EPC GaN Solution Designed for USB PD 3.1

Article By : Efficient Power Conversion

EPC's EPC9177 eGaN IC-based reference design addresses new USB PD 3.1 stringent demands for multiport chargers.

Efficient Power Conversion’s (EPC) EPC9177 is an eGaN IC-based reference design for high power density, low profile DC-DC converters to address new USB PD 3.1 stringent demands for multiport chargers and on-motherboard DC-DC converting 28V–48V input to 12V or 20V output.

EPC9177 is a digitally-controlled, single-output synchronous buck converter reference design board operating at 720kHz switching frequency converting an input voltage of 48V, 36V, 28V to a regulated 12V output voltage and delivering up to 20A continuous output current.

With a footprint of 21-by-13mm and 3mm height, the synchronous buck converter features the EPC23102 fully integrated half-bridge ePower Stage and is optimized for computing power supplies and USB PD 3.1 multiport chargers and on-board DC-DC solutions able to convert a 28V–48V input to a 12V or 20V output.

With the advent of USB PD 3.1, the output voltage for USB charging increases from 20V to 48V and the power increases from 100W up to 240W. This higher power enables USB charging beyond laptop and cell phone fast charging to higher power applications including gaming PCs, power tools, and ebikes. While the main output of the chargers is 48V to allow the higher output power with 5A rated cables, multiport chargers can also support lower output voltages such as 5V, 12V, 20V to be compatible with a wider range of devices. A smart DC-DC regulator is required to generate these lower voltages. Additionally, a DC-DC regulator will be required resident on the motherboard of the gaming PC or power tools to convert the 48V to 20V and 12V input.

The EPC23102 GaN power stage integrates the half-bridge driver and FETs (100V, 6.6mΩ R(DSon)), the level shifter and the bootstrap charging and can switch with very high efficiency – up to 3MHz. It enables the EPC9177 reference board to deliver up to 20A continuous current using a heatsink and 15A continuous current without a heatsink to 12V output voltage, with greater than 97.3% efficiency with a 48V input.

The high power density makes this reference design ideal for computing, industrial, consumer, and telecom power systems requiring small size and high efficiency. eGaN FETs and ICs provide the fast switching, high efficiency and small size that can meet the stringent power density requirements of these leading-edge applications.

“GaN ICs provide the maxim power density for DC-DC converters. EPC GaN power stages give power system designers the highest power density and low component count solutions for USB PD 3.1. The EPC9177 reference solution, based on the EPC23102, increases efficiency and power density, and reduces overall system cost for USB PD 3.1 implementation,” said Alex Lidow, CEO of EPC.


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