Gallium Nitride (GaN)
CoolGaN™ - the new power paradigm
Today’s demand for high-performance and low-cost power conversion products is driven by consumer expectation for longer battery life, faster charging for their phones, electric vehicles (EVs) development, or power tools. Consumers want faster data communication along with powerful artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, delivered at lower cost from the vast network of hyperscale datacenters, telecom server farms, and upcoming 5G communication towers integrated into our everyday living environment.
At the heart of achieving high performance, as well as lowering the up-front and operating costs for these applications, is advanced power electronics that process electric utility voltage through multiple stages to ultimately power our devices efficiently and cost effectively. For many years, this progression has been enabled by continuous innovation resulting in families of high and low-voltage silicon power transistors that never fail to surprise us with further improvements generation after generation.
However, while power semiconductors have historically used silicon substrates, silicon semi-conductors are limited when it comes to high voltages. For this reason, other materials such as gallium nitride (GaN) are increasingly being used instead of silicon. GaN technology companies have developed innovative gallium nitride (GaN) technology that offers higher switching frequencies while keeping losses at very low levels. These developments in GaN technology by semiconductor manufacturers offer longer battery life and faster charging for mobile phones, electric vehicles (EVs), and power tools, as well as faster data communication capabilities.
Infineon’s innovative GaN power technology includes 600V CoolGaN™ GIT HEMT technology. HEMT, which stands for high electron mobility transistor, is formed by bringing two structurally dissimilar substrates together to form a heterojunction transistor to promote higher electron mobility and allowing stable switching during GaN HEMT operation.
Gallium nitride (GaN) is a wide bandgap semiconductor material in the same category as silicon carbide (SiC). If it were possible to grow large-diameter single crystal GaN to make wafers for processing, vertical transistors could be fabricated in a similar way as SiC MOSFETs are made today. However, gallium nitride properties make growing GaN substrates prohibitively difficult. Instead, gallium nitride chips can be made by using readily available, low-cost silicon wafers as a substrate, and growing GaN epitaxially so it can be fabricated into lateral transistors known as high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs).
Since GaN HEMT transistors improve power density and are capable of high-speed switching, they are ideal for semiconductor devices that require fast turn on and turn off speeds and enables higher efficiency and reliability.
Gallium nitride semiconductors are used for power supply and conversion for a broad range of applications. For example, Infineon’s GaN technology solutions offer benchmark efficiency and maximize power density for telecommunication infrastructure development. Additionally, using Infineon’s GaN transistors for efficient power conversion lowers operating expenses as the gallium nitride power supply footprint is reduced while providing the highest solution robustness.
As with all of Infineon’s power transistors, the gallium nitride power transistor CoolGaN™ series is supported by a broad offering of single- and dual-channel isolated and non-isolated EiceDRIVER™ gate driver ICs.
Infineon’s GaN EiceDRIVER™ ICs, have been developed to achieve maximum performance in high-voltage CoolGaN™ gallium nitride transistor designs, and thanks to their ease of use, shorten time-to-market. This family of gate driver ICs is recommended for high-power and hard-switching applications (e.g. totem-pole PFC). Standard gate driver ICs (2EDF7275K, 2EDF7275F, 1EDB7275F, 1EDN7550B) can also be employed with CoolGaN™ gallium nitride transistors as a compact and cost-effective solution for soft-switching applications (e.g. LLC).
By combining the industry’s most reliable GaN and driver technology, Infineon’s CoolGaN™ Integrated Power Stage (IPS) 600V is one of the most reliable and high performing solutions of all GaN HEMTs on the market. Additionally, Infineon offers a full range of gate drive solutions for 600V CoolGaN™ power semiconductors.
There are a number of technologies that implement gallium nitride applications, such as telecom/datacom, server SMPS, and wireless charging. The extremely efficient and compact design of gallium nitride electronics sets new standards for high quality, energy efficiency, and ease of use.
By manufacturing GaN power transistors on Si substrates for switching applications, Infineon offers highly reliable and efficient solutions for GaN-on-Si power technology devices and applications.
Infineon acquires GaN Systems
In October 2023, GaN Systems became part of Infineon. The Ottawa-based company brings with it a broad portfolio of gallium nitride (GaN)-based power conversion solutions and leading-edge application know-how. The acquisition further strengthens our leadership in power systems through mastery of all relevant power technologies. GaN will play an increasingly important role in applications like mobile charging, data center power supplies, residential solar inverters and onboard chargers for electric vehicles.
This acquisition aligns with our vision and strategy of driving decarbonization and will significantly accelerate our GaN roadmap, allowing us to bring our technologies to you even faster.
How you will benefit:
- Access to broad portfolio of discrete and integrated medium- and high-voltage GaN products, including system-enabling components (e.g. drivers, controllers).
- Combined platform features leading GaN IP and the industry’s strongest R&D force to create highly innovative solutions and roadmap acceleration.
- Best-in-class application know-how for creating new and improved systems, and with this competitive advantage for you.
- We combine foundry partnerships and dual site in-house production, ready for 8’’, to secure customer supply.
What’s important to know:
- Maintaining business continuity is our top priority: both Infineon and GaN Systems will continue to serve all customers.
- No changes in customer interaction for the time being.
- Customers can continue to rely on the contact persons who supported them before.
Infineon Developer Community is available 24x7 for you to connect and network with engineers across the globe. Get help from Infineon support engineers, and expert members to solve your design challenges anytime, from anywhere, in any topic, and in your preferred language.
Driving solutions for GaN
In this paper various driving solutions are discussed, ranging from the standard RC-coupled driver to a new differential drive concept utilizing dedicated gate driver ICs. In half-bridge topologies, a hybrid configuration combining isolated and non-isolated drivers could be an exciting alternative. Practical application examples and circuit schematics complement the paper.
For more information on how to drive GaN click here.
In the last years, GaN has been hyped as a material that could replace silicon in various applications. But is it good enough for industrial applications? We take a closer look.
Click here to watch the video.
Infineon's Gallium Nitride (GaN) solutions
01_00 | Mar 22, 2022 | PPTX | 16,32 mb
Gate drive solutions for CoolGaN™ GIT HEMTs
02_00 | Dec 01, 2021 | PDF | 3,17 mb
How GaN and Si can help deliver higher efficiencies in power conversion and power management
02_00 | Jan 23, 2019 | PDF | 857 kb
Reliability and qualification of CoolGaN™
02_00 | Apr 05, 2022 | PDF | 2,7 mb
Gallium nitride technology in server and telecom applications
02_00 | Mar 17, 2022 | PDF | 2,33 mb
Gallium nitride technology in adapter and charger applications
01_00 | Oct 18, 2018 | PDF | 909 kb
Benefits of GaN e-mode HEMTs in wireless power transfer
01_01 | Oct 17, 2018 | PDF | 1,21 mb