French developer combines new GaN FET and driver in single package

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The G-FET3 and G-DRIVE designs are intended for fast chargers that comply with the USB power delivery (PD) 3.0 type C standard with higher efficiency and integration.

The GaN-on-silicon devices were launched at this week’s PCIM Europe conference in Nuremberg in 45W to 65W chargers. Grenoble-based Exagan, founded in 2014, works with  X-FAB Silicon Foundries and French research institute CEA-Leti for 200-mm GaN technology and manufacturing and TÜV NORD GROUP for product quality, testing and reliability.

“The market potential for our products is enormous including all portable electronic devices as well as homes, restaurants, hotels, airports, automobiles and more,” said Frédéric Dupont, president and CEO of Exagan. “In the near future, users will be able to quickly charge their smart phones, tablets, laptops and other devices simply by plugging a standard USB cable into a small, generic mobile charger.”

The ability of USB type C ports to serve as universal connections for the simultaneous transfer of electrical power, data and video is leading to tremendous growth. The number of devices with at least one USB type C port is forecasted by IHS Markit to grow from 300m units in 2016 to nearly 5bn by 2021.

The company uses 200-mm GaN-on-silicon wafers in its fabrication process, achieving highly cost efficient high-volume manufacturing and is now sampling its fast, energy-efficient devices to key customers while ramping up production to begin volume shipments of G-FET and G-DRIVE products.

The G-FET (650 V), the first-generation product, are designed in normally-on and normally-off structures and range from a few amperes to several tens of amperes. It is offered as simple die or packaged devices with a known-good-die (KGD) capability that greatly reduces the integration risk in power modules. The devices are tested on a proprietary hardware and software platform that allows full functional testing under the conditions of actual applications.

The second generation 1200V G-FET devices will enable more efficient inverter and converter architectures while driving higher switching power at a reduced cost says Dupont.

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