Articles

Executive Interview with Alex Lidow on Winning GaN Applications

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Ahead of December’s Power Conference in Munich, Bodo Arlt took the opportunity to get an insight into Alex Lidow’s thoughts on where the GaN market is now and where he sees the potential applications for the future. Dr. Lidow is the CEO and Co-founder of Efficient Power Conversion (EPC).

Bodo’s Power Systems
November, 2019
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Power Semi Wars Begin

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GaN and SiC are becoming much more attractive as prices drop. Several vendors are rolling out the next wave of power semiconductors based on gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC), setting the stage for a showdown against traditional silicon-based devices in the market.

Semiconductor Engineering
October, 2019

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Powering Graphics Processors from a 48 V Bus

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Introduction

Artificial Intelligence (AI), gaming, cloud computing, and autonomous cars are all using the latest generation graphics processors (GPUs) in lieu of CPUs. The reasoning is that GPUs offer higher computational density than traditional CPUs as measured in terms of acquisition cost, size, and power requirements [Jensen Huang Keynotes NVIDIA’s 2018 GPU Technology Conference].

The implications for power architecture seem clear; 48 V will be the dominant voltage on the board with the GPU, and the final voltage will need to be somewhere around 1 V or less. Power levels are already around 1.5 kW and could soon go to as high as 3 kW per GPU. What is less clear is what will be the architecture for getting from 48 V to 1 V at these power levels. Continue Reading

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Trade War Has Damaged U.S. Chip Industry in Ways a Deal May Never Fix

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SAN FRANCISCO — Alex Lidow has sold semiconductors in China for decades, starting at a company, called International Rectifier, that his father and grandfather founded in the Los Angeles area in 1947.

Now Mr. Lidow runs Efficient Power Conversion, which makes chips that manage electrical power in cars and other products. Efficient Power has a strong foothold in China, but has lately run into resistance from customers there that he traces to moves in Washington.

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Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) Sponsors Inaugural ‘GaN Con’ with Yole Développement (Yole) and SEMI Covering the Entire Power GaN Industry from Manufacturers to End Users

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In this conference GaN market and technology status were addressed and its future evolution was debated by mixing visions from designers, manufacturers, and end users.

GaN Con

Power management leaders at the inaugural GaN Con share a laugh for a group photo February 21, 2019, in Milpitas, CA. Left to Right: GaN Systems CEO Jim Witham, EPC CEO Alex Lidow, Navitas CEO Gene Sheridan.

Milpitas, Calif. — February 2019 — Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) joined forces with Yole Développement (Yole) and SEMI to sponsor the first ever ‘GaN Con,’ an industry networking event covering the entire power GaN industry from manufacturers to end users. The theme of GaN Con was “Power GaN: From promises to possible market explosion” and was focused on the emerging GaN market and the state-of-the-art for its underlying technology.

Under Yole’s base case scenario, GaN market is expected to grow steadily with a 55% CAGR between 2017 and 2023 (1). GaN has been a promising technology for a while. Several R&D institutes and industrial companies dedicated important investments to explore and evaluate this technology and make links with market demands. Yole’s analysts identified multiple power electronics & compound semiconductor companies, including leading silicon suppliers, strongly engaged in significant projects of development. GaN Con offered an opportunity to further explore the status of GaN technology and its adoption.

(1) Source: Power GaN: Epitaxy, Devices, Applications and Technology Trends report, Yole Développement, 2018

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