Recently, I attended WiPDA 2017 in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico and participated in a panel discussion, Commercialization of GaN Devices in High-Frequency Power Electronic Applications. Consisting of thought leaders and pioneers in GaN devices from GaN Systems, TI, EPC, and others, we had a charged discussion on our industry’s key opportunities. These topics included dialogue on why and how we, as an industry, need to develop a new way of thinking for continuous market adoption and how to build a competitive advantage for the future.
Based on my observations, conversations with colleagues and participation in this year’s panel, my key takeaways from 2017 WiPDA include:
1 – Shift in importance of WiPDA from Industry Perspective
Historically, WiPDA has been an annual gathering of scientists and academics. However, this year what stood out to me was that the business side of technology was paying more attention to the workshop – from the latest in technology updates and cutting-edge devices to application knowledge. Most notably, there was a greater presence from the automotive and industrial OEMs.
For instance, Ford, John Deere and ABB were presenters at this year’s conference. These Fortune 500 companies are end customers with multiple sets of production requirements. I believe that by having such companies in diverse marketplaces take a more active role and interest in WiPDA, our industry will see a shift in how we serve the industry. Without question, we will be seeing more interest from these markets, and next year, I expect to see more OEMs having a presence at WiPDA.
2 – Why We Need to Set Standards
What was particularly exciting and notable to me was JEDEC JC-70’s first meeting, which really showcased the culmination of all our hard work to create this committee. JC-70, Wide Bandgap Power Electronic Conversion Semiconductors, is the first new JEDEC committee in over a decade, demonstrating the importance of GaN for power electronics.
The formation of this committee represents a truly exciting time for us – both for GaN Systems, who is one of the founding members of this committee, and the industry. History in the electronics market teaches us that standards help markets grow fast and economically. I expect the same here.
No doubt, we are in the midst of great business and technological changes to address the overall energy impact of businesses and for the greater good of society. For more information on GaN Systems, visit here.