What Happened To GaN And SiC?

About five years ago, some chipmakers claimed that traditional silicon-based power MOSFETs had hit the wall, prompting the need for a new power transistor technology. At the time, some thought that two wide-bandgap technologies—gallium nitride (GaN) on silicon and silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFETs—would displace the ubiquitous power MOSFET. In addition, GaN and SiC were supposed to pose a t... » read more

Low Power Everything

A decade ago, former International Rectifier CEO Alex Lidow pronounced that there were three main categories for saving energy on a mass scale—variable speed motors, fluorescent lighting, and more efficient servers. He was right at the time. Those weren't necessarily semiconductor-driven markets, but they were the place where the most power could be saved. In fact, at the time, the rough e... » read more

The GaN Plan

By Ann Steffora Mutschler Given the need to control power in high-end market segments such as servers, notebooks, mobile handsets and wired communications equipment, the market for gallium nitride (GaN)-based chips is poised for explosive growth. Case in point: Server farms are using more and more electricity, and the cost of that power is getting to be a significant fraction of the operati... » read more

The Ins And Outs Of Power Conversion

By Cheryl Ajluni Power conversion is a general term that refers to a system or device producing an output that is different than its input. It can assume many forms—everything from an inverter to an isolated power supply, uninterruptable power supply (UPS), or AC/DC converter. Power conversion, like low-power design, is fairly commonplace these days. Nevertheless, recent advances in digital ... » read more