In our previous article titled “Why should we use Gan-On-Si?” we looked into the various benefits of Gan-on-Si technology and some of the improvements it provides over conventional silicon MOSFETs. In summary, Gan-on-Si semiconductors have:
- Lower On Resistance
- Less Capacitance
- Smaller Form Factor
Along with these improvements comes possible applications into everyday products to push the limits of what they can deliver. Here are some possible applications for Gan-on-Si:
Wireless Qi charging have been the main focus in consumer electronic fair for the past year, being the ultimate convenience tool that goes well with a mobile phone. So how is it that wireless charging is only available for mobile phones and not other appliances, such as cordless phones, wireless speakers and even a laptop?
That is mainly due to the limitations of the electronics used in most of this wireless chargers, which has a power limit of 30W, which is appropriate for mobile phones but nothing else. With GaN on Si, we can now supply higher power rating electronics such as a laptop which goes at about 150W!
For audiophiles out there, Gan On Si is going to be a treat for you. A recent study that was published titled “A comparison between GaN and silicon based Class D audio power amplifiers with Pulse Density Modulation” did a comparison between two open-loop 25 W Class D audio power amplifiers with GaN and silicon output stages using a Pulse Density Modulation (PDM) scheme. In this study they studied the amplifier performance based on distortion, efficiency and thermal effects.
The GaN based amplifier shows a 0.15% reduction in distortion and an increase in efficiency of 15% at output power levels of less than 20 W. What that means is clearer sound and a boost in volume. Together with being into a small form factor, we can have such quality amplifier integrated right into mobile phones, mp3 players and so on!
Electric Vehicles and Solar Panels
Electric Vehicles is the future to have a greener environment, but there are certain challenges they face, which mostly is due to the battery. People are less likely to adopt electric vehicles because:
- They are afraid that electric cars are not able to take them far enough compared to petrol based cars
- It takes a long time to recharge a car, unlike a petrol based car
Gan On Si aims at correcting this issue. Having a small for factor, it means battery that are made can be smaller and lighter, allowing the car to consume less energy per mile, and also to have more batteries installed to increase the overall power stored per charge for longer travels. Together with the lower On Resistance, the time for a full charge will also reduce, so that drivers can get back on the road much faster!
According to a report published by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, “data centers across the United States consumed a whopping 70 billion kWh of energy in 2014. Going forward, this installed base of servers is projected to increase by 40 percent from 2010 to 2020”.
GaN-based solutions changes the way we design and plan for data centers, from the AC to the processors. Higher switching frequencies, operating temperatures, and voltage handling capabilities of wide bandgap (WBG) gallium nitride (GaN) devices are essential in reducing energy consumption. Smaller form factors also allow the introduction of high-voltage distribution systems, to power the ever-growing power requirements of data centers.