GaN ICs shrink motor drives and speed time-to-market

18-10-2022 | EPC | Power

EPC now offers the EPC9176, a three-phase BLDC motor drive inverter employing the EPC23102 ePower Stage GaN IC with embedded gate driver function and two GaN FETs with 5.2mOhm typical RDS(on). The device operates from an input supply voltage between 20V and 80V and can provide up to 28 pk (20ARMS). This voltage range and power level make the solution excellent for various three-phase BLDC motor drive applications with 36V-80V input, including eBikes, eScooters, drones, robots, power tools, DC servo, medical robots and factory automation.

Using the EPC23102 integrated GaN-on-silicon device provides higher performance in a smaller footprint with notably lower design effort demands for fast time to market. It is a fully integrated power stage with a 100V rating, including the half-bridge FETs, driver, level shifter, and synchronous bootstrap charging, with an enable pin for low quiescent current in disabled mode and 5V bias.

The EPC9176 mates with various compatible controllers, supported by many manufacturers using current resources for fast development purposes that lower design cycle times. The company provides interface boards (EPC9147X) to operate this inverter reference design with the most common motors. The device comprises all the required critical functions circuits to support a complete motor drive inverter, including gate drivers, regulated auxiliary power rails for housekeeping supplies, voltage, and temperature sense, accurate current sense, and protection functions.

“Designers can use GaN ICs to make lighter weight and more efficient battery-operated motor drives for a wide variety of emobility and robotic applications”, said Alex Lidow, CEO of EPC. “GaN enables motor systems that are smaller, lighter, less noisy, have more torque, more range, and greater precision while improving EMI, reducing EMI filtering and capacitor count, and eliminating electrolytic capacitors and input filter inductors.”

By Seb Springall