All GaN driver integration takes power switching to 40MHz

March 23, 2016 // By Julien Happich
Founded in 2013, Californian startup Navitas has unveiled its roadmap for Gallium Nitride (GaN) power ICs based on its proprietary AllGaN monolithically-integrated 650V platform.

With the monolithic integration of GaN power FETs with drive and logic, the company claims 10x to 100x higher running frequencies than existing silicon circuits, setting new benchmarks in power density, energy efficiency and system cost.

The AllGaN platform was presented at the Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC) by the company's CTO / COO & Co-Founder, Dan Kinzer, in a keynote titled “Breaking Speed Limits with GaN Power ICs”.

EETimes Europe caught up with Navitas' Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Stephen Oliver to learn more about the company's ambitions.

About Navitas' technology breakthrough, Oliver says, "Today, if you want to use a GaN FET, you need to add a control IC and a silicon driver, that's a three-chip solution. Using a lateral hetero-epitaxy structure, we are able to integrate the driver directly on the GaN FET, which we can run at up to 40MHz".

The good thing is that by integrating drive and logic functions laterally, the company can use large-diameter GaN on Si wafers.

"If you tried to integrate the logic vertically, GaN on GaN, then you would be limited to very small and expensive 3-inch wafers", Oliver explains.

This makes Navitas ready to deliver high volumes using existing equipment from existing OSAT companies. Indeed, the startup plans to follow a fabless business model, it will sell devices but it could well license its IP too.