Gallium nitride is a semiconductor technology of the next generation with a huge bandgap that has become essential for the development of advanced power electronics. It is up to 20 times quicker than silicon and can give up to three times the power or charge in half the volume and weight of silicon-based devices.
Wise Integration’s WiseGan family of power devices includes the JEDEC-certified 650-V GaN-on-Si enhancement mode integrated circuit WI62120. Utilizing GaN’s intrinsic properties, it increases current capacities, voltage breakdown, and switching frequencies for high-efficiency and high-density power-conversion applications between 30 W and 3 kW. Wise Integration introduced its first commercial product, the 120-m WI62120 half-bridge power circuit, last month. This device gives power-electronics designers new levels of power density, performance, and cost-effectiveness.
Among the target markets are consumer (such as ultra-fast chargers for mobile and desktop devices), e-mobility, and industrial AC/DC power supplies and designs utilizing bridgeless totem-pole power-factor correction (PFC) and active-clamp flyback (ACF).
Thierry Bouchet, CEO of Wise Integration, said, “It is a fantastic opportunity to drive the adoption of GaN: The technology is dominating in the industry, and as it develops, we can anticipate cheap pricing.” “As we have seen, many clients in the consumer industry are beginning the move to GaN. So it’s a good opportunity to accelerate market penetration, and let’s say the product has little additional value and is a low-cost gadget, so it’s not especially profitable, but it’s great for volume. Markets want compact, effective devices”.
“In low-voltage applications, we’re also seeing competition from SiC,” he said. “It’s interesting to note that the silicon carbide industry is also targeting lower voltages. Consequently, there is a pricing war, as we can see some silicon carbide providers with low prices. Using the hybrid inside a good GaN control, I think the pricing will be more competitive than silicon carbide. So silicon carbide may enter the market, but only for specialist applications and not the whole market. Before it can be marketed, GaN must undergo more research and development. SiC is quite tough to compete with at 1200 V in this environment. The current GaN technique maximizes the use of conventional packaging.
Bouchet said, “Today, for mobility, we are primarily focusing on e-bikes, e-scooters, and e-motorcycles, and we would want to become a big GaN player in this market.” We believe that this is also a method for us to promote our technology in a market where there are currently few GaN rivals.