Power design reaches 99 percent efficiency

June 07, 2018 // By Nick Flaherty
Seasonic Electronics is using a high voltage gallium nitride transistor from Transphorm for a 1600W bridgeless totem-pole power factor correction (PFC) platform that acheives 99% efficiency.

The 1600T is the Taiwanese power supply makers’s highest performing PFC platform with efficiency two percentage points higher and power density 20 per cent higher than its silicon version. The design will be used in a range of catalogue products from chargers for e-scooters and industrial applications to gaming, server and PC power.

“When researching semiconductor technologies that would enable us to reach world-leading efficiency levels, gallium nitride stood out as an attractive alternative to Silicon,” said Paul Lin, Director of Research and Development at Seasonic. “We knew the bridgeless totem-pole PFC was the topology we would use in our first high voltage GaN power platform. So, we needed power semiconductors capable of successfully capitalizing on that topology. What’s more, we wanted a GaN solution that could be backed by our standard warranty. We ultimately opted for Transphorm’s FETs within the 1600T given their proven performance and reliability that allowed us to meet those requirements.”

The 1600T platform uses Transphorm’s TP65H035WS 650V GaN FET with an RDS(on) of 35 mΩ in a standard TO-247 package. The transistor achieves increased efficiency in hard-and soft-switched circuits, providing power systems engineers options when designing products. It works with commonly-used gate drivers to simplify designs while controlling costs.

The TP65H035WS’ typical gate threshold is 4 V with a maximum gate voltage of ±20 V, also helping simplify the design, and Seasonic used engineers from Transphorm to strengthen the design and redeuce the development time. For example, guidance provided helped Seasonic’s team ramp on use of a simple, low-cost digital signal processor (DSP) to control the totem-pole PFC. Transphorm also aided in the platform’s component selection and system layout, ensuring optimal GaN performance. This boosted Seasonic’s ability to drive up thermal efficiency while increasing power output.

www.transphorm.com

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