Panasonic successfully developed a new generation power device ‘X-GaN’. Its highlights include high voltage potential, ease of miniaturization & high-speed switching.
With various environmental issues, the depletion of oil resources, limited source of energy, etc., energy saving became a worldwide priority. The role of power supplies of electrical systems in energy conservation is rapidly becoming an important part of the solution.
Power devices used in electrical energy conversion and control systems that consume tremendous amount of power during operations are especially regarded as the key devices to “save energy” It is therefore important to optimize the efficiency of these devices to minimize energy loss during their operation.
Panasonic Semiconductor Solutions
“GaN (gallium nitride)”, a compound of Ga (Gallium) and N (Nitrogen), possesses high breakdown voltage and low conduction resistance characteristics that enable high-speed switching and miniaturization.
- Unlike conventional Silicon transistors that require bigger chip area to reduce on-resistance, GaN devices having small sizes allow high speed switching and miniaturization with ease.
- This is the same material used in blue LEDs:
…blue was the last — and most difficult — advance required to create white LED light. And with white LED light, companies are able to create smartphone and computer screens, as well as light bulbs that last longer and use less electricity than any bulb invented before.
The following video presents (Story of development) Panasonic’s new generation power device, “X-GaN”:
In the field of power electronics for electronic devices, the importance of saving energy and miniaturization is increasing rapidly. That is why a new power semiconductor, which can replace silicon semiconductors, which have begun to reach their physical limit, is in demand.
Amid this environment, Panasonic announced the commercialization of a new generation power transistor in May 2015. The same material used in blue LEDs, “GaN (gallium nitride)” helped create this new power transistor.
The developers thought with much excitement, “If we could use this material for semiconductors of power devices, this will bring to life revolutionary performance.” Having said that, there were many obstacles they had to overcome, and much trial and error was involved.
So how did the developers overcome these obstacles? Please take a look at the story of how this new power transistor was developed, the potential that was discovered, and how its commercialization came about.
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Panasonic developed GaN power devices with high efficiency, low heat generation, and small size suitable for different applications such as power supplies, HEV/EV, and PV inverter and many others.
The GaN power devices can be applied to some of the following examples:
- Power supplies for server and other IT equipments, which support the increasing information data processing
- High-efficiency and stable power supplies that use natural energy
- Rapidly expanding HEV/EV devices.
- Power transistor is a semiconductor device to control power supply.
- The GaN is encapsulated into 8×8 dual-flat no-lead (DFN) surface-mount package.
- It is possible to mount the package on a small area where it is difficult to mount conventionally, and contribute to the reduction of the power consumption of industrial and consumer electronics equipment.
- 600 V breakdown enhancement-mode GaN power transistors packed into the industry’s smallest footprint were shipped in July 2015. The power transistors will contribute to energy savings.
More info about Panasonic GaN power devices are available at http://www.semicon.panasonic.co.jp/en/products/powerics/ganpower/ .
The following video presents Panasonic Brings Together Power Semiconductor Tech in Europe:
Panasonic exhibits its advanced Power Devices and solutions and is challenging to expand and further develop its sales channels in Europe.