Last week, El Segundo, Calif.-based Efficient Power Conversion, announced that it’s offering two types of power transistors made from gallium nitride that it has priced cheaper than their silicon counterparts.
“This is the first time that something has really been higher performance and lower cost than silicon,” CEO Alex Lidow says. “Gallium nitride has taken the torch and is now running with it.”
Gallium nitride and silicon carbide have long been attractive alternatives to silicon in power electronics: they’re capable of faster switching speeds and can handle a higher voltage than a same-sized silicon device. But silicon has long been less expensive to manufacture.
Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) has two cheaper offerings: a 60-volt and a 100-V power transistor. The company says such devices should be ideally suited for a range of applications, including wireless power transfer, laser ranging systems for cars, and RF transmitters.