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An Efficient High-Frequency Drive Circuit for GaN Power HFETs

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6 Author(s)
Bo Wang ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia, SC ; Naveen Tipirneni ; Marco Riva ; Antonello Monti
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The requirements for driving gallium nitride (GaN) heterostructure field-effect transistors (HFETs) and the design of a resonant drive circuit for GaN power HFET switches are discussed in this paper. The use of wideband III-nitride (such as GaN) devices today is limited to telecom and low-power applications. The current lack of high-frequency high-power drivers prevents their application in power converters. The proposed circuit is based upon resonant switching transition techniques, by means of an LC tag, to recover part of the power back into the voltage source in order to reduce the power loss. This circuit also uses level shifters to generate the zero and negative gate-source voltages required to turn the GaN HFET on and off, and it is highly tolerant to input-signal timing variances. The circuit reduces the overall power consumed in the driver and thus reduces the power loss. This is particularly important for high-frequency driver operation to take full advantage, in terms of efficiency, of the superior switching speed of GaN devices. In this paper, the topology of the low-power-loss high-speed drive circuit is introduced. Some simulation results and preliminary experimental measurements are discussed.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications  (Volume:45 ,  Issue: 2 )