GaN flyback switcher ICs target industrial applications and automotive power supplies

Power Integrations has launched a 900V GaN extension to the company’s InnoSwitch3 family of flyback switcher ICs. The new ICs, which offer the company’s proprietary PowiGaN technology, deliver up to 100W with better than 93% efficiency, eradicating the necessity for heat sinks and streamlining the design of space-challenged applications. The designs also provide outstanding light-load efficiency, making them excellent for delivering auxiliary power in EVs during low-power sleep modes. The AEC-Q100-qualified InnoSwitch3-AQ family is especially suited for EVs based on 400V bus systems where the 900V PowiGaN switch offers more power and increased design margin – needed for 12V battery-replacement systems – with enhanced efficiency over silicon-based converters.

“The dominant bus voltage for electric vehicles is 400V,” stated Peter Vaughan, automotive business development director at Power Integrations. “EV manufacturers are optimising their new generation of 400V systems and re-engineering various power stages in the vehicle, such as the on-board charger. The 900V PowiGaN switch is extremely beneficial because it easily accommodates the highly inductive noise spikes often present in automotive environments. The extra power delivered by our GaN technology matches the increasing power demands of EV manufacturers. Moreover, efficiency in power conversion – even in auxiliary systems – is important for range extension and thermal management.”

“Our ability to deliver GaN parts rated at up to 900V demonstrates the reliability and ruggedness of our PowiGaN technology,” stated Silvestro Fimiani, senior product marketing manager at Power Integrations.

The new ICs employ synchronous rectification, a valley switching discontinuous conduction mode and a continuous conduction mode flyback controller. FluxLink communication technology allows the IC package to bridge the isolation barrier, optimising efficiency and eradicating the necessity for optocouplers. PowiGaN technology allows InnoSwitch3-EP ICs to provide up to 100W (230V alternating current [VAC] +/-15%) without heat sinks. InnoSwitch3-EP devices include multiple protection elements, including line over- and under-voltage protection, output over-voltage and over-current limiting, and over-temperature shutdown. Devices are offered with standard and peak power delivery options. Automotive InnoSwitch3-AQ devices can also supply 100W from a 400V bus and deliver performance and protection features similar to those of the popular 1700V silicon-carbide InnoSwitch3-AQ ICs currently used in 800V EV systems.