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GaN enhancement for 48V DC/DC power conversion in servers and automotive

Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) has recently introduced two new, 100V, GaN devices that are able to handle 48V server and automotive needs. I will be examining the 48V server power solutions to the processor as well as in automotive and energy storage systems (See my article Bi-directional DC/DC power supplies: Which way do we go?) bi-directional supplies, in an EDN exclusive article coming up in the near future. GaN power transistors MUST be a part of these kinds of architectures; from my point-of-view there is no better alternative.

The newest of these GaN transistors, EPC2053, is cost-effective and available off-the-shelf like the rest of this family with EPC2045, EPC2052, and EPC2051giving a variety of choices for designers.

You can see the advantages and the choices that designers have with this family in the following chart.

Exciting new applications for 48V input conversion designs can benefit from these new solutions like Cloud Computing, AI, and high-performance motor drives. Automotive solutions are also beginning to go to 48V distribution systems from the traditional 12V systems. This move is opening up new applications such as autonomous vehicles equipped with LiDAR, RADAR, cameras, and ultrasonic sensors.

GaN gives 48VIN designs the best efficiency because of their lower capacitance and smaller board footprint. 97% efficiency is not too ‘shabby’! Designers can speed their time-to-market by using the following EPC tools:

The EPC9138 demonstration board is a 400 kHz switching frequency, 48 VIN, 15 A output current, buck converter featuring the 100 V EPC2053.

The EPC9141 demonstration board is a 400 kHz switching frequency, 48 VIN, 10 A output current, buck converter featuring the 100 V EPC2045.

EPC also gives designers standard half-bridge development boards available to support easy in-circuit performance evaluation of each of the 100 V family devices. The EPC9093 supports the EPC2053, the EPC9078 and EPC9205 support the EPC2045, the EPC9092 supports the EPC2052 and the EPC9091 supports the EPC2051.

Visit the EPC website for more information.

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