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Frauhofer Institute and partners develop GaN-based transistors
Power transistors based on GaN (gallium nitride) enable power electronic switches to operate at much higher switching frequencies compared to those based on Si (silicon). Benefits include increased power density per volume and per weight, reduced costs, less material use and increased system efficiency.

The collaborative project “GaN-resonant – Efficient, highly compact high frequency power electronics with GaN transistors”, is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), with approximately 1.2 million euro over the next three years.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE (www.ise.fraunhofer.de), the SUMIDA Components & Modules GmbH (http://www.sumida-components.com) and the Liebherr Elektronik GmbH (www.liebherr.com) aim to develop a resonant DC/DC converter with GaN transistors, which is to operate with switching frequencies  above 1MHz and a nominal power of 3 kW. The simultaneous occurrence of extremely high switching frequencies and high transmitted power requires special, innovative inductive components.

Power losses mean that today's transistors are limited in terms of practical switching frequency and are therefore not suitable for future applications, which demand both a substantially higher power density and a higher efficiency.


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