Navitas Semiconductor is expanding into higher-power markets with the opening of a new design center in China.
Navitas Semiconductor is expanding into higher-power markets with the opening of a new design center dedicated to bringing next-generation gallium nitride (GaN) power ICs and associated high-efficiency, high-power-density systems to enable data centers around the world to upgrade from silicon to GaN.
Based in Hangzhou, China, the new design center hosts a highly experienced team of world-class power system designers with comprehensive capabilities across electrical, thermal and mechanical design, software development, and complete simulation and prototyping capabilities. Data center power customers will be supported worldwide by the new team, from concept to prototype, through to full qualification and mass production.
The design center will develop schematics, layouts, and firmware for full-function, productizable data center power supplies. Innovative solutions for the highest power density and highest efficiency will bring the value of GaN into mainstream data centers. Additionally, there will be multiple partnerships created for magnetics, thermal substrates, and other materials to assist customers to optimize their power supply designs.
Navitas estimates that an upgrade from legacy silicon to new GaN could deliver energy savings up to 40%, and save $1.9 billion annually in data center electricity costs worldwide. Data center supplies are rated to meet tough efficiency criteria, with the extreme ‘Titanium’ grade demanding 96% efficiency at 50% load. These new benchmarks are not only enabled by GaN technology but also demanded by legislation such as the European Union’s Directive 2009/125/EC, 2019 Annex, which states that data new center power supplies must meet Titanium level of efficiency from January 1, 2023.
“The Navitas Data Center team has the new technical skills of GaN power ICs plus the experience of real power supply design and qualification,” said Charles ZHA, VP and GM of Navitas China. “The first proof point is a 1.2kW ‘Titanium plus’ design that not only exceeds the highest efficiency standards for data center power supplies, but is also value-engineered to be lower cost than legacy silicon designs. After this, it’s on to 2.2kW and 3kW platforms.”
The 1.2kW design was developed in collaboration with Boco and FRD of Hangzhou. The power supply is now under evaluation for mass production in 2022.
Manufacturing a GaN power IC has up to a 10x lower CO2 footprint than for a silicon chip. Considering use-case efficiency, material size and weight benefits, each GaN power IC shipped can save 4kg of CO2. Overall, GaN is expected to address a 2.6 Gton/year reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050.