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NexGen’s GaN-on-GaN Technology is Dispelling the Myths About GaN

Written by Stephen Vicinanza

NexGen’s Vertical GaN is the first ever GaN-on-GaN power semiconductor technology. It is unlocking vast improvements in power conversion, achieving what many had said wouldn’t be reliable. NexGen’s GaN-on-GaN technology is dispelling the myths about GaN.

Gallium nitride (GaN) is used in chargers for semiconductors. In the 1990s it was the material that was used to make the low-heat LEDs and is used in solar arrays on satellites. Gallium nitride is a very hard, mechanically stable wide bandgap semiconductor. Power devices based on Gallium Nitride significantly outperform silicon-based devices.

In power semiconductors the smaller the device the better the performance, overall. The silicon semiconductor in power scenarios is 95% bigger than NexGen’s Vertical GaN. The capacitance is directly related to the volume of the device. The smaller the device the low the capacitance. The lower the capacitance the better the frequency of the switching.

There is a problem with mismatched substrates. Substrates that are different are by nature, lateral devices, resulting in increased size and cost. Higher breakdown voltage or current both require increased lateral dimension. For a high breakdown voltage, there needs to be a large surface, insulating buffer layers, and then the silicon.

In a GaN on GaN vertical GaN, there are no mismatched substrates and none of the issues associated with the layered construction.

The vertical GaN solution has a superior switching speed. Increased switching speeds reduces the size of the inductors and capacitors. This results in tiny, efficient power supplies.

For all types of semiconductor constructions Si, SiC, and GaN on Si, the range is between 100kHz, to 1000kHz, with GaN-on-Gan NexGen’s Vertical GaN the switching falls above 10,000kHz.

Vertical GaN, as stated by NexGen, outperforms today’s power switch technologies. This allows circuit and system designers to eliminate design constraints that are normally encountered by devices using traditional layered technologies.

These Vertical GaN-based devices are reliable. NexGen vertical GaN devices with avalanche capability and resilience to unexpected voltage disruptions are self-healing. Circuits often don’t require external voltage clamping components.

To find out more about NexGen Vertical GaN devices visit the NexGen website which offers product information, testing platforms, and white papers on the Vertical GaN technology.

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For the past 8 years, I have been writing about embedded technologies, added to my technical, academic, and medical editorial experience, with companies like Elsevier and Cambridge University Press. I tell people to read what I write, not try to pronounce my last name. I am always available for comments and suggestions you can reach me at product-editor@circuitcellar.com and I promise I will take the time to reach back out to you. I live in the North East with my wonderful family.

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NexGen’s GaN-on-GaN Technology is Dispelling the Myths About Ga…

by Stephen Vicinanza time to read: 1 min