“Discrete power transistors are entering their final chapter,” said Alex Lidow, CEO and co-founder of Efficient Power Conversion (EPC). He adds: “Integrated GaN-on-Silicon offers higher performance in a smaller footprint with significantly reduced engineering required. This new family of integrated power stages is the next significant step in the evolution of GaN power conversion, from integrating discrete devices to more complex solutions that offer in-circuit performance beyond the capabilities of silicon solutions and enhance the ease of design for power systems engineers.”
The reason for this assessment is the introduction of the EPC2152, the first member of the new ePower Stage product family. These devices integrate the input logic interface, level shifting, bootstrap charging and gate drive buffer circuits along with eGaN output FETs configured as a half-bridge within a monolithic chip. The result is an LGA device measuring 3.9 mm × 2.6 mm × 0.63 mm.
When operated in a 48 V to 12 V buck converter (Fig. 1) at 1 MHz switching frequency, the EPC2152 achieves a peak efficiency above 96% with a solution that is 33% smaller in size on the printed circuit board (PCB) compared to an equivalent multi-chip discrete implementation.
The EPC2152 is the first offering in what will be a wide-range family of integrated power stages available in chip scale package (CSP) as well as multi-chip quad flat modules (QFM). Within a year the family will fill out with products capable of operating at high frequency up to 3 to 5 MHz range as well as high current from 15 A to 30 A per power stage.
Development Board and Availability
The EPC90120 development board is a 80 V maximum device voltage, 12.5 A maximum output current, half bridge featuring the EPC2152. This 2” × 2” (50.8 mm × 50.8 mm) board is designed for optimal switching performance and contains all critical components for easy evaluation of the device.
The price for the device itself is $5.03 for a quantity of 1000 units. The EPC90120 development board costs $123.75 each. Both are already available from Digi-Key.