Cambridge GaN Devices (CGD) has launched a project to develop and commercialise a highly efficient Gallium Nitride (GaN) chip technology for data centre server power supplies.
The aim of the ICeData project is to boost the efficiency of data centre server power supplies to more than 98 percent with additional sensing. The power transistors and integrated devices will be specifically tailored for Switched Mode Power Supplies (SMPS) for data centres and telecommunication servers.
Data centres currently account for around two percent of the world’s energy use, with an annual electricity consumption rate of 400TWh in 2018 set to double by the end of the decade. GaN has already increased the efficiency of consumer equipment to reduce energy consumption and there are several 48V GaN reference designs for data centre SMPS power supplies.
The combination of higher efficiency and higher power density by using GaN can also achieve significant savings on both capex and opex for data centres.
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CGD’s ICeGaN gate technology enables the simple driving of the GaN transistor without using a specialised GaN driver, cutting costs and power consumption for the whole system. The ICeData project will also add smart features for sensing and protection to enhance reliability, without the need for extra components. The on-chip sensing and protection circuits can react in nanoseconds to overcurrent and overtemperature events, protecting the device and ultimately protecting the power system.
CGD’s first product line featuring ICeGaN technology will be released in the first half of 2022, and the project aims to deliver a qualified and production-ready set of GaN power IC devices.
“Cambridge GaN Device’s ICeData project addresses solutions that are lighter, more compact, significantly more efficient and potentially cheaper than those based on silicon,” said Dr Giorgia Longobardi, CEO and founder of CGD. “Developing green technologies that deliver real reductions in CO2 emissions and create greater energy efficiency is vital if we are to meet low carbon targets on the path to net zero.”
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