News Article

EPC To Provide `next-generation GaN Power Transistors`

EPC has announced the delivery of new GaN-Si power transistors.

Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) has announced the creation of "next-generation" power transistors that utilise GaN-on-Silicon (GaN-Si) compound semiconductors to provide significant performance advances.

The company's devices are smaller than many other similar GaN-Si technologies that are presently on the market and can operate at a range of 40 to 200 volts or four to 100 milliohms.

Particularly useful in improving efficiency over silicon-only metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs), the GaN-Si products are produced on six-inch silicon wafers and provide many times improved switching performance over resistance silicon devices.

"We have developed a very cost-effective and reliable technology that is also very easy for anyone with power MOSFET experience to use in a way that will significantly boost their power management system performance," said Alex Lidow, EPC's co-founder and chief executive officer.

Applications for the GaN-Si compound semiconductors are wide reaching, including use in class D audio amplifiers, LED drive circuits, telecom base stations, mobile phones, notebook and netbook computers, as well as DC-DC power supplies and point-of-load converters.

One firm in particular that is benefiting from this breakthrough is Digi-Key, as the company has signed an exclusive global distribution deal with EPC.

"EPC's GaN-based power management products bring intriguing next-generation breakthrough benefits to existing MOSFET and bi-polar solutions," said Dave Doherty, Digi-Key's vice-president of semiconductor products.

However, the origin of these products is shrouded somewhat in controversy as EPC's chief executive Mr Lidow had a court order filed against him by his former employer - International Rectifier - claiming he had set up an "undercover company" to steal the technology.

The suit named Lidow and six other former employees at the firm as having interacted with MOCVD equipment vendor Aixtron and silicon wafer supplier Episil Technologies in a bid to steal the findings of the firm's $60 million (£40 million) research into GaN-Si systems.

It was initially filed in September 2008, but following numerous claims and counterclaims by the two parties, the courts dismissed the case on March 18th 2009.
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