The IRT Nanoelec PowerGaN program has formed a partnership with lab Ampère on power electronics built from components made from gallium nitride epitaxied on a silicon substrate (GaN/Si).
PowerGaN is currently developing a first generation of 650-volt discrete GaN/Si switches (one transistor or diode per chip). Ampère will help pave the way toward a next generation of smart switches that will boast additional command, protection, and monitoring functions embedded right on the same chip as the switch. The purpose of the partners’ research is to boost the performance and operating safety of increasingly-compact power converters for phone and laptop chargers of just a few watts and for higher-power (several kilowatts) applications such as servers and electric mobility. The technical objective of the research is to assess the potential of this new generation of GaN/Si components and to identify roadblocks to integrating the components into electronic circuits to consolidate IRT Nanoelec’s roadmap.
IRT Nanoelec will benefit from the excellence Ampère has demonstrated in GaN/Si component design, modelling, simulation, and integration into electronic circuits. The disruptive nature of GaN technology will also give the partners an opportunity to share their insights into the design challenges ahead and provide a valuable benchmark for all of the PowerGaN consortium’s members (to date: STMicroelectronics, Schneider Electric, CEA).