– VentureBeat, April 2, 2015 – Silicon chips have had a decades-long run as the foundation for modern electronics. But a new kind of chip, based on the compound material gallium nitride (GaN), promises to unseat silicon because it has higher performance, less power consumption, and lower cost.
In 1977, when he was 22 years old, inventor Alex Lidow had the sort of eureka moment most techies would kill for. While in graduate school at Stanford, Lidow co-invented, along with Thomas Herman, a type of device called the HEXFET power MOSFET that would make his family’s old company, International Rectifier, more than $930 million in royalties. And it turned Lidow’s grandfather, a Lithuanian Holocaust survivor, and his father, who fled Berlin in 1937, into important players in the hardware industry.
Now, with the winds of history at his back, Lidow is embarking on a new mission: He’s trying to do nothing less than upend the tech industry’s reliance on silicon.
– Barron’s (blog) June 29, 2016 – Tuesday I was fortunate enough to have a meeting with Alex Lidow, founder of chip company, EPC of El Segundo, California, and something of an luminary of the chip world.
Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) CEO Alex Lidow tells Light Reading he might be within two years of a breakthrough that would upend the entire semiconductor market: CMOS logic implemented in gallium nitride (GaN).
Lidow has been talking about the end of the silicon era for years. The claim has often been taken as hyperbole because, while GaN has much to recommend it, there was always a catch: the fact that nothing can compete with CMOS logic, and GaN simply can’t do CMOS.
On the plus side, GaN has properties that make the performance of GaN power ICs (field-effect transistors, amplifiers, drivers, controllers, etc.) undeniably superior to their silicon counterparts in many circumstances. And silicon simply craps out in several situations, like, for example in high-frequency applications. You have to use GaN, or some other material.
– Fox Business, March 18, 2016 – Alex Lidow is a man on a mission. His Southern California company, Efficient Power Conversion or EPC, is using Gallium Nitride (GaN) chips instead of silicon for exciting applications, from wireless power charging and 4G LTE to augmented reality and autonomous vehicles.