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Nov 21st, 2011
New EU-funded project ups power electronics efficiency using GaN
The HIPOSWITCH ('GaN-based normally-off high power switching transistor for efficient power converters') project, which received a EUR 3 578 938 funding boost as part of the ICT Theme of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), will cover the whole value added chain, from power device development to industrial application.
Researchers from Belgium, Germany, Italy, Austria and Slovakia are coming together to launch a brand-new EU-funded project that aims to make more compact and more powerful energy converters for use in information and communication technology (ICT) and solar inverter technology.
Often a systems' efficiency is limited by the active components used; currently most models are based on silicon (Si), which has now been advanced to the point where no further improvements can be made. GaN as a material offers many more and new possibilities - it is perfect for power switching in particular, due to its superior material properties. Thanks to GaN, power switches can operate at significantly higher frequencies without suffering from major switching losses. This is due to the drastically lower on-state resistance of GaN power transistors, combined with considerably reduced input and output capacitances.
The project will employ sophisticated device characterisation and reliability evaluation techniques. It will bring together experienced partners in automotive technology, power electronic system and circuit design, power semiconductor technology, high-temperature packaging technologies and GaN power device technology including GaN on Si epitaxy. The project will highlight the importance of collaboration between academia and industry, essential for getting innovative ideas to market.
Gallium nitride power transistors for energy-efficient, compact and powerful electronic energy converter | FBH/schurian.com.
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