500W GaN boost DC-DC converter for 48V designs

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By Nick Flaherty

EPC has teamed with Renesas Electronics to develop a 500W DC-DC demonstration board using its gallium nitride (GaN) transistor.

The EPC9166 demo board demonstrates the Renesas ISL81807 80 V two-phase synchronous boost controller with the latest generation EPC2218 eGaN FETs from EPC to achieve greater than 96.5 percent efficiency in a 12 V input to 48 V regulated output conversion with 500 kHz switching frequency.  The output voltage can be configured to 36 V, 48 V, and 60 V. The board can deliver 480 W power without a heatsink.

“The Renesas ISL81807 is designed to fully exploit the high performance of GaN FETs for high power density solutions” said Andrew Cowell, Vice President of the Mobility, Industrial and Infrastructure Power Division at Renesas. “ISL81807 reduces BOM cost for GaN solutions because it does not require an MCU, current sense op amp, external driver or bias power. It is also fully protected and integrates the GaN drivers. With the ISL81807, designing with GaN FETs is as simple as designing with silicon-based FETs.”

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Regulated DC-DC boost converters are widely used in data centre, computing and automotive applications, converting a nominal 12 V to a 48 V bus.  The EPC2218 is the smallest and highest efficiency 100 V FET in the market and is coupoled with the ISL81807, the industry’s first 80 V dual-output/two-phase (single output) synchronous buck controller with integrated GaN driver, supporting frequencies up to 2 MHz. The ISL81807 uses current mode control and generates two independent outputs or one output with two interleaved phases. It supports current sharing, synchronization for paralleling more controllers/more phases, enhanced light load efficiency and low shutdown current. ISL81807 directly drives EPC GaN FETs, ensuring easy design, low component count and solution cost.

“The Renesas controller IC makes using GaN even easier. We are delighted to work with Renesas to combine the benefits of their advanced controllers with the performance of GaN to provide customers with a low component count solution that increases efficiency, increases power density, and reduces system cost,” said Alex Lidow, CEO of EPC.

The EPC9166 demonstration board from EPC is priced $300.00 each and is available for immediate delivery from Digi-Key at;

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