GaN technology is forging ahead rapidly as it becomes a true contender for power-conversion cham across a wide spectrum of applications. Whereas GaN still shares some unique properties with silicon carbide (SiC), the other member of the WBG family, its distinctive features make it suitable for addressing new market needs. Among other features, GaN devices can operate at far higher frequencies than any other semiconductors available today permitting designers to significantly miniaturize electronic systems; GaN processing allows monolithic integration owing to compatibility with silicon-based CMOS processes; it can be processed in 8” (200mm) facilities exploiting most existing fab equipment. End applications include portable power supplies and chargers, solar inverters, and OBC and DC-DC converters for the next generations of EVs. Low-voltage GaN HEMTs, from broadly 100V to 200V, can also address today’s power-hungry data centers, enabling significant gains in efficiency and 48V hybrid systems.
Filippo Di Giovanni is currently Strategic Marketing, Innovation and Key Programs Manager within the Power Transistor MACRO Division at ST, based in Catania, Italy. As Technical Marketing Manager, he helped to introduce the first strip-based MOSFETs, and at the end of the nineties, he coordinated the development of “Super-junction” highvoltage MOSFETs (MDmeshTM), a real breakthrough in silicon power semiconductors.In 2012, he was placed in charge of the development of the first 1,200V silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFETs, which have enabled ST to become today undisputable market leader and one of the main suppliers in various fields of applications, including the growing EV (electrical vehicle) market.Dr. Di Giovanni’s experience also includes working on gallium nitride on silicon (GaNon-Si) HEMT for both power conversion and RF domains. Regularly invited to participate in various conferences and workshops dedicated to power conversion, he also coordinates European projects and is a key member of an ST workgroup handling the collaborative development of GaN-on-Si with ST’s important industry partners.