GaN is as Easy to Use as Silicon: EPC Introduces a 48 V to 12 V Demo Board Featuring EPC eGaN FETs and New Renesas DC/DC Controller


The combination of the Renesas dual synchronous GaN buck controller and ultra-efficient eGaN® FETs from EPC (Efficient Power Conversion) enables high power density and efficiency with the same BOM size and cost as silicon.

EPC announces the availability of the EPC9157, a 300 W DC-DC demo board in the tiny 1/16th brick size, measuring just 33 mm × 22.9 mm × 9 mm (1.3 × 0.9 × 0.35 in). The EPC9157 demo board integrates the Renesas ISL81806 80 V dual synchronous buck controller with the latest-generation EPC2218 eGaN FETs from EPC to achieve greater than 95% efficiency for 48 V input to 12 V regulated output conversion at 25 A.

EPC - EPC9157

Brick DC-DC converters are widely used in data center, computing, telecommunication and automotive applications, converting a nominal 48 V to a nominal 12 V distribution bus, among other output voltages. The main trend has been towards higher power density. eGaN® FETs provide the fast switching, high efficiency and small size that can meet the stringent power density requirements of these leading-edge applications. EPC2218 is the smallest high efficiency 100 V eGAN FET on the market.

EPC9157 top view   EPC9157 bottom view
EPC9157 top view.   EPC9157 bottom view.

Renesas’ ISL81806 is the industry’s first 80 V dual-output or two-phase synchronous buck controller with integrated GaN drivers, supporting switching frequencies up to 2 MHz. It uses peak current mode control and generates two independent outputs, or one output with two interleaved phases. It supports current sharing, synchronization for paralleling more controllers and/or more phases, enhanced light load efficiency, and low shutdown current. Protection features include input UVLO, over current, over voltage and over temperature. The ISL81806 can directly drive EPC GaN FETs, ensuring easy design, low component count and low solution cost. The highly integrated ISL81806 reduces BOM cost for GaN solutions because it does not require any microcontroller, current sense amplifiers, or housekeeping power.

Typical EPC9157 efficiency vs. load current
Typical EPC9157 efficiency vs. load current.

Price and Availability

The EPC9157 demonstration board from EPC is priced $378.00 each and is available for immediate delivery from Digi-Key.

1-4 Layer PCBs $2

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