The Role of GaN in Future Datacenters

In the fast-paced digital world, data centers are the backbone of the internet, cloud computing, and global enterprises’ vast data processing needs. However, with great power comes great responsibility—and in the case of data centers, this translates to the immense challenge of managing energy consumption and efficiency. As we venture deeper into an era dominated by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and digitalization, the demand for power within data centers has skyrocketed, reaching up to 100kW per rack, with forecasts indicating even higher needs shortly. This escalating demand poses significant challenges for power system designers, urging the exploration of innovative solutions to meet the energy needs of tomorrow’s data centers.

Enter Cambridge GaN Devices (CGD), a pioneering fabless, clean-tech semiconductor company, at the forefront of addressing these challenges. Specializing in the development of energy-efficient GaN (Gallium Nitride) based power devices, CGD is championing the cause for greener electronics with its groundbreaking solutions. The company is poised to significantly impact the upcoming APEC 2024, the IEEE Applied Power Electronics Conference and Exposition, scheduled from Sunday, February 25th to Thursday, February 29th, at the Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, California.

At APEC 2024, CGD will have its largest-ever booth, number 1553, and contribute to the discourse with a series of papers elucidating how GaN technology can support the burgeoning power demands of data centers in the AI-driven age. Giorgia Longobardi, the Chief Executive Officer of CGD, emphasizes the critical role of GaN devices in new architectures designed to cater to the power system needs of modern data centers. She highlights CGD’s commitment to introducing new devices and reference designs that tackle the power challenge head-on, showcasing sustainable electronics solutions that are efficient, high-performing, and compact.

Three insightful presentations will mark CGD’s presence at APEC:

  • “How ICeGaN™ technology can address the data center challenges that digitalization brings,” presented by Andrea Bricconi, Chief Commercial Officer, and Peter Di Maso, VP of Business Development (Americas).
  • “Evaluation of GaN HEMT dv/dt Immunity and DV/dt induced false turn-on energy loss” by Nirmana Perera, Application Engineer.
  • “Monolithic integration addresses the design challenges of GaN Power devices,” with Di Chen, Director of Business Development & Technical Marketing.

These presentations will delve into how CGD’s ICeGaN™ technology is set to revolutionize data center power systems, offering insights into the company’s innovative approach to GaN HEMT design and its implications for the industry.

On the exhibition floor, CGD will demonstrate the prowess of its 650 V GaN HEMT family, the ICeGaN™ H2 single-chip eMode HEMTs, which boast ease of use and scalability. These HEMTs can be operated like a MOSFET, eliminating the need for special gate drivers and complex circuitry. Highlighting the application of this technology, CGD will showcase a 350 W PFC/LLC reference design that achieves a board power density of 23 W/in3 and an impressive peak efficiency of 95%.

Andrea Bricconi, CGD’s Chief Commercial Officer, remarks on the acceptance and potential of GaN as a technology that offers high efficiency and power density. He points out that while data centers are a prime application for GaN technology, its benefits extend to consumer, industrial, and automotive applications, where GaN’s disruptive potential is equally evident.

CGD’s participation in APEC 2024 clearly indicates its leadership in GaN technology and its dedication to advancing sustainable electronics. By tackling the challenges faced by data centers and beyond, CGD is not just contributing to the evolution of power systems but is also shaping the future of technology to be more efficient, reliable, and environmentally friendly.

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