GaN-based development board reduces power supply size

8th March 2018
Caroline Hayes


A five-phase development board by Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) demonstrates the reduction in size and the enhanced efficiency for power conversion that can be achieved using high frequency switching eGaN power transistors, says the company.

The EPC9130 is a 48 to 12V,  non-isolated, regulated five-phase development board. It has 12A per phase and a maximum output current of 60A, making the board capable of over 700W. Power density exceeds 1250W per cubic inch, and over 96 per cent efficiency, says the company. Each of the five phases uses two 100V EPC2045 eGaN FETs in a half-bridge configuration with uPI Semiconductor's up1966A gate driver. The PWM signals to the gate drivers are fed by an on-board dsPIC33 microcontroller from Microchip.

According to EPC, the board contains all critical components and layout for optimal switching and a bill of materials of less than $0.06 per W in volume.

The board improves the power density while reducing the size and cost of the 48 to 12V DC/DC converters needed for emerging computing applications, such as multi-user gaming systems, autonomous cars, artificial intelligence, and cryptocurrency mining, which demand a small form factor. The DC/DC system has a power density greater than 1250W/in3, and an efficiency greater than 96%, both records for this type of conversion, claims the company. 

A quick start guide contains set up procedures, circuit diagram, performance curve, and bill of material and is provided online. A video discussing the performance of the EPC9130 is also available online.

EPC9130 development boards are available for immediate delivery from distributor, Digi-Key.


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