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Why choose GaN for your next high-voltage power design?

What is Gallium Nitride (GaN)?

Gallium nitride (GaN) wide-bandgap semiconductors enable compact, lightweight, efficient, and reliable power conversion. For many high-voltage applications, GaN power devices offer significant benefits compared to other power ICs.
GaN devices enable higher power density and more efficiency than traditional silicon metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) and insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs). GaN offers improved efficiency, cutting power-converter losses by 80% compared with silicon-only solutions, and minimizes the need for cooling components, packing more power into smaller, lighter systems. GaN achieves higher switching speeds than silicon or even silicon carbide (SiC), minimizing the need for costly, bulky, heavy magnetics in your design. GaN and silicon carbide (SiC) overlap at some power levels, but GaN offers key advantages for specific applications.
Solutions

Achieving lifetime GaN reliability

TI GaN devices keep high-voltage systems safe. TI employs a proprietary GaN-on-Si process, has conducted more than 40 million hours of reliability testing, and provides integrated protection features.

Addressing GaN failure mechanisms

In GaN devices, the primary failure mechanisms are time-dependent breakdown (TDB), hot-carrier degradation, and charge trapping. TI validates long-term dynamic RDS(ON) stability at stringent low-duty-cycle operation under hot-carrier-creating hard-switching conditions.

System-level reliability and protection

TI tests GaN products under extreme conditions for surge and short-circuit robustness. TI employs a GaN-specific methodology to address switching reliability, conduct tests, address failure modes, and extrapolate lifetime information.

Texas Instruments GaN portfolio highlights

LMG3425R050
600-V 50-mΩ GaN FET with integrated driver, protection features, temperature reporting, and ideal-diode mode. Also available in a 30-mΩ version. 
LMG3422R050
600-V 50-mΩ GaN FET with integrated driver, protection features, and temperature reporting. Also available in the 30-mΩ version.
LMG3522R030-Q1 
650-V 30-mΩ automotive-qualified GaN FET with integrated driver, protection features, and temperature reporting in a top-side cooled package.

GaN applications 

Telecom/server power
Maximize energy efficiency for telecom and server systems with TI GaN. TI GaN devices let you achieve 80 Plus® Titanium standards with 96.5% total energy efficiency for telecom and server systems. Switching frequencies greater than 500 kHz minimize the need for bulky magnetics, allowing you to achieve >100-W/in.3 power density.
AC/DC power delivery
Reduce the size of your consumer power adapters and chargers by 50% (down to 49 cm3) and improve their efficiency by up to 94% with TI GaN. Pair TI’s LMG2610 with the UCC28782 active clamp flyback (ACF) controller to create an easy-to-use, high-efficiency and high power-density solution for AC/DC designs under 75 W. 
Battery-test equipment
Achieve higher channel density and reduced AC/DC converter size in battery-tester systems using TI’s GaN FETs with integrated gate drivers. Compared with silicon MOSFETs and SiC FETs, TI GaN devices allow higher switching frequencies (>200 kHz) in DC/DC-converter stages, enabling charge-to-discharge transitions within 1 ms. The integrated gate drivers reduce parasitic losses and simplify system-level design. 
Solar/energy-storage systems
Use TI GaN technology to achieve beyond 1.2-kW/L power density in bidirectional AC/DC power converters for energy-storage systems and solar- and wind-energy installations. TI’s GaN devices for such systems switch at 140 kHz, offering 20% higher power density and enabling the use of lower-cost magnetics compared to converters incorporating SiC FETs. 
Appliances
Realize higher power efficiency and a smaller form factor in PFC power stages for appliances as well as heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems with TI’s GaN devices. With switching frequencies to 60 kHz, GaN-based power stages have higher efficiencies—greater than 99%—than power stages based on IGBTs, boosting efficiency while reducing magnetics and heat-sink size and cost.
Complete your GaN design
TI offers a complete portfolio of devices to use in GaN-based designs:
  • C2000 real-time MCUs.
  • Digital isolators.
  • Isolated DC/DC converters and modules
  • Flyback controllers
  • Inductor-inductor-capacitor (LLC) controllers
  • Power-factor-correction (PFC) controllers

Reference Designs  

PMP23069

PMP23069—3.6-kW single-phase totem-pole bridgeless power-factor-correction (PFC) reference design: This GaN-based design employs a continuous-conduction-mode (CCM) totem-pole PFC topology and achieves > 180-W/in³ power density. A boost converter following the power stage reduces bulk-capacitor size. The design incorporates an LMG3522 top-side-cooled GaN device with an integrated driver as well as a C2000 controller to handle communications and housekeeping chores.

