GaN efficiency in the data centre reaches 98 per cent

March 18, 2020 // By Nick Flaherty
GaN switches from Transphorm are at the heart of the 3kW ZHR483KS power supply for the data centre
GaN switches from Transphorm are at the heart of the 3kW ZHR483KS power supply for the data centre

Hangzhou Zhongheng Electric (HZZH) has developed a high efficiency 3kW power module for the data centre based on gallium nitride GaN switches from Transphorm.

The ZHR483KS uses the switches to reach 98 per cent efficiency, making it the telecommunications industry’s most efficient module to date. Original design manufacturers (ODMs) can swap the ZHR483KS, which offers standardized output connector configurations, with existing same-wattage power modules to achieve a high reliability, higher performing solution at a lower overall system cost.

The ZHR483KS is HZZH’s first GaN-based power design and is the flagship product for a new product line. The module’s input voltage ranges from 85 V to 264 V, while its output voltage ranges from 42 V to 58 V. Transphorm’s TPH3205WS devices are used in an interleaved bridgeless totem-pole PFC to achieve 98 percent efficiency at half load. The switches lower the power module’s switching and driving losses, leading to the ZHR483KS outperforming preceding modules that used superjunction Silicon MOSFETs.

“We sought a power transistor that would enable us to develop a more efficient yet cost-effective solution for our customers,” said Dr. Guo, CTO of HZZH. “We considered Silicon Carbide devices but could not achieve the desired advantages at low voltages. We then vetted several GaN manufacturers’ devices, and ultimately selected Transphorm’s GaN FETs due to their reliability, device cost, and simple implementation.”

Transphorm’s FETs are two-chip normally-off devices available in standard TO-XXX packages and PQFN modules that can be driven with common off-the-shelf drivers. The current Gen III family has the industry’s highest threshold voltage at 4 V and highest gate robustness at ±20 V. 

“Transphorm develops each generation of its GaN platform with four key factors in mind: reliability, drivability, designability, and reproducibility,” said Kenny Yim, Vice President of Asia Sales, Transphorm. “We’re proud that HZZH selected us as its GaN partner as it affirms that those four factors are what our customers need to disrupt their markets.

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