GaN Systems™, an Infineon Technologies Company, announced the winners for the 9th “GaN Systems Cup” Power Electronics Application Design Competition at the 2023 China Power Electronics and Energy Conversion Congress and the 26th China Power Supply Society Annual Conference & Exhibition (CPEEC & CPSSC 2023), taking place on November 10-13, 2023, in Guangzhou, China. The Xi’an Jiaotong University team’s three-phase inverter prototype design was recognized as the Grand Prize for achieving outstanding efficiency and power density with GaN Systems’ high-performance power transistors.
Since 2015, the Power Electronics Application Design Competition has encouraged over a thousand college students to sharpen their knowledge with practical design experience and explore possibilities in power electronics.
Participation was again unprecedented this year, with 68 teams from 48 top universities submitting project proposals. Out of the 24 teams that entered finals, 10 eventually received recognition. The Xi’an Jiaotong University team earned the Grand Prizes for their outstanding high-efficiency, high-power density three-phase inverter design. With an output power of 500W, an input voltage of 350VDC, and an output voltage of 220VAC with frequency increased from 50Hz to 400Hz and eventually 2000Hz, the team’s design delivered an impressive 15W/in3 power density and average 98% efficiency.
“The power industry is constantly looking for novel approaches to create more powerful, smaller, and faster components that increase overall system power density and efficiency,” said Yunsheng Qu, Senior Manager of Infineon’s Power and Sensor Systems Division, at the award ceremony. “GaN adoption is now at the tipping point in many applications, and developing a pipeline of skilled, talented engineers has become ever-crucial to support such massive market growth potential. I am pleased to see many of the winning entries not only meet the design requirements but go well beyond them.”
Co-located with the GaN Systems Cup, CPEEC & CPSSC 2023 drew a record-breaking 2,600 visitors and nearly 100 exhibitors, making it China’s largest academic event in power electronics. Infineon’s GaN Systems business line showcased an array of groundbreaking power system reference designs for automotive, industrial, and consumer applications. The impressively compact and economical 11kW 800V GaN-based onboard charger reference design was the main attraction in the booth. Visitors also showed a high level of interest in the implementation benefits enabled by the new Gen4 platform and responded positively to the closing of the Infineon acquisition.
Original – GaN Systems
GaN / LATEST NEWS / PROJECTS / TOP STORIES / WBG2 Min Read
Infineon Technologies AG announced the closing of the acquisition of GaN Systems Inc. (“GaN Systems”). The Ottawa-based company brings with it a broad portfolio of gallium nitride (GaN)-based power conversion solutions and leading-edge application know-how. All required regulatory clearances have been obtained and GaN Systems has become part of Infineon effective as of the closing.
“GaN technology is paving the way for more energy-efficient and CO 2-saving solutions that support decarbonization,” said Jochen Hanebeck, CEO of Infineon. “The acquisition of GaN Systems significantly accelerates our GaN roadmap and further strengthens Infineon’s leadership in power systems through mastery of all relevant power semiconductor technologies. We welcome our new colleagues from GaN Systems to Infineon.”
Infineon now has a total of 450 GaN experts and more than 350 GaN patent families, which expands the company’s leading position in power semiconductors and considerably speeds up time-to-market. Both companies’ complementary strengths in IP and application understanding as well as a well-filled customer project pipeline put Infineon in an excellent position to address various fast-growth applications.
On 2 March 2023, Infineon and GaN Systems announced that the companies had signed a definitive agreement under which Infineon would acquire GaN Systems for US$830 million. The acquisition, an all-cash transaction, was funded from existing liquidity.
Original – Infineon Technologies
GaN / LATEST NEWS / WBG2 Min Read
GaN Systems announced that it will demonstrate the latest breakthroughs of GaN for sustainable and cost-effective power designs at the 2023 China Power Electronics and Energy Conversion Congress and the 26th China Power Supply Society Annual Conference & Exhibition (CPEEC & CPSSC 2023), taking place on November 10-13, 2023, in Guangzhou, China.
