GaN: Taking Charge of Your Power Needs


GaN transistors allow power chargers to operate more efficiently, resulting in significantly less power loss and heat.

This is part three of our series titled: “Did You Know…”, which highlights the latest applications and innovations being enabled by GaN technology. Read part one of the series, “Space Industry Launches with GaN Systems,” here. Read part two, “Breaking Through the Invisible Barriers of Wireless Power Transfer,” here.

Today, people have access to a wide range of connected devices, from phones and laptops to tablets and smart speakers. They expect to connect to the internet, communicate with others, play games, and shop from their devices at any time, and without interruption.

To deliver on these increasing real-time, ‘instant performance’ demands, devices need constant power and higher power capacity. However, people are no longer willing to tolerate using – let alone carrying – heavy, bulky power “bricks” to ensure uninterrupted use of their ultra-light laptops, smart phones, and handheld gaming devices. In addition, they don’t want to be weighed down with a different charger for every single device.

What people want are truly portable power solutions that are smaller and lighter, with fast charging capabilities. GaN uniquely solves this challenge and has become the technology of choice in power adapters and chargers.

Gallium Nitride (GaN) transistors are a high-performance alternative to the traditional silicon transistors used in legacy chargers and adapters. GaN transistors allow power chargers to operate more efficiently, resulting in significantly less power loss and heat. This enables the system components to be smaller and closer together, resulting in much smaller chargers with all the power (and even more) than larger models. In addition, these GaN chargers deliver the higher power and faster charging times that are important to consumers today.

The Year of GaN Chargers

2021 has been the year of GaN chargers, with several industry-leading manufacturers, including Dell Technologies, Samsung, and Philips, turning to GaN transistors to transform their portable power chargers. In fact, the latest GaN-based 65W charger from Philips is 75% smaller than its predecessor. It can support up to 2500W passthrough power via its AC outlets to charge a range of devices, from phones and laptops to ultra-high-power chargers, fans, speakers, TVs, and more.

In addition to the three AC outlets, the 65W charger includes three USB-C ports, making it an “all in one” device that can replace multiple chargers. Performance tests show that it can charge three digital devices at the same time, while also supplying power to three 220VAC devices.

GaN Dominates Silicon in Charger Performance

In a side-by-side comparison, GaN wins every time in delivering smaller and sleeker designs, greater energy efficient, and faster charging.

GaN transistors and the evolution of smaller, more powerful multi-use chargers demonstrates that something small can make a big difference in the world of consumer electronics.

GaN Systems provides turnkey designs from 30W to 250W chargers and adapters. To learn more, go to GaN Chargers and GaN Power Adapters.