Q&A with Alex Lidow from EPC – A consortium of GaN to break down the barriers

Yole Développement (Yole) is organizing GaN Con, its 1st Power GaN TechDay, with a focus on the emerging GaN market and the state-of-the-art for its underlying technology. As of, we had the opportunity to discuss about the industry and goal of this event with Alex Lidow, CEO and Co-founder of EPC – GaN Con partner. To follow is a summary of the discussion.


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Yole Développement (YD) : GaNCon is the first TechDay focused in Power GaN: from your point of view, what is the key value for Power GaN for the power electronics industry?

Alex Lidow (AL): Initially new markets, such as Lidar, envelope tracking, and wireless charging, emerged due to the superior switching speed of GaN. These markets have enabled GaN products to achieve significant volumes, low production costs, an enviable reliability reputation. Now the more conservative design engineers in applications such as DC-DC converters, AC-DC converters, and automotive are confidently designing with GaN and successfully launching products that outperform and cost less than MOSFET-based products.


YD: Why have you decided to co-organize GaN Con?

AL: The vision of GaN Con is to develop a consortium of GaN suppliers and users that will break down the barriers to the conversion of the US$7.5 billion silicon power metal-oxide-semiconductor-field-effect transistor (MOSFET) market.


YD: How does GaN Con help to combat challenges facing the industry?

AL: Given the huge benefits of GaN, Why hasn’t it supplanted the silicon-based MOSFET yet? Three reasons – 1, the MOSFET is well established, and Si manufacturers continue to squeeze out minor improvements to keep the world interested. 2, FEAR and lack of education! Engineers are conservative when adopting new technologies. 3. Cost – only in the last year or so have GaN transistors been price competitive with the aging power MOSFETs in applications such as DC-DC conversion. At GaN Con 2019, suppliers and end-users of GaN will gather to discuss these issues and highlight and remaining actions that need to be taken to accelerate change.


YD: From your own point of view, why should others working in the industry attend the GaN Con?

AL: GaN-on-silicon has enabled many new applications in the nine years since production began. These new applications have helped develop a strong supply chain, favorable cost structure, and enviable reliability record. Forward-thinking companies are in various stages of adoption, while more conservative companies are waiting to see more compelling competitive reasons for conversion. GaN Con brings together leading suppliers and adopters of GaN providing exclusive networking opportunities and industry expertise.


YD: Along those same lines, how does co-organising the GaN Con with Yole Développement add value for attendees?

AL: EPC and Yole are both recognized in the industry as leaders. Attendees at GaN Con benefit from a comprehensive education on GaN in the power conversion market.




Alex Lidow EPC circleAlex Lidow, CEO and co-dounfer of EPCjoined International Rectifier (NYSE:IRF) as an R&D engineer and is the co-inventor of the HEXFET power MOSFET, a power transistor that displaced the bipolar transistor and launched modern power conversion. Over the 30 years Dr. Lidow was at IRF, his responsibilities grew from engineer to head of R&D, head of manufacturing, head of sales and marketing, and finally CEO for 12 years. In addition to holding many power MOSFET and GaN FET patents, Alex has authored numerous publications; most recently he co-authored the first textbook on GaN transistors, GaN Transistors for Efficient Power Conversion. In 2004 he was elected to the Engineering Hall of Fame, and in 2005 IRF, under his leadership, International Rectifier was named one of the best managed companies in America by Forbes magazine. Dr. Lidow earned a Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics from the California Institute of Technology and a doctorate in Applied Physics from Stanford University. Since 1998 Alex has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the California Institute of



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tile TECHDAY 2019 150x87TechDay: GaN Con – Power GaN: from promises to possible market explosion

Yole Développement, SEMI and EPC are joining forces to offer an executive-level event covering the entire Power GaN Industry, from component manufacturers to end users. Enjoy extensive networking time! – Get more here






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