Power Integrations Pushes GaN Flyback Switcher ICs to 900 V

By Rich Nass

Executive Vice President

Embedded Computing Design

March 31, 2023


Power Integrations Pushes GaN Flyback Switcher ICs to 900 V

Power Integrations has made a name for itself in high-voltage ICs for energy-efficient power conversion. Recently, the company released a 900-V gallium-nitride (GaN) extension to the company’s InnoSwitch3 family of flyback switcher ICs. Designed with the company’s patented PowiGaN technology, the devices can deliver up to 100 watts with more than 93% efficiency, eliminating the need for heat sinks and thereby simplifying the design of space-challenged applications.

These specs suit the flyback switcher ICs for auxiliary power in electric vehicles (EVs) during low-power sleep modes. Specifically, the AEC-Q100-qualified InnoSwitch3-AQ family is suited for EVs based on 400-V bus systems where the 900-V PowiGaN switch provides the power and design margin required for 12-V battery-replacement systems. Such systems were previously powered by silicon-based converters.

In the industrial space, extra power and increased efficiency are advantageous in applications such as appliances, three-phase motors, and auxiliary power supply units (PSUs) in servers. The 900-volt parts are pin-for-pin compatible with existing 725- and 750-V InnoSwitch3-EP parts, simplifying design and offering increased safety margin which is desired in countries with unstable line voltages.

The InnoSwitch3-EP employs synchronous rectification, a valley switching discontinuous conduction mode (DCM), and continuous conduction mode (CCM) flyback controller. FluxLink communication technology lets the IC package bridge the isolation barrier, optimizing efficiency and eliminating the need for optocouplers. PowiGaN technology enables InnoSwitch3-EP ICs to deliver up to 100 W (230 Vac ±15%) without heat sinks. Multiple protection features include line over- and under-voltage protection, output over-voltage and over-current limiting, and over-temperature shutdown.

Devices are available with standard and peak power delivery options. Automotive InnoSwitch3-AQ devices can also deliver 100 W from a 400-V bus. Prices for the devices aimed at industrial applications start at $2.00 for 10,000-unit quantities.

Richard Nass’ key responsibilities include setting the direction for all aspects of OSM’s ECD portfolio, including digital, print, and live events. Previously, Nass was the Brand Director for Design News. Prior, he led the content team for UBM’s Medical Devices Group, and all custom properties and events. Nass has been in the engineering OEM industry for more than 30 years. In prior stints, he led the Content Team at EE Times, Embedded.com, and TechOnLine. Nass holds a BSEE degree from NJIT.

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