Finals of the Annual “GaN Systems Cup” Power Electronics Application Design Competition will kick off concurrently. GaN Systems, as the primary sponsor for nine consecutive years, will participate in the opening ceremony and recognize the winners at the award ceremony.
While power efficiency is at the forefront of global policymaking, advancements in power electronics have gained importance, and talent remains the cornerstone of these advancements. The “GaN Systems Cup” Competition provides a podium for aspiring young engineers to challenge themselves and unlock the full potential of power electronics with GaN power semiconductors.
This year, out of the 68 teams from 46 colleges and universities that participated, 24 qualify for finals. The finalists will present prototype designs for a three-phase inverter using GaN Systems’ power transistors. The panel of judges comprised of experts from the industry and academia will evaluate these prototype designs based on performance in efficiency and power density.
Explore New Opportunities for Power Electronics at the CPEEC & CPSSC 2023
GaN Systems will showcase the latest reference designs for automotive, data center, and consumer industries at Booth 3-026. Its representatives will also be available to discuss the step-function performance boost and industry-leading figures of merit of recently released Gen4 power platform.
Original – GaN Systems
GaN / LATEST NEWS / WBG4 Min Read
In the world of electric vehicles (EVs), performance and efficiency are paramount. As the EV industry grows, power designers constantly strive to provide more power, reduce losses, minimize heat, and shrink system sizes. These requirements stem from the ongoing pursuit of lighter vehicles with extended ranges, reduced battery size, and lower overall system costs.
The continuous drive for improvement has led to accelerated adoption of a pivotal technology transforming the landscape of EV traction design: Gallium Nitride (GaN). Particularly noteworthy are the benefits of GaN in 400V and 800V battery traction inverter designs. The growing recognition of GaN’s exceptional performance, compared to conventional silicon and SiC alternatives, underscores its critical role in the future of the EV industry.
GaN-Powered 400V Battery Traction Inverters
GaN stands out as a transformative force for 400V battery-based traction inverters—delivering the benefits that designers expect. With GaN, efficiency increases, resulting in nearly 40% reduction in power loss. Additionally, GaN power semiconductors enable a 33% increase in power density, reducing the overall size and weight of the traction inverter. Altogether, the reduced losses and smaller size result in EVs with lower costs and longer driving range, meeting critical consumer requirements.
GaN’s Emergence in 800V Battery Traction Inverters
In 800V battery-based traction inverters, the adoption of GaN-based three-level topology (3LT) is a growing trend. The demonstrated benefits are numerous.
- Higher Overall Efficiency: In addition to minimizing switching losses and increasing efficiency in the inverter, the GaN 3LT solution also reduces high-frequency copper and iron losses in the filters and motor. The inverter plus motor combined efficiency gains translates to incrementally higher efficiency compared to two-level solutions.
- Lower Noise, Harshness, and EMI Interference: The GaN 3LT generates an output voltage with a sinusoidal-like shape, resulting in reduced dV/dt and lower harmonics. The 3LT output reduces filtering requirements and minimizes high-frequency losses in filters and motors, resulting in lower noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) characteristics. It also operates with a low common voltage, reducing insulation stress and electromagnetic interference (EMI).
- Increased Durability and Reliability: Operating at a lower common voltage also means the peak common mode voltage is suppressed, which reduces the potential for common mode voltage spikes, ensuring a smoother and more stable circuit operation. Furthermore, the 3LT decreases the strain on electric motor bearings. These operating characteristics contribute to a prolonged lifespan with increased durability and reliability.
The EV Market
EVs are at their tipping point, with more than 10 million electric cars sold worldwide in 2022, and sales are expected to grow by 35% this year to reach 14 million cars. Meeting consumer, regulatory, and OEM expectations means peak performance is critical, and this requires a holistic approach that factors in both the inverter and motor considerations. Multi-level GaN is emerging as the lynchpin, offering a range of advantages. Notably, GaN fosters high efficiency at the system level while bolstering overall system reliability.
For example, consider the all-GaN vehicle developed in collaboration with Toyota and Nagoya University teams. The All GaN Vehicle features multiple power applications of GaN in the car: in the traction inverter, the On-Board Charger (OBC), and the DC-DC converter. GaN increased power density and improved efficiency by 20% over silicon, extending the car’s driving range.
