Media Contacts:

Beth Trier

Trier and Company for GaN Systems

1.415.285.6147

and

Mary Placido

Trier and Company for GaN Systems

1.415.218.3627

The Top 2018 Trends Impacting the World’s Power and Energy Footprint – Challenges Will Be Met by A Wave of Power Systems Designed to Be Lighter, Smaller, and More Efficient

, , , , ,

OTTAWA, ONTARIO, December 6, 2017 – Power – creating more efficient uses is one of the most pressing challenges in the 21st century. We live in an increasingly data and energy driven world that is following a clear trajectory of increasing reliance on and proliferation of data centers, electric vehicles, renewable energy, powerful industrial motors, and smart consumer electronics. The dramatic increase in computing, electronics, and global population demands attention to our growing power and efficiency needs. As 2017 draws to a close, GaN Systems, the global leader of GaN (gallium nitride) power semiconductors, today unveils the five trends for 2018 which they believe will have a major impact on the world’s power and energy footprint:

1. Acceleration of Vehicle Electrification Development and Demand  

The future of the auto industry is electrification and autonomy. 2017 was a huge boon for electric transport with major global businesses announcing commitments for electrical vehicle (EV) fleets and investments in electric car charging infrastructure. China, the largest market for automobiles, even announced policies that require automakers in the country to produce more electric cars (at least 10%) beginning in 2019.

GaN Systems expects that there will be an acceleration of EV development, demand, and improvement over the next 12 months. GaN transistors will enable the next generation EVs by reducing size, weight, power loss, and system cost.  Higher power density and lighter weight systems will change the dynamics of battery sizing and management. Faster charging, both wired and wireless, will change consumers’ relationships with, and confidence in their EVs as they move from second or commuter car to main vehicle status.

2. More Efficient Data Centers Will Postpone New Buildouts

An ever-increasing amount of data is being created, stored, and served every day. Social networks, online videos, IoT devices, and automobile ADAS systems are some of the contributors. Looking forward, autonomous cars will generate massively more data. Coughlin Associates, a data storage consulting firm, anticipates that a self-driving car will generate 1 gigabyte of data per second. While we are years away from fully autonomous vehicles taking over our streets and highways, auto manufacturers such as BMW, Ford, and Toyota are proactively planning how to manage and power its data centers for the data deluge.   This flood of data is driving the need for increasingly scalable, efficient, and flexible data center infrastructure. Data centers already consume 2% of global power usage, and could reach 5% per some forecasts.

GaN Systems believes that while data centers are significantly more energy efficient today than in the past decade, steps will be taken to further maximize power utilization through renewable energy use, a focus on improving power systems and cooling methods, and more highly leveraging edge data centers.

3. Democratizing Solar Energy Comes to be Realized with Energy Storage Systems

The energy storage industry is in its nascent stages but shows promise in both commercial and residential areas.  Energy storage systems help manage peak demand, provide backup power, and function as part of an off-grid system when combined with renewable sources of energy. Entire home communities that can operate off the grid are coming very soon. A growing number of home energy storage projects are happening in several cities around the world. One such project highlighted was Mandalay Homes, a new housing development in Prescott Valley, AZ where 2,900 residences will be outfitted with solar and 8 kilowatt-hour energy storage systems.

GaN Systems predicts energy storage systems will improve in efficiency and pricing, which will happen only through new power technologies and techniques.

4. Wireless Charging Becomes Commonplace

One of the most significant trends in consumer electronics is wireless chargeable devices. As consumers accumulate laptops, smartphones, smartwatches, fitness trackers, and other wearables, there is a need to remove the clutter and extra weight associated with multiple wires and chargers. Wireless charging stations like you’ve seen at convenience stores, coffee shops, and other public venues are an ideal solution.

However, some of today’s power transfer solutions requires the charger and device to be in near- perfectly placed alignment and a full charge can take a long time especially when charging multiple devices at once. GaN Systems believes improvements in power technology are eliminating these limitations, making way for new charging designs that allow for the spatial freedom and charge time that consumers want.

5. Growing Emphasis on Energy Savings in Manufacturing Plants and Factories Across the World

Industrial electric motors and drives are critical components that help commercial and industrial plants operate. There is continuing pressure for increasing efficiency through technology and government policy approaches. This includes incentives and introducing more rigorous energy efficiency standards and motor-efficiency regulations. Additionally, smart factory trends and Industry 4.0 initiatives are driving manufacturing plants to revisit layout and space utilization.

