Navitas’s design journey in the field of GAN semiconductor

Navitas Semiconductor is a main supplier of nitride (GAN) power device, showing its latest products on CES 2023 held in Las Vegas. These GAN-based devices cover the power supply from 20-W mobile phone charger to 2-KW data center power and 20-KW electric vehicle (EV) charger to Muwa-class grid-connected products.

At the CES 2023 exhibition, Navitas attracted some of the attention of GAN through the demonstration of its senior managers and GAN technology partners. The company can also highlight its theme of “let our world power -on” and announce various prizes for booth visitors. Navitas means energy in Latin. Since its establishment in the trailer at the HRL research laboratory (HRL) parking lot in Maliba, California, it has gone through a long road.

It was founded in 2013 by the former International Rectifier (HRL) executive Gene Sheridan and Dan Kinzer. In the second year, the investment company Malibuiq obtained the permission of GAN Electric Electronic Technology from HRL. HRL did a lot of work in the mature GAN devices for military radio frequency and millimeter waves for military radio frequency and millimeter waves.

In July 2015, Navitas raised $ 15.1 million in equity financing. It also moved from a trailer to Elsegado, California, and eventually set up headquarters in Torranus, California. There are about 200 employees in the company; about half of them are in the United States, and the rest are in different regions of Asia and Europe.

GAN design challenge

The CES 2023 exhibition hall is a good place to measure the design progress made by GAN semiconductors in the past few years. Dan Kinzer, co -founder and chief technology officer of Navitas, said that the lack of high -performance circuits that lack fast and economically efficiently drive GAN transistors have always been a key limit for GAN semiconductor potential.

Navitas has found a way to solve this design challenge by integrating the GAN driver and logic circuit with the GAN power FET single -chip. This single -piece integration can achieve high -frequency power conversion, and can reduce the passive components such as transformers, EMI filters and output capacitors. In turn, it promotes solutions that can increase the half size and weight charging speed of the old and slow silicon equipment by 3 times.

Stephen Oliver, Vice President of Marketing Navitas Semiconductor Enterprise Marketing, further explained this key design prerequisite for the GAN device during a corporate booth. He said that GAN has always been an important material for helping to create fast and efficient semiconductors, but it has a big problem: gate. It is very fragile, and it will break if it gives it too much voltage. Therefore, when your switch is easy to be attacked, you must protect it in large quantities. This will occupy more space and design costs.

In addition, Oliver warns that you still have the opportunity to get a voltage peak. Therefore, you must slow down and even consider returning to the silicon wafer. “This is a dead end.” However, the integration of GAN switch, GAN drive, GAN regulator, GAN ESD protecting diode, level conversion, self -lifting, under pressure locking and current influenza caused a strong GAN IC.

Thermal management is another stumbling block of the GAN semiconductor. “The advantage of GAN is that resistance is much lower than silicon, which allows you to develop very small chips,” Oliver said. “Not good is that the smaller surface area of the smaller chip is small, so the heat resistance to the outside world will be reduced.” Therefore, design engineers must ensure that GAN devices will not produce too much calories. “What we do for the initial platform is to use the standard QFN packaging size,” Oliver added.

Navitas’s design journey in the field of GAN semiconductor

GAN’s power interrupt

In order to overcome the design challenges related to GAN, Navitas also uses platform -level or system -level methods. “This is a new technology, so if you provide products that are used to a power system designer who are used to working with 50 kHz, they will need a little help,” Oliver said. “We have created a design platform built around the operation method so that engineers can review the necessary details such as the list of materials.”

Navitas entered the GAN field when this broadband gap (WBG) technology has entered the GAN field when it has across academic circles to commercial use cases. In 2023, while the GAN experts cooperate with TSMC to encapsulate the wafers and AMKOR, they are confident to continue to provide GAN solutions that can replace silicon in the field of power electronics.

Figure 3 After the mobile charger and the data center power supply, EV is one of the next frontier fields of the GAN power device. Source: Nawei Semiconductor

Just a few years ago, people were still asking when GAN would appear. Now, when GAN has appeared, it may be a bit late to join the GAN party. Navitas is one of the few GAN device experts, and is now part of this power electronics market. It may be related to market penetration in 2023. Nawei seems to be part of this GAN wealth competition.