FET Roundup: eGaN FETs, Next-gen SiC FETs, and “RibbonFETs” Hit the Scene
This month has been a busy one in the FET space. Here are a few FETs from EPC, UnitedSiC, and Intel that depart from traditional silicon transistors in interesting ways.
In the past few weeks, several industry-leading electronics manufacturers, including Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) Corporation, UnitedSiC, and Intel, have announced the release of new FET solutions. These new FETs promise to offer significant improvements over conventional silicon MOSFETs.
While EPC and UnitedSiC improved the capabilities of GaN- and SiC-based FETs, Intel explored a different approach to achieving faster transistor switching speeds by introducing its RibbonFET solution.
Field-effect transistors (FETs) receive current through their source terminal, regulating current flow at its gate terminal and allowing it to exit through its drain terminal. These devices are useful in high-power switching applications. Here's a roundup of a few new FETs on the market.
EPC's eGaN FET Meets High Computing Needs
In a recent EPC release, the company notes how engineers can leverage its EPC2069 eGaN FET for a range of applications, including netcom, telecom, and computing.
EPC2069 eGaN FET with a die size of 3.25 mm x 3.25 mm. Image used courtesy of EPC Corporation
Some other features of the device include:
- Power density: Up to 4000 W/in3
- Drain-to-source voltage (VDS): 40 V
- Drain-to-source on-resistance (RDS(on)): 1.6–2.5 mΩ
- High-frequency operation: 1 MHz
EPC also says the new eGaN FET includes >98 percent efficiency and has a footprint of 10.6 mm2. The size of the device makes it a candidate for high-performance and space-constrained applications.
The high power density capability of the EPC2069 also proves useful for 48 V–54 V input server designs. Because it ensures minimized reverse recovery losses and lower gate charges, engineers can select the latest EPC FET solution for high-frequency operations of up to 1 MHz.
The compatibility of the EPC2069 with the secondary side of DC-DC converters may also allow designers to meet the needs of high power density computing applications, including heavy gaming and artificial intelligence.
UnitedSiC's Gen 4 SiC FETs for Hard Switching
This month, UnitedSiC announced the release of its Gen 4 SiC FET series. The devices offer a low RDS(on) of 6 mΩ, providing a short-circuit-withstand time rating of 5ms. The series comprises 6, 9, 11, 18, 23, 33, 44, and 58 mΩ rated 750 V SiC FET devices, which come in TO-247-4L packaging.
UnitedSiC Gen 4 SiC FET solution. Screenshot used courtesy of UnitedSiC
The silver-sinter die attachment and wafer-thinning technologies of the UnitedSiC Gen 4 FET series minimize die-to-cast thermal resistance and maximize power output for various applications.
Because of the Gen SiC FET series' strong voltage drop and recovery speed capabilities, engineers can incorporate these FETs into hard switching operation-intensive applications. UnitedSiC says these devices yield significant improvements with on-resistance and switching efficiency, making them well-suited for applications including AC/DC and DC/DC conversion, power factor correction, energy inverter-based uni- and bi-directional power conversion, and electric vehicle charging.
Intel's RibbonFET to Replace FinFET Technology
At Intel's Architecture Day this year, the company discussed its new RibbonFET transistor architecture, which offers significant improvements over the existing FinFET technology by Intel. This industry-first implementation of gate-all-around architecture allows designers to maximize driving current control, switching efficiency, and performance regardless of the voltage.
Additionally, designers can alter the width of RibbonFET’s highly flexible ribbon-based channel to suit several high-performance applications.
Planar vs. FinFET vs. RibbonFET. Image used courtesy of Lam Research
A common challenge with current FET technologies is their inability to meet the increasing need to scale down to 5 nm nodes. RibbonFET solves this roadblock by offering a single stack of nanoribbons that serve as its channel, significantly lowering its footprint for space-constrained designs.
Intel says that by integrating RibbonFET and other power-related solutions, engineers can improve computing performance for several workloads.
RibbonFET performance compared to FinFETs. Image used courtesy of Intel
The RibbonFET's single stack of nanoribbons can achieve the same drive current as multiple stacks in existing FinFET technology while offering a significantly smaller footprint. Since designers can alter the width of the flexible ribbon-based channel, they can incorporate the RibbonFET technology into various switching, amplification, and driver applications.
Silicon MOSFETs vs. New FET Technologies
Compared to conventional silicon MOSFETs, the latest FET technologies offer higher performance, power densities, and switching efficiencies. Unlike conventional SiC MOSFETs, the latest Gen 4 SiC FET technology from UnitedSiC offers better recovery speed and forward voltage drop, reduced thermal resistance, and consequently, maximized output power.
The EPC2069 FET offers a comparatively higher switching frequency, higher efficiency, and a smaller footprint than its silicon counterparts, which results in lower switching losses, zero reverse recovery losses, and higher power density.
Similarly, RibbonFETs offer highly flexible channels that accommodate more power-intensive applications. The gate-all-around FET architecture allows for higher driving current control, which is absent in conventional silicon MOSFETs.