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Half-bridge gate driver for GaN FETs offers cost advantage

A low-cost gate driver solution for gallium nitride (GaN) FETs has been made available for low- to mid-power applications like LED lighting, charging, microinverters, UPSes, and gaming computers. The power systems in these products don’t typically require advanced features such as safety isolation, so using premium drivers may unnecessarily increase the cost of the bill of materials (BOM).

Transphorm’s high-speed, non-isolated, high-voltage half-bridge gate driver claims to reduce total system cost without affecting the GaN FET’s or system’s performance. According to Philip Zuk, senior VP of business development and marketing at Transphorm, unlike competing e-mode GaN solutions that require custom drivers or level shifting circuitry with gate protection devices, Transphorm’s SuperGaN FETs can easily pair with off-the-shelf drivers.

“However, while the company’s normally off GaN devices can work with off-the-shelf drivers, the ability to use a select driver can be a major advantage,” he added. “It allows engineers to choose drivers based on varying degrees of performance benefits while retaining more control over the power system’s cost.”

GaN FETs can deliver up to 99% efficiency by using a simple half-bridge gate driver. Source: Transphorm

The half-bridge gate driver has been tested with TP65H070LSG, Transphorm’s 650 V, 72 mΩ GaN FET made available in a PQFN88 package. It can be used in bridge topologies such as resonant half-bridge, totem-pole PFC, sine-wave inverter, or active clamp flyback.

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