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Recent GaN Technology Improvements

Key Takeaways

  • GaN is a crystalline semiconductor capable of handling higher voltages.

  • GaN devices have faster switching speeds, high thermal conductivity, lower on-state resistance, and high breakdown strength.

  • GaN technology enables high power density and smaller magnetics.

 GaN Technology

GaN devices are regularly used in some converters and drive applications

GaN and Sic are the two wide-bandgap semiconductors that have revolutionized conventional power electronic technology. Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology is what makes the quick charging of our mobile devices possible.

GaN is a crystalline semiconductor capable of handling high voltage. The current flow through GaN material is faster than silicon semiconductors, resulting in faster processing speeds. In this article, we will explore this material and how GaN technology is transforming the industry.

Key Properties of GaN


Several wideband gap high-efficiency power transistors and integrated circuits are fabricated using GaN material. In these devices, a two- dimensional electron gas (2DEG) is created due to the strain experienced at the interface of GaN crystal and AlGaN. When the device is subjected to an electric field, the 2DEG aids in establishing high electron mobility.

In unstrained GaN, the electron mobility is around 1000 cm2/ Vs, which increases to 2000 cm2/ Vs in the 2DEG region. It is the high mobility in GaN material that offers GaN devices faster switching speeds, high thermal conductivity, lower on-state resistance, and high breakdown strength.

GaN Technology

GaN finds applications in consumer electronics, data centers, industries, automotive, and renewable energy systems. GaN semiconductor devices are more efficient when converting power to electricity than silicon and germanium semiconductors. The reduction in size and portability offered by GaN has made it a favorite in the semiconductor field. 

GaN technology is applied to the production of semiconductor power devices, RF components, and light-emitting diodes (LED), to name a few. The need for a thermal management system is less complex in GaN technology devices, as they rarely overheat.

GaN technology is at the forefront of developing even more powerful semiconductor devices with comparatively fewer losses and higher efficiency. 

GaN vs. SiC





3.39 eV

3.26 eV

Electron mobility

900-2000 cm2/ Vs

460-650 cm2/ Vs

Electron saturation velocity






Relative dielectric constant



Crucial electric field

3.3 MV/cm

2.0 MV/cm

Thermal conductivity

1.3 W/cm K

3.3-4.9 W/cm K

Melting point

>2500 K

2827 K

Application area

High performance, high frequency systems

High power, low frequency systems

Applications of GaN Technology



Application Area

Consumer Electronics

  • Enhanced performance

  • Reduced size and cost

  • Increased power efficiency

  • Fast wireless charging

Smartphone chargers, smart speakers, gaming devices, Laptop adaptors, and portable electronics

Data centers and 5G

  • Improved economic returns

  • Use of 5G power electronics

  • Reduced size

  • Reduced capital and operational expenditure

Base station, edge computing systems


  • Efficient and low-cost power systems

  • Higher power density

  • Greater range for vehicles

Onboard chargers, DC-DC converters, traction inverters, wireless power transfer

Renewable Energy

  • Efficient power conversion

  • High power density

  • Low-cost

  • Compact systems

String inverters and micro inverters

Other Industries

  • Enhanced performanceHigher power density

  • Efficient power supplies and motor drives

Avionics and aerospace systems, medical devices, motor drives

GaN Technology Advancements

The future of power electronics is in wide-bandgap material. Among wide-bandgap  materials, GaN is superior in several aspects. Cutting-edge research is ongoing to see how GaN technology can support further advancements. Several devices have been developed, such as GaN FETS with integrated drivers, GaN fast chargers, GaN LEDs, and GaN on Silicon devices.

With the developments in GaN technology, high-voltage systems will continue to become safer and more reliable. Cadence’s design and analysis software can help you design power semiconductor transistors based on GaN technology.

Leading electronics providers rely on Cadence products to optimize power, space, and energy needs for a wide variety of market applications. If you’re looking to learn more about our innovative solutions, talk to our team of experts or subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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