Keysight, Transphorm team on GaN power supply virtual prototype

February 12, 2021 //By Nick Flaherty
Keysight, Transphorm team on GaN power supply virtual prototype
Engineers can simulate and optimize a GaN-based SMPS designs before building hardware using a reference design form Keysight and Transphorm

Keysight Technologies is working with GaN chip maker Transphorm on a switched mode power supply reference design that enables engineers to identify and correct design errors before building hardware.

Switched-mode power supplies provide greater efficiency, increased power density and lower overall system costs when using GaN devices. However, GaN, a high switching speed, high performance wide bandgap semiconductor, can produce voltage spikes that result in detrimental radiated electromagnetic interference. As a result, optimized layout design and placement of components before building hardware is critical when using GaN.

The new power supply reference design can be used with Keysight’s PathWave Advanced Design System is a virtual prototype based on Transphorm’s 4 kW single-phase AC-DC conversion evaluation board. It consists of the component and board models needed for engineers to visualize and optimize the time and frequency domain behaviour of voltages, currents and electromagnetic fields.

"The need for switch-mode power supplies is driving rapid adoption of wide bandgap semiconductors," said Tom Lillig, general manager of Keysight’s PathWave Software Solutions division. “The new reference design of Transphorm’s high voltage GaN solution will speed time to market of this technology, which is changing how the world powers electronic products."

PathWave ADS provides pre-compliance analysis via a virtual prototype that ensures the intended design configuration performs as intended, eliminating the need to build a virtual workspace. Virtual prototypes are complementary to physical prototypes, which are the gold standard for compliance and measured characteristics. However, they can also be expensive and present physical challenges to certain in-house test and measurement protocols. Virtual prototypes are easy to change and can flag device overstress as warning messages during simulation. The voltage, current and fields can be monitored and corrected at every time step in the simulation. All data is available for analysis including inside a semiconductor package.

"Transphorm looks for partnerships that help our customers close skill gaps, increase design simplicity and reduce time to market,” said Philip

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