Power Conversion and the Role of GaN
Power conversion underlines almost every application that requires electrical power to function. While the complexity and the stages of the power conversion system behind these applications can be widely different, the basic building blocks are similar. Wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductors due to of their large bandgap can sustain a higher temperature of operation compared to Si, preventing a thermal runaway. One remarkable advantage of GaN and other nitrides is the access to engineer band gap, which plays a significant role in power electronics over any other wide band gap semiconductor. Despite its capability to handle up to 1 KV or slightly higher voltage as a "switch", the lateral geometry starts to look unattractive as the power level goes beyond 15-20 kW. This is due to the increased distance between the gate and the drain considerably increasing the chip area and the output capacitance of the device.