Pin-compatible GaN family combines silicon driver to simplify power designs

September 30, 2020 //By Nick Flaherty
Pin-compatible GaN family combines silicon driver to simplify power designs
The MasterGaN range from ST Microelectronics supports pin compatible half bridge switching from 45W to 400W

ST Microelectronics has launched a pin compatible range of gallium nitride switches combined with the silicon driver to simplify AC-DC power supply designs from 45W to 400W.

The first part, the MasterGaN1, combines two GaN HEMT normally-off power transistors connected as a half bridge along with the STDRIVE 600V silicon driver for designs up to 400W. The two lateral 10A GaN transistors, built on a GaN-on-silicon process, are closely matched for their timing parameter and 150mΩ on-resistance (RDS( ON)). The logic inputs are compatible with signals from 3.3V to 15V.

The key to the range is the packaging. The 9mm x 9mm low-profile GQFN package ensures high power density and is designed for high-voltage applications with over 2mm creepage distance between high-voltage and low-voltage pads.

The frame is copper and the package is implemented with wire bonding as a good compromise for cost/performance since the wire bonding doesn’t penalize the RDS( on) of the GaN switches.

The combination of the GaN technology and the integrated packaging can cut the size of chargers and adapters by using smaller magnetics with drop-in, pin compatible devices for designs from 45W to 400W.

“ST’s market-unique MasterGaN platform builds on our proven expertise and power-design skills to combine high-voltage smart-power BCD process with GaN technology, to accelerate the creation of space-saving and power-efficient products that are kinder to the environment,” said Matteo Lo Presti, Executive VP and General Manager Analog Sub-Group, STMicroelectronics.

Using the silicon driver means comprehensive protection features are also built in, including low-side and high-side UVLO protection, interlocking, a dedicated shutdown pin, and over-temperature protection.

MasterGaN1 is in production now, in a 9mm x 9mm GQFN package only 1mm high. Priced at $7 for orders of 1,000 units, it is available from distributors.

The EVALMASTERGAN1 evaluation board provides an on-board programmable inputs deadtime generator with a single VCC supply (typ. 6 V). An embedded linear voltage regulator offers 3.3 V rail to supply low voltage


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