GaN FETs now fit into traction inverters
GaN Systems in Canada showed examples of how GaN FETs can work in traction control drives as might be found in EVs. Two of their reference circuits used 400-V and 800-V GaN FETs in 33 kW (bottom) and 50 kW (top) traction drives, respectively. GaN Systems says compared to fielding traction inverters with IGBTs, use of GaN FETs bring a 10x reduction in power loss for the 33 kW drive, a 5x reduction in power loss for the 50 kW version. Recent advances make such performance possible, says GaN Systems. Among these are optimized packaging for the GaN FETs, though the devices are also being put into IGBT packages. In the latter case, efficiency improvements are available but not to the degree seen with packaging specifically optimized for GaN.