Transphorm Announces First Automotive-qualified GaN FETs

APEC 2017 [Booth #824]—TAMPA, FL.—March 27, 2017—Today, Transphorm Inc. announced that its second generation, JEDEC-qualified high voltage gallium nitride (GaN) technology is now the industry’s first GaN solution to earn automotive qualification—having passed the Automotive Electronics Council’s AEC-Q101 stress tests for automotive-grade discrete semiconductors.

Transphorm’s automotive GaN FET, the TPH3205WSBQA, offers an on-resistance of 49 milliOhms (mΩ) in an industry standard TO-247 package. The part initially targets on-board charger (OBC) and DC to DC systems for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEV). Today, OBCs are uni-directional (AC to DC) using standard boost topologies. However, being that GaN FETs are bi-directional by nature, they become the perfect fit for the bridgeless totem-pole power factor correction (PFC) topology. Meaning, a bi-directional OBC can then be designed with GaN to reduce the number of silicon (Si) devices, weight and overall system cost of today’s solution.

“With the electrification of the automobile, the industry faces new system size, weight, performance, and cost challenges that can be addressed by GaN,” said Philip Zuk, Senior Director of Technical Marketing at Transphorm. “However, supplying this market means devices must meet the highest possible standards for Quality and Reliability, those set by the AEC. At Transphorm, we have a culture of Quality and Reliability. And, are proud to be leading the industry into the new era of in-vehicle power electronics.”

The automotive market is one of the fastest growing segments for all power semiconductors, with IHS Markit forecasting a $3 billion revenue by 2022. Due to its inherent attributes, Transphorm’s GaN can support a large portion of the market. When compared to incumbent tech such as superjunction MOSFETs, IGBTs and Silicon Carbide (SiC), those attributes include:

  • Up to 40 percent greater power density
  • Increased efficiency
  • Lower thermal budget
  • Reduced system weight
  • Up to 20 percent decrease in overall system cost
  • High volume manufacturing with 6-inch GaN-on-Silicon

As a result, Transphorm’s GaN can be used in other high voltage DC to DC automotive systems including air conditioning, heating, oil pumps and power steering.

High Quality + High Reliability = Automotive-Qualified

Transphorm’s Quality + Reliability (Q+R) culture feeds into every aspect of its robust GaN-on-Si solution. The company vertically integrates into the complete design and development cycle—innovating at the epi layer, adapting the fab process to the product, configuring the device and developing customer design tools and resources. This core commitment to high Q+R enables the company to deliver the industry’s only GaN devices with proven quality, reliability and intrinsic lifetime data extending beyond JEDEC requirements.

That Q+R played a critical role in achieving AEC-Q101 qualification. Transphorm’s GaN technology was subjected to a series of rigorous tests including parametric verification, high temperature reverse bias and high temperature gate bias. (A complete list of AEC qualification modules can be found here on pages 10 through 13.) Devices receive a simple pass/fail rating and must successfully pass all modules to become qualified.

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