EPC Partners with MPS on DC-DC Reference Design Board with GaN FETs for More Efficient Bidirectional Converters

Article By : Efficient Power Conversion Corp.

EPC's EPC9165 bidirectional converter operates with 97% peak efficiency and is ideal for high-density and high-power 48V battery packs.

Efficient Power Conversion Corp. (EPC) has launched the EPC9165, a 2kW, two-phase 48V–14V bidirectional converter that operates with 97% peak efficiency in a small footprint. This solution is ideal for high-density and high-power 48V battery packs such as those required for eMobility and light mobility.

The solution is scalable; two converters can be paralleled for 4kW, three converters for 6kW or only one phase can be used for 1kW. In this application, the output voltage is 14V; however, since the topology is a hard-switching buck converter, the output voltage can easily be adjusted for voltages between 12V and 36V.

The EPC9165 reference design features the EPC2302 GaN FET, which uses EPC’s latest generation 100V GaN technology. The EPC2302 delivers 101A continuous current and 390A pulsed current. The thermally enhanced QFN package with an exposed top improves the thermal dissipation to the heatsink. It delivers 0.2°C/W thermal resistance to the heatsink, and wettable flanks simplify assembly inspection and improve robustness for thermal cycles. The EPC2302 GaN FET offers a super small typical RDS(on), of just 1.4mΩ typical and 1.8mΩ maximum, together with very small QG of 23nC typical, QGD of 2.3nC typical, QOSS of 85nC typical, and zero QRR for low conduction and switching losses.

The EPC9165 reference design features the new MPS MPQ1918 100V automotive half-bridge driver developed specifically for use with GaN FETs. The MPQ1918 is available in a small 3x3mm FCQFN package with wettable flanks to enable optical inspection. The device has a peak source current of 1.6A with a 0.2Ω/1.2Ω pull-down/pull-up resistance to enable usage of high power FETs with faster switching edges to maximize efficiency and increase power density. Compared to other automotive half-bridge GaN drivers, this device provides higher efficiency, improves EMI, and is very cost effective.

“GaN FETs and ICs provide the fast switching, small size, and high efficiency needed to further reduce the size and weight of 48V to 12V/14V converters,” said Alex Lidow, CEO of EPC. “By utilizing the MPS 100V automotive gate driver and EPC’s first packaged device, the EPC2302, the EPC9165 reference design showcases a solution that increases efficiency, increases power density, and simplifies design; in space and weight critical designs like eMobility.”

“The new MPS MPQ1918 is designed to fully utilize the high performance of GaN FETs to maximize efficiency and power density for high power solutions. As EPC is one of the key players providing power eGaN FET’s, we are glad to collaborate to bring this solution to market to improve efficiency and reduce solution size in bidirectional converters,” said Maurice Sciammas, VP of Sales & Marketing at MPS.


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