PMP23126 

PMP23126—3-kW phase-shifted full bridge with active clamp reference design: Offering >270-W/in3 power density, this design incorporates a TI 30-mΩ GaN on the primary side and silicon MOSFETs on the secondary side. It includes an active clamp to minimize voltage stress on the secondary synchronous MOSFETs, allowing the use of lower-voltage MOSFETs with better figures of merit (FoM). The design operates at 100 kHz and achieves 97.74% peak efficiency.

PMP40988

PMP40988—Variable-frequency, ZVS, 5-kW, GaN-based, two-phase totem-pole PFC reference design: This design uses an improved triangular-current mode (iTCM) to achieve small size and high efficiency. A high-performance processing core inside a TMS320F280049C microcontroller maintains efficiency over a wide operating range. The design operates between 100 kHz and 800 kHz and can attain 99% peak system efficiency with an open-frame power density of 120 W/in3.

TIDA-010210

TIDA-010210—11-kW, bidirectional, three-phase active neutral-point clamped (ANPC) inverter GaN reference design: This three-level design switches at 100 kHz, minimizing the size of the required magnetics and increasing the power density of the power stage. The multilevel topology allows the use of 600-V power devices at DC-bus voltages to 1,000 V. The lower switching-voltage stress reduces switching losses, resulting in a 98.5% peak efficiency.

PMP40690

PMP40690—4-kW interleaved continuous-conduction-mode (CCM) totem-pole bridgeless PFC reference design: This design uses a C2000™ MCU, LM3410 GaN device, and TMCS1100 Hall-effect sensor to enable a compact PCB measuring 145 mm by 105 mm by 35 mm. GaN power-stage devices enable a peak 98.73 % efficiency. Advanced functions include phase shedding, adaptive dead time, input-capacitor compensation, and a nonlinear voltage loop to reduce overshoot and undershoot.

TIDA-010203 

TIDA-010203—4-kW single-phase totem-pole PFC reference design: A C2000 MCU and GaN MOSFETs enable this design to demonstrate a robust PFC solution that avoids the need for isolated current sensing, enabling a high-speed OPA607 amplifier to assist with realizing reliable overcurrent protection. The design makes a good platform for studying high-efficiency products’ PFC stages.

Case Study

Delta Electronics chose TI’s integrated GaN FETs and C2000™ real-time MCUs for the design of its enterprise server power-supply unit (PSU), combining TI devices with its high-efficiency power-electronics expertise to achieve an 80% improvement in power density with 1% better efficiency compared to enterprise server power supplies using a traditional architecture.
"GaN has crossed the threshold from being a future technology to an immediate, viable option available today for new designs of power-supply systems."
Jimmy Yiin,
vice president and general manager of the Power
and System Business Group at Delta Electronics
GaN is a key technology for efficient, high-voltage power designs. TI has a complete portfolio of GaN devices backed by over 40 million hours of reliability test data.

Additional Resources

Increasing Power Density With an Integrated GaN

GaN can replace traditional silicon MOSFETs and drive higher power density and efficiency. Integrating functions such as a gate driver and voltage supply regulation can significantly simplify your overall design. 

 

View BlogOpens in a new window.
GaN Performance With an Integrated Driver
GaN devices are traditionally packaged as discrete devices and driven with a separate driver. However, integrating the GaN FET and driver in the same package reduces parasitic inductances and optimizes switching performance.
View White PaperOpens in a new window.
How GaN Enables High Efficiency in Totem-Pole PFC-based Power Designs
With power consumption increasing around the globe, the associated energy loss in the AC/DC power-conversion process becomes significant. GaN can help increase energy efficiency and reduce losses in telecom, server, and other application areas.
View BlogOpens in a new window.