Fraunhofer details RISC-V GaN intelligent power module

Fraunhofer details RISC-V GaN intelligent power module

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Fraunhofer IMS helping the GaNext project to develop an intelligent power module (IPM) based on GaN devices and a RISC-V controller core.

Working with Cambridge GaN Devices, Signify, Infineon and nine other organisations, the aim of the module is to lower the entry hurdle in the use of GaN with higher energy density.

The module, due in 2022, will combine with gate drivers and a programmable, fail-safe control unit with integrated protection circuits. The integration of the individual components in a compact housing increases the user-friendliness for the end user.

The €10.2m project is part of the European EUREKA cluster PENTA includes partners from research and industry for semiconductor devices, system integration (packaging) and power electronics.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems (IMS), in cooperation with advICo microelectronics is contributing a programmable and fail-safe pulse width modulation (PWM) controller chip for the power module. Integrated safety functions, filter units, a wide range of programmable time response and a RISC-V based processor allow an optimal adaptation to the characteristics of the GaN power devices.

Power electronic systems based on GaN semiconductor devices can be lighter, more compact, significantly more efficient and potentially more cost-effective than designs based on silicon devices.

The IPM developed in GaNext should enable more end users to switch to this efficient technology. In the field of electromobility this leads to higher efficiencies and more compact and lighter designs, so that significantly more efficient and lighter charging systems can be built with higher efficiencies.

In the UK the project adds the Compound Semiconductor Catapult and power system consultancy Lyra Electronics. In the Netherlands, Eindhoven University of Technology is working with assembly expert Besi Netherlands and manufacturer Neways Technologies. In Germany, the Technische Universität Dortmund is working with Maccon Elektroniksysteme as well as Sumida.

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