Meanwhile, Ricardo, a highly regarded global engineering firm, designed and compared a GaN inverter to a SIC-based inverter. Their test results of the 30kW inverter application demonstrated a 25% reduction in power loss and a 33% increase in power density with GaN compared to SiC. Several Tier1 and OEM automotive companies have realized similar results with traction designs up to 250kW.
In an era of EV innovation, GaN is a driving force accelerating performance and efficiency in both 400V and 800V traction inverters. With the EV industry advancing towards worldwide mass acceptance, the time for GaN adoption is now. The compelling results from rigorous testing and real-world applications point to GaN as the technology well-positioned to reshape the electric mobility landscape.
Original – GaN Systems
EVENTS / GaN / LATEST NEWS / Si / WBG3 Min Read
SEMICON Taiwan 2023 once again underscored Taiwan’s strategic importance in the global semiconductor industry. Entering its 28th year, the event was held in Taipei, gathering 950 exhibitors with 3,000 booths and attracting more than 62,000 visitors. The sheer scale of participation was evident in the hour-long traffic queues and bustling metro platforms as people flocked into the Exhibition Halls.
Innovations and sustainability were the focal points of this year’s show. Distinguished figures from the industry took the stage to emphasize the resilience of the semiconductor supply chain and envision a greener and more intelligent future enabled by semiconductors. Fueled by tremendous opportunities in artificial intelligence, communications, and automotive electronics, the semiconductor industry is poised to expand to a trillion-dollar market by the close of this decade despite the short-term cyclical downturns.
Reshaping Mobility with Power Semiconductors
This year, energy efficiency came to the forefront of innovations, especially among applications that have far-reaching impacts on the global economy, with electric vehicles being one.
Electrification and autonomous trends continue to drive up the semiconductor content per vehicle. Wide bandgap semiconductors like SiC and GaN have emerged as pivotal players, making substantial contributions to the performance and efficiency of next-generation electric vehicles.
It was exciting to see industry key players illustrate significant improvements achieved by new-generation semiconductors in terms of power efficiency, power density, and connectivity. Research firms estimate that silicon-based semiconductors will grow at a CAGR of 4% from 2022 to 2028, while SiC will grow at 31% and GaN at 49%, highlighting the growth potential of wide bandgap semiconductors.
More Data, More Computing Power, More Energy Consumption
The rapid adoption of artificial intelligence applications in every aspect of our lives presents a significant opportunity for the semiconductor industry. The recent breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, like generative AI, are made possible by the progress of semiconductor technologies, which were on full display at this year’s expo.
The computing power and the memory access required for AI applications are still growing at an unprecedented pace, and the energy consumption is proportional to the computing capability. More efficient energy conversion and distribution solutions are critical for data centers to accommodate increasing energy-intensive workloads.
Key takeaways Summary
- SEMICON Taiwan once again turned out to be an enlightening event, fostering the exchange of experiences and the dissemination of ingenious ideas.
- Energy efficiency challenges overall system performance as electronic devices become versatile and highly integrated. GaN power semiconductors are a low-cost and reliable solution to tackle power challenges for power-hungry applications.
- Technology advancement hinges on two significant investments: innovation and talent. We’re pleased to note these were repeatedly addressed in keynotes and presentations at this year’s event.
Original – GaN Systems
GaN / LATEST NEWS / PRODUCT & TECHNOLOGY / TOP STORIES / WBG2 Min Read
GaN Systems announced the introduction of its groundbreaking 4th generation GaN power platform. This state-of-the-art technology sets a new power efficiency and compactness standard, delivering an impressive step-function performance boost and industry-leading figures of merit. For example, with GaN Systems Gen4 in an artificial intelligence (AI) server rack, 3.2kW power supplies at 100W/in3 in 2022 are now achieving 120W/in3 with efficiencies above Titanium levels. Gen4 will revolutionize power markets, including consumer electronics, data centers, solar energy, industrial applications, and automotive.