GaN Systems predicts that manufacturers will answer the call with a focus on improving high efficiency motor drive technology and integration.

Meeting These Challenges with GaN

At the center of these 2018 trends is power and the need to develop and provide new system design opportunities for smaller, lighter, lower cost, and more efficient power systems.

GaN Systems believes the power electronics industry can do this by seeking new power design approaches. Removing the limitations of yesterday’s silicon by using GaN power transistors, enterprise organizations will usher in new applications capable of transforming the future.

 About GaN Systems

GaN Systems is the global leader in GaN power semiconductors with the largest portfolio of transistors that uniquely address the needs of today’s most demanding industries including data center servers, renewable energy systems, automotive, industrial motors and consumer electronics.

As a market-leading innovator, GaN Systems makes possible the design of smaller, lower cost, more efficient power systems. The company’s award-winning products provide system design opportunities free from the limitations of yesterday’s silicon. By changing the rules of transistor performance, GaN Systems is enabling power conversion companies to revolutionize their industries and transform the world.  For more information, please visit: www.gansystems.com or on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


Media Inquiries:

Beth Trier

Trier and Company

beth@triercompany.com

415-285-6147

and

Mary Placido

Trier and Company

mary@triercompany.com

415-218-3627

“It Ain’t So Hard…” by Larry Spaziani

, , , , ,

GaN is seen as a new technology in a new package with new characteristics. While it may not be new to some, for those who are unfamiliar to GaN’s innovation, the clock’s ticking and their competitors are developing systems with GaN. For some people, the fear of the unknown is intimidating at best. These individuals usually think GaN is highly complicated, but it’s not. They just haven’t seen anything like GaN before. The reality is that with GaN, it ain’t so hard.

At GaN Systems, we have two types of customers – those that jump in and figure it out. And, those who aren’t sure how to get started. So, for those who aren’t sure how to take the first steps, we need to ask ourselves – what’s holding them back?

For those who were initially hesitant with GaN, we have learned that there is a process of learning the subtle differences of GaN, and these differences come down to three unique GaN properties:

  • While the gate drive is different, GaN is easy to drive and just requires a good lay out
  • GaN package is different – but remember, it is just a surface mount package, and all the same rules that customers already know still apply to GaN
  • Although the reverse operating behavior is unique to GaN, it’s easy to understand and highly beneficial

My colleagues and I understand that when customers are introduced to something new, more often than not, they are hesitant to be ‘early adopters’. Preferably, they would like to be shown a product that has been already used in the field by many other companies.

At GaN Systems, we work with thousands of customers across the globe and during their journey with us, they have successfully designed new and innovative solutions with our GaN. By working with our customers to simply describe GaN – notably, how it’s different but only marginally so – our customers are able to realize that with GaN, it ain’t so  hard. Consequently, GaN Systems is the global leader in GaN power semiconductors with the largest portfolio of transistors that uniquely address the needs of today’s most demanding industries, including data center servers, renewable energy systems, automotive, industrial motors and consumer electronics.

For more information on GaN systems, please visit www.gansystems.com or on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Global Leaders Collaborate on GaN Technology

, , , , ,

OTTAWA, Ontario – October 2, 2017 – The world is challenged with unsustainable increases in power consumption, combating climate change, implementing cleantech technologies and meeting green, CO2 reduction initiatives. Taiwanese electronics manufacturers work at the forefront of these efforts. To meet these challenges, GaN Systems, the world’s leading provider of gallium nitride (GaN) power transistors, and Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) have entered into a Letter of Intent to collaborate on expanding the economic and technical benefits of GaN technology to Taiwan’s electronics companies. To further advance Taiwan’s leadership role in the electronics industry, recognizing the importance and benefits of GaN, the MOEA will provide assistance to GaN Systems to extend its in-country business and representation. This agreement brings together two powerful forces – the leading manufacturer of GaN transistors and the government body that oversees Taiwan’s electronics industry. Working together, this alliance will collaborate to help solve some of the world’s most daunting power challenges.

Ms. Mei-Hua Wang, Vice Minister of Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), commented on the development, “As Taiwan plays a preeminent role in the Asian electronics industry, we are pleased to provide GaN Systems with the resources to continue their success with our leading manufacturers. This Letter of Intent strengthens the bonds between GaN Systems and Taiwan’s electronics industry.”

GaN Systems’ CEO, Jim Witham, added, “GaN Systems is delighted to join forces with Taiwan’s MOEA. We see this as an important demonstration of how companies and government work together to reinforce partnerships amongst industry leaders and across industry segments.”

