Navitas’ GaNFast power ICs enable 2x shrink and 75% more emergency lighting

Navitas Semiconductor of El Segundo, CA, USA says that its GaNFast power integrated circuits are enabling HotSpot Plus FHSAC1-UNV-70S, a high-reliability 70W normal + 7W emergency back-up lighting power system made by Fulham Co of Hawthorne, CA, USA (which makes commercial lighting components and electronics for commercial general lighting, parking structure, signage, horticultural, UV and other applications). Gallium nitride (GaN) power IC technology powers both the main LED luminaire and charges the on-board LiFePO4 battery to provide lighting and up to 90 minutes of emergency runtime.

Founded in 2014, Navitas introduced what it claimed to be the first commercial GaN power ICs. The firm says that its proprietary ‘AllGaN’ process design kit (PDK) monolithically integrates GaN power field-effect transistors (FETs) with GaN logic and analog circuits, enabling faster charging, higher power density and greater energy savings for mobile, consumer, enterprise, eMobility and new energy markets.

New, high-speed GaN power ICs are said to have up to 20x the performance of silicon chips. By operating at high frequency and simultaneously increasing efficiency, GaNFast power ICs reduce the size, weight and cost of components such as transformers, heatsinks and printed-circuit boards. GaNFast’s 3–4x increase in power density enables a 2-to-1 reduction in LED hardware and leaves room to expand battery size to 14.4Whr and increase emergency lighting by 75% for increased safety compared with similar-sized 4W emergency-only systems, it is reckoned.

The Hotspot Plus 70S was developed for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) looking for a highly reliable, universal LED driver that would meet state and city safety requirements in a single, compact, all-in-one emergency/LED driver. Suitable for luminaires where LED driver space is limited, the HotSpot Plus 70S has the smallest form-factor available (424mm x 30mm x 25mm), it is claimed, and features universal 120–277VAC input with a maximum of 70W (programmable constant current output of 350–2400mA/11–55VDC) normal and up to 7W emergency output, so customers can stock a single LED driver for a broad range of fixtures.

With the HotSpot Plus 70S, our goal was to provide an LED driver + Emergency LED driver with integrated batteries in the same size as a single-function non-emergency LED driver, and the Navitas GaNFast power ICs enabled us to reach this goal,” says Alvaro Garcia, senior director, product management, at Fulham. “This significant achievement is an industry first, which will enable our customers to design smaller more cost-effective LED lighting systems,” he reckons.

Fulham joins a rapidly growing list of mobile and consumer brands in high-volume production with GaN power ICs that are setting a new standard in energy savings and power density,” says Navitas’ CEO Gene Sheridan.

Navitas presents GaNFast charging technology at PCIM

Navitas is presenting its latest GaNFast power IC advances and end-customer examples at the PCIM (Power Conversion Intelligent Motion) Europe 2019 conference in Nuremberg, Germany (7-9 May).

Navitas has enabled customers to deliver the highest-performance, fastest-charging, mass-production smartphone and laptop power solutions in the market,” says Stephen Oliver, VP marketing & sales. “GaNFast ICs are now building a new class of kW+ power systems for cloud computing, new energy and a broad range of eMobility solutions, from ebike and drone chargers to full-size EV [electric vehicle] on-board chargers (OBC), which increase power densities and battery-charging rates by 3x, improve energy savings by 50% or more, to extend driving range and lower system costs”.

Navitas is presenting the following conference papers/events at PCIM Europe on 8 May:

  • Industry Forum: ‘GaN – Devices are Mature’ (Hall 7-543, 2.30pm) – ‘Drive your Destiny, Let’s Go GaNFast!’ by Tom Ribarich of Navitas Semiconductor;
  • Session: GaN System Integration (room München 1, 2.45pm) – ‘System Integration Benefits in GaN Power ICs’ (A05- 5043) by Marco Giandalia and Dan Kinzer of Navitas Semiconductor;
  • Section: AC-DC and DC-AC Converters (Grand Foyer, 3.15pm) – ‘GaN High Density 300W AC-DC Converter’ (E03- 4955) by Tom Ribarich and Stephen Oliver of Navitas Semiconductor and Peter Bredmeier of Ongineer, Germany.