1kW GaN DC-DC converter in an eighth brick

May 25, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
1kW GaN DC-DC converter in an eighth brick
A 1 kW 48V to 12V DC-DC converter demonstration board using EPC GaN chips has a power density of 1226 W/in3

EPC has developed a 1kW 48V DC-DC converter demonstration board using GaN FETs as an eighth brick for data centres and servers

The EPC9149 is a 1 kW-capable 48 V input to 12 V output LLC converter that operates as a DC-DC converter at 1MHz with a conversion ratio of 4:1.

The board is the size of DOSA-standard ⅛th brick format, measuring 58.4 mm by 22.9 mm. This is considerably smaller than alternative quarter brick silicon-based units with 1 kW of output power. The total thickness of the converter without a heatsink is 10 mm.

The high-power density of 1226 W/in3 comes from using GaN FET devices switching at 1MHz. The EPC9149 board features four 100 V rated EPC2218 eGaN FETs for the primary rectification, and eight 40 V rated EPC2024 eGaN FETs for the secondary synchronous rectification

The compatible controller module (EPC9533) includes the Microchip dsPIC33CK32MP102 16-bit digital controller.

The overall design has a peak efficiency of 97.5 percent at 400 W and full-load efficiency of 96.7 percent at 12V delivering 83.3 A.

“eGaN FETs and integrated circuits increase power density for 48 V to 12 V converters and address data centre application demands for higher power in a small size,” said Alex Lidow, CEO of EPC. “The use of a Microchip digital controller allows flexibility for programming and configuration of the EPC9149 demonstration board.”

The EPC9149 demonstration board is priced at $381.60 each and is available for immediate delivery from Digi-Key and ships with a motherboard to simplify testing.

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