The Gen4 platform also delivers more total bill of material cost savings compared to traditional Silicon and Silicon Carbide solutions, making GaN Systems’ technology a powerful choice for businesses seeking to enhance their competitive advantage.
“Our lead customers have already realized the benefits of our Gen4 platform,” stated Jim Witham, CEO of GaN Systems. “This platform is a testament to our ongoing commitment to continuously delivering superior performance advantages and next-generation levels of efficiency. GaN Systems, in strategic collaboration with industry leaders like TSMC, has invested significantly to meet the ever-evolving demands of our customers. We are pioneering a transformation in product offerings, packaging innovations, enriched functionalities, and unparalleled performance across our markets.”
A Huge Leap for Power Electronics Technology
The Gen4 power platform boasts the following benefits:
- >20% improvement in input and output figures-of-merit translates into reduced losses, enhanced efficiency, and more cost-effective solutions.
- Increased granularity in device specification, combined with a wide range of packaging options, including PDFN, TOLL, TOLT, and Embedded – allowing the correct Rds resistance and package combination for each application, consequently optimizing electrical and thermal system performance.
- 700V E-mode with the industry’s highest transient voltage rating, 850V, significantly enhancing total system reliability and robustness. This rating enables the semiconductor components to withstand user environment anomalies, such as voltage spikes, ensuring uninterrupted and dependable performance.
- On-state resistance ranges enable power systems from 20W to 25,000W.
For more information, visit https://gansystems.com/gan-transistors/gen-4/
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GaN / LATEST NEWS / TOP STORIES / WBG3 Min Read
GaN Systems has partnered with ACEpower to expedite the widespread adoption of GaN technology in electric vehicles. By harnessing GaN Systems’ cutting-edge power semiconductors, extensive expertise in EV power electronics, and ACEpower’s exceptional track record in high-power system design and high-volume manufacturing capabilities, this partnership will accelerate the GaN-based electric vehicle power market in China.
GaN power semiconductors play a pivotal role in realizing the compact size, lightweight, and high efficiency demanded by the next generation of high-performance electric vehicles. By harnessing GaN Systems’ automotive-grade, high-performance GaN power transistors alongside ACEpower’s deep expertise in the power electronics industry, the companies are combining their distinctive capabilities to unlock the full potential of GaN performance advantages.
In addition to other areas, the partnership will focus on topology optimization and advanced integrated power modules, and high-frequency magnetics design to enhance crucial electric vehicle efficiency and power density significantly.
“We are delighted to announce our partnership with GaN Systems to accelerate GaN adoption in electric vehicles,” said Albert Wang, CEO of ACEpower. “Our longstanding relationship with GaN Systems, coupled with their unrivaled expertise in high reliability, automotive-qualified GaN semiconductors—a vital component for electric vehicles—brings great business opportunities in the fast growth Chinese EV market. Together, we are committed to driving innovation that will revolutionize electric vehicles, particularly in efficiency and power density, delivering substantial benefits to the industry.”
This combination tackles fundamental challenges related to traditionally larger, heavier, inefficient, and costlier power systems based on legacy silicon power transistors. GaN power transistors enable higher efficiency and power density at a faster switching speed for onboard chargers, DC/DC converters, and traction inverters. These advancements translate into faster charging, extended driving range, and reduced overall system costs.
“Today’s announcement marks a significant leap in our cooperative efforts with ACEpower to drive GaN adoption in the Chinese electric vehicle market,” said Jim Witham, CEO of GaN Systems. “This collaboration paves the way for disruptive and game-changing advancements in next-generation electric vehicles. Building upon our strong industry relationships with key players such as BMW, Toyota, and Vitesco, GaN Systems and ACEpower are poised to make a substantial impact in accelerating GaN adoption across the electric vehicle platform.”
GaN Systems and ACEpower’s shared vision extends to capturing substantial market value in emerging sectors such as data centers and electric vehicles. Future initiatives encompass the joint development of high-power density GaN-powered OBCs rated at 6.6kW and 11kW for electric vehicles, solidifying their commitment to driving innovation and advancing the power industry.
Original – GaN Systems