###

Gallium Nitride Sets Innovation Bars Higher

, , , , ,

The following article, written by Mathew Dirjish, originally appeared in Sensors Online.

Silicon has been the mainstay of semiconductor fabrication for as long as one can remember. It is the meat of transistors, OP amps, microprocessors, MCUs, PLCs, and numerous other devices. The material has proven more than viable and reliable and will be with us for countless years ahead.

Starting with power devices, a not so new kid on the block is proving to be silicon’s competitor to be reckoned with. Gallium nitride (GaN) is a semiconductor commonly used in light-emitting diodes. It is a hard material with a crystal structure, a property that makes it desirable for use in opto applications and high-power devices.

To make a long technical story shorter, the material has proven itself in fabricating power devices. Certain sources indicate that the first enhancement-mode gallium nitride transistors became available in 2010.

Designed to replace power MOSFETs in applications where switching speed or power conversion efficiency is critical, the GaN transistors exhibit significant advantages over silicon MOSFETs, particularly in the cost versus performance challenges.

Now, it appears GaN is making inroads to the world of sensors. It stands to reason since many sensors are silicon based and with the emerging need for multiple sensors on a chip, a.k.a., sensor fusion, GaN could open up many new areas for sensor innovation. The possibility of combining power functions, sensors, and optical functions on a small device may not be too far away in the future.

To get the best insight into this material and what we can see in the future, I had a brief Q&A with Jim Witham, the CEO of GaN Systems. The company manufactures a range of gallium nitride high power transistors for consumer, enterprise, industrial, solar/wind/smart-grid, and transportation power-conversion applications. The devices boast exceptionally low on-resistance, negligible charge storage, and enable switching efficiencies in excess of current silicon devices.

Mat Dirjish (MD): GaN Systems focuses on the use of gallium nitride instead of silicon in the development of power semiconductors. For some of our readers who may not be aware of the benefits of GaN and the tradeoffs of silicon, what sets the use of GaN above silicon for power applications?

Jim Witham (JW): By replacing legacy components with GaN transistors, engineers can design electronic systems that are 4x smaller, 4x lighter, that exhibit 4x less energy loss, and are less costly. The performance advantages provide customers with a profound array of benefits across markets from the IoT and datacenter servers to industrial equipment, electric vehicles (EVs), and autonomous vehicles.

MD: Although the primary focus appears to be transistors, HEMTs in particular, GaN-based violet laser diodes are used in Blu-Ray disc players. Do you foresee GaN being viable for other semiconductor types and if so, what is possible?

JW: The three major applications for GaN are LED, power, and RF. GaN Systems focuses on power. The fourth application showing great potential is GaN sensors.

MD: Is GaN easily substituted for silicon in general semiconductor design/manufacturing? What are the major challenges in making the switch?

JW: In general, yes, one can think of our GaN transistors as just extremely fast MOSFETs. Second, we have solved the design challenges for customers by making our transistors easy to use and providing the design tools engineers expect. Evaluation kits, discrete parts and reference designs are easily acquired through common sales channels. Datasheets, application notes, and solution design files are available with an easy click from our website.

MD: Several sensor types are implemented on silicon and sensor fusion, the combination of two or more sensor types on a single chip, relies on silicon. Is GaN a viable material for creating low-power, fast reacting sensors and multiple sensor integrations?

JW: GaN sensors are receiving a lot of attention and focus today. Mercury detection, pH analysis, hydrogen sensing, and DNA and protein sensing are just a few of the areas being researched with GaN HEMT materials. As mentioned above, this could emerge as the fourth, very large application for GaN.

MD: In July, BMW’s investment arm, BMW i Ventures, made a significant investment in GaN Systems, which is viewed as a major display of confidence in the technology. What are some of the projects GaN will be working on as a result of this investment?

JW: As we recently announced, GaN Systems will use the funds to expand our global sales efforts and to accelerate new product development. The products under development will be used to help engineers design more efficient electronic systems in the markets we target, which include consumer, datacenter, industrial and transportation applications.

MD: What types of emerging applications are offering growth potential for GaN devices? Obviously there will be greater demands for power devices in IoT and IIoT systems. What impact will areas such as energy harvesting, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and virtual reality on the direction of GaN devices?

JW: The IoT and IIoT segments, and I would add 5G to those, are very exciting. These applications generate massive amounts of data, driving the need for increased data storage and processing, which requires more power supplies and servers. GaN devices reduce power consumption and increase power supply density, saving customers operating costs and allowing more servers in the same rack. The same holds true for the automotive ADAS and autonomously driven vehicle space where automotive manufacturers are building datacenters to manage the 10X explosion in data generated by these vehicles. EV and HEV systems are undergoing extensive electrification, which increases semiconductor demand 3x to 4x more than vehicles currently require.

