1200V GaN FET for 99% efficiency

1200V GaN FET for 99% efficiency

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

GaN pioneer Transphorm is to demonstrate a 1200V gallium nitride (GaN) FET that enables a switching efficiency of 99% later this year.

The 1200V GaN device delivers greater than 99 percent efficiency and performs well against a leading SiC MOSFET of similar on-resistance, says the company. The development of the device was partially funded by the ARPA-E CIRCUITS programme, aiming at electric vehicle mobility and infrastructure power systems as well as industrial and renewable energy systems.

The 1200V FETs are expected to be available for sampling in 2023.  

“1200V GaN has been discussed within the industry for some time, but often perceived as rather difficult to achieve,” said Dr. Isik Kizilyalli, Associate Director for Technology at the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E). “As part of the ARPA-E CIRCUITS program led by the Illinois Institute of Technology, the Transphorm team has demonstrated an important breakthrough, showcasing GaN performance at the 1200-volt device node with high efficiency 800-volt switching.” 

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The presentation at a power exhibition in May will provide detailed information of device configuration and performance analysis conducted using a hard-switched, synchronous boost half bridge topology. The initial 1200V GaN device in a TO-247 package has an RDS(on) of 70 milliohms and scales to lower resistance and higher power levels. Early results show low leakage with a breakdown voltage of greater than 1400 volts.

“Building on Transphorm’s unique vertically integrated capability, our engineers have yet again pushed the limits of what’s possible with GaN,” said Umesh Mishra, CTO and Co-founder, Transphorm. “We aim to bring to market an ultra-high voltage, reliable GaN product that will give customers more choice when developing power systems. Our 1200-volt GaN FET will enable excellent performance with greater designability and cost effectiveness than SiC solutions. We see this as an important milestone for the GaN power electronics industry.”

Commercially available high power GaN transistors generally range from 600 to 650 volts, although there are several projects looking at higher voltages.

Transphorm’s core product portfolio is comprised of normally-off 650V devices in established TO-XXX and PQFN packages that are easier to design in and drive versus alternative e-mode GaN or SiC options. Demonstrating the 1200V FET’s performance promises to expand the company’s portfolio and market opportunity by supporting demanding, high performance power system applications traditionally relying on SiC solutions.

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