IRT Nanoelec kicks off new Power GaN program

Power electronics components use electronic systems to convert and conditioning electricity. Switches, high-frequency transformers, inverters, and converters are a few examples of power electronics systems. Power electronics is a key enabling technology to efficiently use, distribute and generate electrical energy.

The new PowerGaN program will develop a new key enabling technology for semiconductor power components fabricated from gallium nitride (GaN) on silicon (GaN/Si) in alignment with market demand for innovative power converters offering high conversion yields and high power density

Power electronics is everywhere. The technology covers a very broad spectrum of applications, from very-high-power (gigawatts for high-voltage power lines) to low-power (just a few watts for smartphones). The technology is used in a wide range of industries including home and office equipment, communications, lighting, manufacturing automation, automotive, motors, and more. All of these industries are seeking ways to reduce their energy consumption by improving electrical conversion yields, both at the system and at the component level. The global market for power components and modules is estimated to be growing at 7% per year and is expected to reach $17.2 billion by 2020.

The PowerGaN program will make France’s GaN/Si power electronics ecosystem of world-class manufacturers and academic research labs stronger and better organized.

The program also has specific technical objectives:

  • Improve and increase the reliability of 220 mm 650 V discrete GaN/Si transistor and diode technology
  • Adjust the transistor and diode technology to integration and packaging techniques
  • Assess the components and packaging technologies developed on application-specific prototypes or demonstrator systems
  • Develop co-design techniques and tools for high-integration-density power modules
  • Determine the feasibility of innovative power converter topologies
  • Explore breakthrough power component packaging solutions