Cambridge GaN Devices launches its first integrated parts

Cambridge GaN Devices launches its first integrated parts

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

UK startup Cambridge GaN Devices (CGD) is showing its first products this week at the APEC show in the US.

The 650 V ICeGaN H1 series is an enhanced mode (eMode), normally-off device that includes control and sensing to make it easier to use with standard MOSFET drivers in the same way as cascode GaN devices but with lower losses.  

There are four devices in the initial family with an on resistance (Rds(ON)) from 55 mΩ to 200 mΩ in two of the most popular surface mount packages, DFN5x6 and DFN8x8. Other specific chip and packages solutions for high power markets are in preparation.

CGD was founded by Dr. Giorgia Longobardi (above left) with Prof. Florin Udrea (right) using research from the University of Cambridge and the company has spent six years developing the new devices. Since 2016 it has built a portfolio of 39 patents and applications, 20 of which are distinctive inventions including the ICeGaN (Integrated Circuit Enhancement Mode GaN) technology.

“Our GaN-based technology makes a difficult engineering challenge easy while operating at a high level of efficiency,” said Longobardi. “This is due to the team’s expertise in GaN and our profound knowledge of the material, the device physics, as well as our deep understanding of market requirements.”

“Sustainability is a core tenet of our business and we are always researching innovative solutions with the aim of continuously lowering power losses in the electronic power industry to benefit a wide community of customers and end users,” she said. “We’re extremely committed to not only delivering a green product, but to be a company that has embedded sustainability in its own culture with the entire team dedicated to the journey ahead.”

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While a cascode device uses a combination of GaN and silicon, the ICeGaN is a single gallium nitride die that has up to 50% power loss reduction compared to legacy silicon die. The technology is fully scalable on power and voltage for future developments.

“The ICeGaN 650 V H1 series is focused on making life easier for all those who have been trying to design-in GaN transistors and have dedicated significant R&D effort to figure out how to drive them,” said Andrea Bricconi, VP of business development at CGD. “These four products can be seamlessly interfaced with gate drivers which make ICeGaN-based GaN HEMTs easy to use, like a Silicon MOSFET. No additional components are needed to drive ICeGaN, no clamping diodes for protection, no negative voltages are needed to TurnOFF the power transistor, and still the highest performance levels are guaranteed by GaN intrinsic properties.”

Initial applications include consumer electronic products such as mobile chargers, adapters for laptops, gaming and all-in-one computers and general purpose switch mode power supplies (SMPS) for consumer applications.

The 650 V H1 Series portfolio is also a first step into lighting and server power, with further expansion is planned towards high power servers and telecom markets for data centres, PV inverters and renewable energy production.

CGD’s long term product strategy is also supported by four UK and EU research projects, the latest being ICeData, an initiative aiming to develop and commercialise highly efficient GaN-based ICs for use in data centre server power supplies. The company is also looking at higher voltage, higher power GaN devices for electric vehicles.

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