System Integration of GaN Converters – Paradigm Shift – Challenges and Opportunities

Conference: CIPS 2014 - 8th International Conference on Integrated Power Electronics Systems
02/25/2014 - 02/27/2014 at Nuremberg, Germany

Proceedings: CIPS 2014

Pages: 8Language: englishTyp: PDF

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Popovic, J.; Ferreira, J. A. (Electrical Power Processing, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands)
Wyk, J. D. van (University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Pansier, F. (NXP Semiconductors, Nijmegen, The Netherlands)

Gallium nitride (GaN) power semiconductor technology offers a potential for significant performance increase in power electronic converters. This potential cannot be fully exploited if GaN devices are used as drop-in replacement for silicon devices in existing systems. We need to look further than devices into the converter and system level and revisit the way we design and build power electronic converters to better suit and fully exploit the new GaN power semiconductors. This paper explores the converter-level issues that arise if GaN is to be used to its full potential. The challenges in topologies, thermal management and system integration that GaN poses on the converter design are explored. Finally, an outlook on applications that can benefit from GaN power electronics is given.