Integrated Si driver and GaN transistors shrink chargers and adapters

STMicroelectronics claims to provide the first integrated silicon driver with GaN power transistors which will enable chargers and adapters to be smaller and lighter while charging three times faster than silicon-based devices.

MasterGaN embeds a half-bridge driver based on silicon technology with a pair of GaN transistors. It ensures high power density and is designed for high-voltage applications with over 2mm creepage distance between high-voltage and low-voltage pads. According to ST, the combination will accelerate the creation of next-generation compact and efficient chargers and power adapters for consumer and industrial applications up to 400W.

GaN technology enables adapters and chargers to handle more power even as they become smaller, more lightweight, and more energy efficient. Target applications are smartphone ultra-fast chargers and wireless chargers, USB-PD compact adapters for PCs and gaming, as well as in industrial applications like solar energy storage systems, uninterruptible power supplies, or high-end OLED TVs and the server cloud.

The MasterGaN reduces time to market, with a smaller footprint, simplified assembly, and increased reliability with fewer components, says ST. Its use of GaN technology and the advantages of its integrated products, chargers and adapters can cut 80 per cent of the size and 70 per cent of the weight of competing silicon-based solutions, the company says.

The MasterGaN platform leverages STDRIVE 600V gate drivers and GaN high-electron mobility transistors (HEMT).

“MasterGaN platform builds on our proven expertise and power design skills to combine high-voltage smart-power BCD [bipolar CMOS DMOS] process with GaN technology, to accelerate the creation of space-saving and power-efficient products that are kinder to the environment,” said Matteo Lo Presti, executive vice president and general manager of Analog Sub-Group, STMicroelectronics.

The MasterGaN1 is the first product in the series to be made available. It contains two GaN power transistors connected as a half bridge with integrated high side and low side drivers.

The two normally-off transistors feature closely matched timing parameters, 10A maximum current rating, and 150mOhm RDS(on). The logic inputs are compatible with signals from 3.3V to 15V. Built-in protection features include low side and high side under-voltage lock out, interlocking, a dedicated shutdown pin and over-temperature protection.

MasterGaN1 is in production now, in a 9.0 x 9.0mm GQFN package which is only 1mm high.

An evaluation board is also available.

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