GaN Is the Key to Unlocking Power Possibilities: Myths Dispelled!

Join us as we tackle widespread misconceptions about gallium nitride (GaN) power semiconductors. We’ll dispel the mistaken beliefs about system costs and risks, while revealing the benefits and opportunities of using these semiconductors.

This is the first of four posts within the series, click here to access the others.

MYTH #1:
There’s Too Much Risk In Using GaN Power Semiconductors

OVERVIEW:

  • GaN Systems’ power semiconductors are manufactured with industry-leading partners to provide the volume and reliability that global supply chains require to meet modern manufacturing demand.
  • The benefits of using GaN power semiconductors far outweigh the perceived risks.
  • In data centers and consumer electronics, GaN power transistors play a central role in increasing business competitiveness by enabling the design of whole new classes of products and systems that are smaller, lighter, lower cost, and more efficient.
  • GaN Systems has achieved global on-demand responsiveness in production and distribution through established and tested partnerships with billion-dollar global companies such as TSMC, the world’s leading third-party semiconductor manufacturing company and a byword for quality and service industry-wide.

INTRO:

GaN power semiconductors are fueling innovation in ways not thought possible before in diverse industries through the creation of new products and entire systems that impact both the immediate bottom line and long-term company competitiveness.

Notwithstanding this opportunity, senior executives in enterprise organizations are hesitant to take the risk of being labeled ‘early adopters’ or ‘first movers’ in embracing GaN. The supposition has been that the time to embrace GaN is still somewhere down the road. That decision can hamper the trajectory of innovation and company competitiveness, particularly in areas such as data centers, consumer electronics, solar, and LED lighting.

Executives should no longer see GaN power semiconductors as a ‘risky choice’, but rather as the ‘preferred technology choice’ for innovation.

Let’s take a brief look at the myth centered around the risks of using GaN power semiconductors.

1. The Supply Chain Risk

Some executives think that using GaN semiconductors would result in an unreliable supply chain. Without trusted and immediate access to key components, there is the fear that manufacturing lines could be disrupted, and consequently, suppliers would be unable to deliver to the market in the time and at quantities required, thereby losing market share.

FACT CHECK:

  • GaN Systems has achieved global on-demand responsiveness in production and distribution through established and tested partnerships with billion-dollar global companies
  • By reliably providing for the needs and scale of both ODMs and end user customers, GaN Systems’ partners produce high yield, low defect runs that surpass the standards and exceed the application lifetime requirements required by both consumer and industrial applications.
  • Recently, GaN Systems announced it has surpassed 10,000 hours of qualification testing for its GaN E-HEMT devices. This is 10X the 1,000-hour requirement to meet JEDEC qualification. As the power electronics industry increases adoption of GaN power transistors, this is what the power system makers want: GaN semiconductors that outlast the rest of the system.

2. Cost and Profit Margins Risk

Systems with GaN power semiconductors are assumed to be more expensive than traditional silicon transistor power-related systems. While this might have been true in the past, it is no longer the case.

FACT CHECK:

  • In industries such as electric vehicles, consumer electronics, and data centers – the use of a GaN power semiconductor impacts the overall bill of materials cost by decreasing or completely eliminating the need system components such as heat sinks and fans, and significantly reducing the size of passive components like inductors and capacitors.
  • Beyond the individual costs of a power semiconductor and the BoMs for individual products or systems – sits the even more important world of system-wide costs. The ability to impact these is where significant business benefit is leveraged.
  • In data centers, where 40 percent of the annual operating expense is attributed to energy use, utilizing GaN devices can result in OPEX savings of more than $240 million, and incremental server/storage revenues of more than $1billion for a major Tier 1 datacenter operator.

3. Market Leadership Risk

A study reporter by the Harvard Business School cited companies that are identified as believing strongly in the benefits of adopting new technologies and that pursue “first-mover advantage” — are more likely to lead in both revenue growth and market position than their peers.

At GaN Systems, we believe that true business competitiveness centers not only on delivering feature-rich products today, but also being able to design whole new classes of innovative power-efficient systems for the near future designed to drive new sources of revenues for our customers.

FACT CHECK:

  • With GaN semiconductors providing the opportunity for systems to be smaller (1/4 the size), lighter (1/4 the weight), more efficient (1/4 the losses) and lower system costs– the doors of possibility are opened wide to innovate, invent, and bring to market new solutions that were not possible under the design constraints of old technologies.
  • GaN Systems’ customers are implementing GaN in innovative ways to deliver the products their customers demand including:
    • Laptop travel adapters that are 1/4th the size,
    • Data center power supplies that output 1.5X the power in the same form factor,
    • EV electrification systems that are 1/3rd the size,
    • Renewable energy inverters that are ½ the size.
  • Wireless power transfer and charging is moving out of its infancy because of GaN-based wireless power transfer systems that enable previously unachievable ‘high power’ charging from 30W to 1kW and beyond.

SUMMARY:
The Risk Landscape for GaN Power Semiconductors Has Changed

With legacy semiconductor technology, organizations were historically forced to make trade-offs and compromises that reduced opportunities for innovation and growth. With the modernization and maturity of the manufacturing supply chain, GaN power semiconductors are driving business opportunity, advancing products with greater efficiency, features and performance, and delivering diverse revenue streams.

As an executive, the greatest risk that you may be facing in your business is relying on traditional technology to advance product innovation. GaN power semiconductors enables you to rewrite that story – today.

[Continue to the next Myth in this series: “GaN Technology is Unproven and Unreliable”]

Talk to an expert now to find out what new advances in GaN power semiconductors can do for your business innovation.

Additional Resources:

  • Learn more about how GaN Systems has surpassed 10,000 hours of qualification testing for its GaN E-HEMT devices. This is 10X the 1,000-hour requirement to meet JEDEC qualification.
  • Learn more about how GaN Systems is taking the lead on technology advancements in high-power, high-efficiency power systems designed to meet the demands from automotive to consumer electronics to data centers to renewable energy.
  • Learn more about Gan Systems’ new 120 A, 650 V GaN E-HEMT that increases the power density from 20 to 500 kW power conversion systems, including automotive traction inverters, very high power on-board chargers (OBC), large-scale energy storage systems, and industrial motor drives.