by Jim Witham, CEO of GaN Systems
The power semiconductor market continues to experience steady growth due to the limitation of silicon and circuit miniaturization and the rising demand for green energy and energy efficiency. For over five decades, silicon semiconductors have been the building block for electronics. However, their limitations of having high loss and limited to lower switching frequency made them less suitable for high-power electronics at the core of current and future applications, such as renewable energy and electric vehicles.
Gallium nitride (GaN) power semiconductors overcome the silicon limitations and facilitate power electronics development, due to their ability to increase the overall power efficiency as the GaN power semiconductors work effectively at higher frequencies and power levels with minimal losses, unlike silicon semiconductors. Hence, this leads to reduced power losses and smaller systems in many power-reliant markets such as data centers and innovative technologies such as Blockchain and AI – creating substantial energy and cost savings. The rising demand for renewable energy and storage facilitates the prospects of GaN power semiconductors due to their noteworthy features like high switching frequency that doubles the energy efficiency improvement in these naturally bidirectional systems.
Over the past year, in conversations with corporate leaders, it is more evident than ever before that GaN technology is the clear and undisputed solution for driving more robust growth and product innovation, as well as enabling companies to elevate the conversation and engage more deeply in sustainability initiatives.
Looking ahead, GaN Systems, the global leader of GaN power semiconductors, reveals the notable industry trends for 2019, which we believe will have a major impact on the escalating need for more power in data-intensive technologies such as IoT, 5G, AI, Machine Learning, and Blockchain.
- IoT devices will require the data center industry to continue to reinvent itself – not only incrementally adding more security and robustness, but also evolving the edge with new kinds of edge/locally-focused data centers.
- Highly-efficient power supplies are key to the necessary evolution of the data center, tackling the challenge of increased energy conversion efficiency and enabling greater server rack density.
- When it comes to the integration of blockchain and the impact of artificial intelligence, faster traceability will improve companies’ business operations and accelerate delivery of their products to market – while enabling them to do so at lower power costs.
- 5G equipment will be everywhere in the world, requiring more bandwidth and power in smaller packages. GaN technology will play an important part on the rollout of 5G because of power density, energy efficiency and device size.
One of the most significant trends in power electronics is wireless charging. As consumers continue to accumulate laptops, smart phones, wearables, e-bikes and e-scooters, the need for the convenience of wireless charging will take precedence. And, as industrial markets integrate more drones and robots into the supply chain and delivery processes, the charging of those devices needs to become more efficient, effective and long-lasting.
We predict In 2019:
- Widespread fast wireless charging tech will impact the future and speed of adoption of the autonomous world (vehicles and drones) for new and expanding consumer uses.
- Robots that not only operate, but can recharge, autonomously without human intervention will continue to the fuel the evolution of Industry 4.0.
- In wireless charging, providing high power for big loads or for fast charging small loads is the key and this is where GaN technology delivers high power with high efficiency.
At the center of these 2019 trends is the undeniable need for new ways of thinking about and addressing the power needs of the diverse technology that surrounds us. If we are to evolve globally, power cannot be taken for granted and simply viewed as an endless resource that comes out of a plug in a wall. Our global power footprint cannot continue to grow at past historic rates – for both business reasons and the health of our planet.
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