Novel GaAs Switch for Compact and Efficient Power Conversion

Mariam Sadaka, Sriram Chandrasekaran, Al Rozman*
ColdWatt Inc., 13809 Research Blvd., Suite 475, Austin TX 78750
*ColdWatt Inc., 820 F Ave., Suite 104, Plano TX 75074,
Wonill Ha, Bobby Brar, Chanh Nguyen, Vivek Mehrotra
Teledyne Scientific and Imaging, 1049 Camino Dos Rios, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
Peter Asbeck
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering , 9500 Gilman Drive, Mail Code 0407, University of
California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093
Keywords: pHEMT, Power switch, High current capability, Low on-resistance, Cost effective
The development and demonstration of a novel GaAs switch called Substrate-Driven FET (SDFET) is reported in this paper. The SD-FET process is compatible with standard large volume pHEMT processes and the device has far superior switching properties compared to state-of-the-art Si devices. This combination of cost effectiveness and excellent performance makes the SD-FET vital for meeting the challenging power requirements of next generation portable applications. Devices with current capability of 20A with a gate width of 1 meter, specific onresistance of 0.26mW-cm2, and turn-on and turnoff transitions less than 1nsec have been demonstrated. Power losses due to conduction, gate charge, output capacitance and switching transitions are lower than that of commercially available state-of-the-art Si devices, thereby validating the capability of the SD-FET in enabling compact and highly efficient power conversion. The performance of the SD-FET in a multiphase buck converter application was analyzed showing at least 9 percentage points improvement in efficiency over an equivalently rated Si-based counterpart.
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