eGaN IC-based reference design address USB PD 3.1

Support for designers developing USB PD 3.1 high power density, low-profile DC/DC converters is available from EPC with the introduction of the EPC9177. The eGaN IC-based reference design addresses new USB PD 3.1 demands for multi-port chargers and on-motherboard DC/DC conversion.

The digitally-controlled, single-output synchronous buck converter reference design board operates at 720kHz switching frequency converting the input voltage to a regulated 12V output voltage and delivering up to 20A continuous output current.

The synchronous buck converter measures just 21 x 13mm and has a low profile of 3.0mm. It features the EPC23102 fully integrated half-bridge ePower Stage.

With the advent of USB PD 3.1, the output voltage for USB charging increases from 20 to 48V and the power increases from 100 to 240W. This increase in power enables USB charging beyond laptop and cell phone fast charging to higher power applications including gaming PCs, power tools, and e-bikes. While the main output of the chargers is 48V to allow the higher output power with 5.0A rated cables, multi-port chargers can also support lower output voltages such as 5.0, 12 or 20V to be compatible with a wider range of devices. A smart DC/DC regulator is required to generate these lower voltages. Additionally, a DC/DC regulator will be required on the motherboard of the gaming PC or power tools to convert the output and input voltages.

The EPC23102 GaN power stage integrates the half-bridge driver and FETs (100V, 6.6 mOhm RDSon, the level shifter and the bootstrap charging and can switch with very high efficiency of up to 3MHz. It enables the EPC9177 reference board to deliver up to 20A continuous current using a heatsink and 15A continuous current without a heatsink to 12V output voltage, with greater than 97.3 per cent efficiency with a 48V input.

The high power density makes the reference design suitable for computing, industrial, consumer, and telecomms power systems requiring small size and high efficiency. eGaN FETs and ICs provide the fast switching, high efficiency and small size that can meet the stringent power density requirements of these leading-edge applications, said EPC.

Alex Lidow, CEO of EPC commented, “GaN ICs provide the maxim power density for DC/DC converters. EPC GaN power stages give power system designers the highest power density and low component count solutions for USB PD 3.1. The EPC9177 reference solution, based on the EPC23102, increases efficiency and power density, and reduces overall system cost for USB PD 3.1 implementation.”

The EPC9177 reference design board from EPC from distributor, Digi-Key.

EPC specialises in enhancement mode gallium nitride (eGaN) -based power management. GaN FETs and ICs provide performance many times greater than the best silicon power MOSFETs in applications such as DC/DC converters, remote sensing technology (lidar), motor drives for e-mobility, robotics, and drones, and low-cost satellites.

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