Stefaan Decoutere (IMEC)
Today, GaN-on-Si is accepted as a break-through power electronics technology. The favorable materials characteristics and the enhancement mode lateral HEMT device architecture have led to disruptive device performance. Issues with trapping effects and reliability that plagued early versions of the technology have been addressed and first products are in the market. While we will see through further evolutionary improvements the maturity of today’s GaN-on-Si technology further increase with fast pace, research is focused on substrate technology, novel device architectures, application specific customization and higher levels of integration. To unlock the full potential of the fast switching power devices, monolithic integration of a half-bridge, co-integration of the GaN drivers, and free-wheeling diodes offer a way to reduce parasitic inductances, while on-chip temperature sensors and protection circuits increase the robustness. Such power GaN-IC’s pave the way for unprecedented compact high-end power systems.