Power electronics is a basis for systems, devices, and gadgets applicable for a wide range of industries: from consumer electronics to complex automotive solutions. Environmental concerns, trends for electrification of sectors and our day-to-day life, and widening of devices' functionality lead to pervasive usage of power electronics solutions.
Besides, all these tendencies evoke more strict requirements for the functionality and security of power electronics. It’s no wonder that power electronics have been enjoying drastic enhancement in the last 10 years.
Along with that, there is an onrush of the technologies used for power electronics components development and we are going to talk about the most popular one - Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology.
Gallium Nitride, or just GaN, is a type of wide bandgap semiconductor material used for creating the basic power electronics components. They are:
These main elements provide vital functionality for a power electronics system since they control electricity flow, store energy in magnetic and electric fields, and switch electric currents. So, conductivity is of great importance for any power electronics device.
Gallium Nitride semiconductor technology has high conductivity because of the high mobility of electrons in a GaN crystal. Actually, GaN is not the only material that is used for creating power electronics components. GaN is compared to Silicon (Si) and Silicon Carbide (SiC) technologies. They also provide high electrons mobility and are highly conductive as well.
However, Gallium Nitride has a wider bandgap, which is 3.4 eV, while SiC has a 3.26 eV bandgap and Si has 1.12 eV. The wider bandgap allows GaN technology to provide higher power density, operate at higher voltages and temperatures, reduce switching losses, and, what is more, it is cheaper to manufacture.
The difference in bandgaps of Gallium Nitride, Silicon Carbide, and Silicon
As a result, using GaN-based components you can create highly secure and cost-effective power electronics solutions. Let’s explore where GaN technology is put to good effect and what its prospects are.
Gallium Nitride semiconductor devices gain in popularity. The market is growing since there is a surge in demand for power electronics solutions with low power consumption and better energy efficiency.
This demand is yielded by the unrelenting growth of innovative electronics development. Electronics devices and systems are becoming smarter and more comfortable to use for the end-users. More functionality makes a device consume more energy.
According to the research conducted by Grand New Research company, the GaN semiconductor devices market is predicted to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 24.4% from 2022 to 2030 to reach USD 12.47 billion by 2030.
Nowadays, the usage of GaN technology is widespread among the industries and segments based on power electronics.
Thus, GaN material is more commonly used for building RF power transistors, FETs (Field effect transistors), and IGBT (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors). Another segment where GaN technology dominates is the power IC (Integrated Circuit) segment.
The usage of GaN material opens the way to creating wireless telecommunication modules with new, fresh functionalities and features. For example, Qorvo, Inc. developed QPF4005 which is a 5G wireless module duel-channel IC. This 5G module is intended to be used for base stations, terminals, and point-to-point data transmission.
GaN material enables the devices to consume less energy and operate for a longer period of time. In so doing, this technology allows for the implementation of reliable and advanced products for such industries as automotive (electric vehicles), consumer electronics, healthcare, industrial, and communication technology.
The industries where GaN technology gains in popularity
It’s time to find out what manufacturers use GaN technology for creating next-generation power electronics components.
Nowadays, we can see a quest for improvements in the power electronics design area, and the suppliers of electronics components launch new products to satisfy this demand. Here are three famous manufacturers that provide GaN-based semiconductor components development:
Now, let’s see what service companies use GaN-based products for building custom power electronics.
There are plenty of off-the-shelf power electronics products on the market. However, they sometimes don’t match specific needs and requirements for size, functionality, and other parameters.
In this case, you can find a team of professionals to develop a custom power electronics solution for you and your business.
As we learned, you can find GaN-based components that perfectly fit specific industries and that you can use for creating your product. Now, let’s take a look at several companies that use the components made of GaN to create custom power electronics from scratch.
The company provides custom power electronics design for EV charging stations, battery management systems, power converters, lighting control systems, and motor controllers.
Besides, they develop a wide range of services in custom power electronics design: E-mobility power solutions, solar inverters, energy storage, motor drives and converters for HVAC, and power supplies.
They use GaN power components from various suppliers to create custom power electronics solutions for a number of applications: smart grid, EV charging, fuel cells, automotive, and traction auxiliaries.