Navitas takes integrated GaN into higher power applications

Navitas takes integrated GaN into higher power applications

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Navitas Semiconductor has launched a more integrated gallium nitride (GaN) technology for higher power applications up to 22kW.

GaNSafe is the fourth generation GaN technology and is aimed at higher power from 1 to 22kW applications in data centre power supplies, solar microinverters and DC-DC converters for electric vehicles.

It adds control, sensing, a Miller clamp, level shift and protection that allows for a 20 year warranty. The technology was launched in Taiwan this week with the support of manufacturing partner TSMC and integrating technology from Halo driver joint venture and Belgian digital isolation startup VDD Tech.

“We’ve always had integrating a GaN voltage regulator and gate drive with the FET itself on a silicon plate since 2016,” Stephen Oliver, VP of marketing at Navitas tells eeNews Europe.

”The real point of GaNSafe is it has been used in cellphone chargers and home appliances but there has been a glass ceiling in terms of power and reliability for the data centre, solar and automotive, With GaN Safe we have now got something that is electrically more robust with a 2000V ESD protection diode on the same chip with 800V isolation and programmable dv/dt for the gate drivers,” he said.

The initial, high-power 650V GaNSafe portfolio covers a range of RDS(ON) from 35 to 98 mΩ in a new four pin surface-mount 10 x 10mm TOLL package.

The chip integrates a regulated gate-drive control, with zero gate-source loop inductance for reliable high-speed 2 MHz switching capability to maximize application power density. High-speed short-circuit protection provides autonomous ‘detect and protect’ functions within 50 ns.

The Navitas GaNSafe technology

The Navitas GaNSafe technology

The electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection is 2kV, allowing simpler and higher frequency designs with the four pin package.  Programmable turn-on and turn-off speeds (dV/dt) simplify EMI regulatory requirements.

“It is in a rock solid TOLL package and because the copper slug is 2.5x the mass of the QFN for more thermal support,” said Oliver.

The technology has been used for a 3.2kW 1U data centre power system with 5.9 W/cc, or almost 100 W/in3 power density. This is a 40% size reduction compared to the equivalent legacy silicon approach which comes from a switching frequency of 300kHz and it reaches over 96.5% efficiency at 30% load, and over 96% stretching from 20% to 60% load.

“We are guaranteeing 2MHz switching for everything GaNSafe which is more than most microcontrollers can handle,” says Oliver.

Similarly a 6.6 kW 3-in-1 bi-directional EV on-board charger (OBC) with 3 kW DC-DC converter achieves 96%+ efficient with over 50% higher power density. It is working with Chinese car maker Zeekr, a subsidiary of Geely that also owns Volvo, on designs with GaNSafe and the GeneSiC silicon carbide technology acquired last year, and is working on 11kW and 22kW charger systems.

“Currently we are locked in for Zeekr for 2025 production using GanSafe – we have a joint design centre with Geely with our engineers in their office in Shanghai and we are working on various platforms with GaNSafe and GeneSiC. We are agnostic about the technology we can use,” he said.

The GaNSafe portfolio is available immediately to qualified customers with mass production expected to begin in Q4 2023. 40 customer projects are already in progress with GaNSafe in data centre, solar, energy storage and EV applications.

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