Navitas Semiconductor has announced a major technology breakthrough with the introduction of the industry’s first integrated half-bridge GaN Power IC. Half-bridge circuits are essential building blocks in power electronics, used in everything from smartphone chargers and laptop adapters, to TVs, solar panels, datacentres and electric vehicles.
Navitas’ proprietary AllGaN half-bridge GaN power chip with iDrive monolithically integrates all the functions required to deliver switching speeds of up to 2 MHz and enable a dramatic reduction in size, cost and weight while delivering faster charging.cPreviously, older silicon-based half-bridge components suffered from slow switching and parasitic power losses, slowing speeds by up to 30 times, according to the company.
The first half-bridge GaN Power IC is the 650V-rated NV6250, in a 6x8mm QFN complete with dual drivers, level shifter, dual 560mOhm power FETs, bootstrap circuit and extensive protection features. Low-power digital PWM inputs switch the half-bridge at all frequencies, with ease-of-use and layout flexibility for the power system designer. The NV6250 is compatible with a wide range of analogue and digital controllers from multiple IC partners.
“This is an exciting time in the field of power electronics”, explained Navitas CEO Gene Sheridan. “High-voltage, high-speed power systems are now commercially viable and will enable a new class of high-density, fast-charging and lower-cost power systems. Since Navitas first demonstrated the half-bridge at APEC 2015, we have worked closely with partners to create the next generation of adapters and chargers with breakthrough size and efficiency. Our earlier announcement of the AllGaN platform’s JEDEC qualification demonstrates GaN’s maturity and readiness” Sheridan added.
“The perennial difficulty with the half-bridge topology in high-frequency applications is how to power and control the high-side switch precisely, quickly and efficiently”, said Milan M. Jovanovic, senior VP of R&D at Delta, a major power supply company. “By integrating the critical level-shifting, bootstrap, and dual-drive functions, all in Gallium Nitride, major practical challenges have been solved, paving the way for MHz high-voltage power systems.”
"MIT has studied the opportunities and the limitations in high-frequency power converters for more than a decade”, said David Perreault, leader of the MIT Power Electronics Research Group. “One key bottleneck in many designs has been the limitation in high-speed level shifting and driving of high-side devices. The introduction of high-voltage GaN Power ICs with integrated, high-speed drivers has tremendous potential in many applications. Congratulations, Navitas!” Perreault concluded.
Samples and demonstration boards for the NV6250 are available immediately to qualified customers, with production planned for Q2, 2017.
Navitas will demonstrate the NV6250 and other AllGaN GaN Power ICs at the Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC) March 26th – 30th, 2017 in Tampa, Florida.