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Power conversion: GaN components show promise

​The aeronautics and automotive industries are looking for more compact, efficient power converters. Leti’s latest research on a converter built on gallium-nitride-on-silicon components is producing some results sure to please these demanding industries. 

Published on 31 January 2017

When tested on a demonstrator system, the converters displayed low losses and high switching speeds enabling frequencies up to 30 MHz. The best converters currently available are limited to 100 kHz.

GaN components are also bidirectional, which means that they can switch on alternating current without the need for a conversion stage, eliminating a number of passive elements.

The components are also compatible with CMOS technology, which offers low fabrication costs. Leti will test a new batch of the converters that just came out of the institute’s clean rooms on a demonstrator system in the first half of 2017


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