Wireless power transfer is an emerging application with a direct tie to sensors. This is a perfect method to supply power to these sensing devices. Then there are robot and drone applications that are just starting to take off; these will also leverage the advantages of wireless power transfer and charging.

Another emerging application for GaN is artificial intelligence and machine learning. These applications use microprocessors, GPUs and memory in their high-performance computing (HPC) that require higher power, in the order of 500 W in the same volume that currently delivers only 200 W. GaN transistors provide a path for designers to increase power density without adding volume or weight.

MD: If you can speak about it, what developments does GaN Systems have on the drawing board for the future?

JW: Our plans include product expansion in several different vectors – voltage, current, and frequency performance. Additionally, we will integrate features to save customers more space, cost and time.

In summary, GaN is undoubtedly going to make more than a little noise in several markets, particularly the sensors markets while continuing to make great strides in the power sector. It is definitely a technology to keep a steady eye on.

Ottawa tech firm GaN Systems revved up about BMW investment

, , , ,

This article, written by David Sali, was originally published in the Aug. 25th issue of the Ottawa Business Journal.

Kanata company’s next-generation semiconductor technology attracts multimillion-dollar injection of equity led by German automaker

A Kanata firm that makes transistors that help electric and autonomous vehicles run more efficiently has landed millions in funding from one of the world’s leading automakers.

GaN Systems recently announced the new infusion of capital led by BMW i Ventures, the investment arm of the German high-performance car manufacturer. Existing investors BDC Capital, Chrysalix Venture Capital, Cycle Capital Management, RockPort Capital and Tsing Capital also contributed to the round.

Company officials would not divulge the size of the latest investment, but several media outlets have valued it at more than C$40 million.

It’s the latest funding win for GaN Systems, a rapidly growing west-end firm that specializes in high-speed semiconductors made of gallium nitride. GaN, as it’s commonly known, is a byproduct of aluminum and zinc production known for its incredibly high heat capacity and conductivity.

Read more.

Newly Enhanced LTSpice Model Simplifies Designing with GaN

, , , , ,

Engineers gain a head-start and design accuracy

OTTAWA, Ontario, August 15, 2017 – Power system design engineers want to be fast, accurate and confident with their simulated designs prior to building hardware. Achieving these goals with GaN designs has become easier with GaN Systems’ new set of LTSpice models. Increasing efficiency and power density requires proper layout and understanding of the characteristics of these fast transistors. GaN Systems provides a full-featured set of LTSpice simulation files that are available now for download that allow for a variety of inputs and simulations options; select the product of interest and then select the LTSpice button. Additionally, LTSpice application notes GN007 and GN008 are available on the GaN Systems website.

The LTSpice model user guide helps engineers model systems at three levels, ranging from an initial overview of circuit performance to detailed analysis and fine tuning of the design:

  • Level 1: Basic adjustment and analysis of switching speeds, optimized for quick simulation.
  • Level 2: In addition to Level 1 features, includes thermal inputs and Cauer thermal RC network transient models for simulating the device junction temperature and self-heating effect.
  • Level 3: In addition to Level 2 features, includes parasitic losses, provides the most accurate model with longest simulation times.

To confirm the accuracy of the LTSpice model, laboratory measurements of GaN E-HEMT switching losses were recorded using a half-bridge, double-pulse test circuit. The switching losses measured in the test were then compared with the LTSpice model simulations. The comparison demonstrates a strong correlation between the simulated results and real-time circuit measurements. With a 400 V, 0 to 30 A switching current setup using a 650 V, 50 milliohm GS65008T device, the difference between actual measurement and the simulated model is less than 5%, a very good number for Eon/Eoff accuracy. The outcome is a simulation tool that provides a convenient and accurate way to understand GaN switching characteristics, evaluate GaN switching performance under different electrical conditions and build overall confidence in a new product design.

Larry Spaziani, GaN Systems VP of Sales and Marketing, commented on the benefits of the LTSpice tool, “By developing and making available for download this full-featured LTSpice simulation tool, GaN Systems has made it easier for power system designers to leverage all the benefits of GaN transistors and to optimize their system performance. Rarely do designers use spice simulation to estimate Eon/Eoff; with our models they can. We expect that this tool will help designers more fully understand GaN technology and accelerate their design completion.”