MPS taps EPC for 48V GaN DC-DC converter

January 14, 2021 //By Nick Flaherty
MPS taps EPC for 48V GaN data centre DC-DC converter
The combination of Monolithic Power Systems controllers with GaN FETs from EPC provide a power density of 1700 W/cu in for a data centre DC-DC converter

Monolithic Power Systems has launched a 48 V to 6V digital DC-DC converter for data centre power using gallium nitride GaN devices from EPC.

The MPC1100-54-0000 is the first in the new product family that will include modules in an LLC resonant topology that use eGaN FETs to achieve an overall efficiency above 97 per cent in a footprint of only 27 mm x 18 mm x 6 mm.

The power levels of 300 W to 1000 W means the modules  accommodate a range of high current and high power applications. Customers can add up to three modules to address higher power requirements such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and multi-user gaming or scale down to one or two modules for lower power requirements in the data centre.

The high frequency 48 V to 6 V front-end is small enough to be placed much closer to the xPU/ASIC/GPU to reduce the power distribution loss by a factor of four compared to the commonly used STC topology for 48V to 12V conversion.

“Advanced computing applications are putting higher demands on power converters, and silicon-based power conversion is not keeping pace,” said Alex Lidow, CEO of EPC. “We are delighted to work with MPS, a leader in this space, to implement GaN into their modules, allowing customers to increase the efficiency, shrink the size, and reduce system cost for 48 V power conversion.”

"We had to develop custom devicews for the secondary side to fit into the small form factor as you have to have certain aspect ratios," said Lidow. "Four of the largest server manufactures will be using 1kW in the tiny form factors and lots of servers are built with 2kW on the board with two converters."

The eGaN FETs are suited for LLC converters due to their combined low gate charge with 5 V gate operation that yields very low gate power consumption, ultra-low on-resistance, and low

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