ST Unveils World’s 1st MasterGaN Driver along with GaN Transistors

STMicroelectronics has unveiled MasterGaN®, the world-first platform embedding a half-bridge driver based on silicon technology along with a pair of gallium-nitride (GaN) transistors. This combination will accelerate the creation of next-generation compact and efficient chargers and power adapters for consumer and industrial applications up to 400W.

October 14, 2020. By Manu Tayal

Semiconductor specialist STMicroelectronics has unveiled MasterGaN®, the world-first platform embedding a half-bridge driver based on silicon technology along with a pair of gallium-nitride (GaN) transistors.

The company said that this combination will accelerate the creation of next-generation compact and efficient chargers and power adapters for consumer and industrial applications up to 400W.

Moreover, GaN technology enabled these devices to handle more power even as they become smaller, more lightweight, and more energy efficient.

It further added that these improvements will make a difference for smartphone ultra-fast chargers and wireless chargers, USB-PD compact adapters for PCs and gaming, as well as in industrial applications like solar-energy storage systems, uninterruptible power supplies, or high-end OLED TVs and server cloud.

Today’s GaN market is typically served by discrete power transistors and driver ICs that require designers to learn how to make them work together for best performance.

The company claimed that it’s MasterGaN approach bypasses that challenge, resulting in faster time to market and assured performance, together with a smaller footprint, simplified assembly, and increased reliability with fewer components. With GaN technology and the advantages of ST’s integrated products, chargers and adapters can cut 80 per cent of the size and 70 per cent of the weight of ordinary silicon-based solutions.

Commenting on the development, Matteo Lo Presti, Executive VP and General Manager Analog Sub-Group, STMicroelectronics, said that “ST’s market-unique MasterGaN platform builds on our proven expertise and power-design skills to combine high-voltage smart-power BCD process with GaN technology, to accelerate the creation of space-saving and power-efficient products that are kinder to the environment.”

The company has been launching the new platform with MasterGaN1, which contains two GaN power transistors connected as a half bridge with integrated high-side and low-side drivers.

Currently, MasterGaN1 is in production now, in a 9mm x 9mm GQFN package only 1mm high. Priced at USD 7 for orders of 1,000 units, it is available from distributors. Meanwhile, an evaluation board is also available to help jump-start customers’ power projects.

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