Automotive GaN FETs can double power density, says Texas Instruments

Adding to its high voltage power management portfolio, Texas Instruments announces 600 and 650V GaN FETs for automotive and industrial applications. They have a fast switching, 2.2MHz integrated gate driver, which can allow designers to deliver twice the power density, achieve 99 per cent efficiency and reduce the size of power magnetics by 59 per cent compared to existing solutions, says TI.

The LMG3422R050, LMG3425R050, LMG3422R030 and LMG3425R030 FETs use its proprietary GaN materials and processing capabilities on a GaN-on-silicon (Si) substrate, which provides a cost and supply chain advantage over comparable substrate materials such as silicon carbide (SiC), maintains TI.

TI says the automotive GaN FETs can help reduce the size of electric vehicle (EV) onboard chargers and DC/DC converters by as much as 50 per cent compared to existing Si or SiC solutions. Including them in vehicles can extend battery range, increase system reliability and lower design cost to meet the increased desire for electrification in vehicles.

In industrial designs, the devices enable high efficiency and power density in AC/DC power delivery applications where low losses and reduced board space are important, for example in hyperscale and enterprise computing and 5G telecomms rectifiers.

As electronic systems are getting smaller, the components used must get smaller and sit closer together, explains TI. The GaN FETs integrate a fast switching driver, internal protection and temperature sensing, to reduce board space in high performance power management designs. The company says that this level of integration, coupled with the high power density of TI’s GaN technology, enables engineers to eliminate more than 10 components typically required for discrete solutions. Furthermore, each of the new 30mOhm FETs can support up to 4kW of power conversion when applied in a half bridge configuration.

To address the challenge of fast switching capability at the cost of higher power losses, the GaN FETs feature TI’s ideal diode mode to reduce power losses. TI reports, for example, in PFCs, ideal diode mode reduces third-quadrant losses by up to 66 per cent compared to discrete GaN and SiC MOSFETs. Ideal diode mode also eliminates the need for adaptive deadtime control, reducing firmware complexity and development time.

Offering 23 per cent lower thermal impedance than the nearest competitive packaging, the TI GaN FET packaging allows engineers to use smaller heat sinks while simplifying thermal designs. They also provide thermal design flexibility, with the ability to choose from either a bottom- or top-side-cooled package. The FETs’ integrated digital temperature reporting enables active power management, for engineers to optimise system thermal performance under varying loads and operating conditions.

Pre-production versions of the four industrial-grade, 600V GaN FETs are available now in a 12 x 12mm, quad flat no-lead (QFN) package. Volume production is expected to begin in Q1 2021.

Evaluation modules are each FET available now.

Pre-production versions of the LMG3522R030-Q1 and LMG3525R030-Q1 650V automotive GaN FETs and evaluation modules are also scheduled for Q1 2021. Engineering samples are available upon request.

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