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Harnessing the advanced features of GaNPX packaging

Published: 6 January 2015 - Marianne Evans

GaN Systems, a developer of gallium nitride power switching semiconductors, has released a new Application Note for design engineers that sets out thermal design guidelines and PCB layout choices for its enhancement mode power switching transistors, which are supplied in its proprietary GaNPX device packaging. These are the first discrete power devices to be embedded in a laminate construction - conventional packaging techniques, such as clips, wire bonds, and moulding compounds have been replaced with galvanic  processes.  These advanced design features of GaNPX packaging significantly increase the current carrying capability of GaN Systems’ devices and  significantly reduce critical loop inductance - making driving the high speed, high current switches far easier. 

The Application Note gives a thermal analysis of GaN Systems’ GS66508P E-mode GaN, 34A, 41m? power switch, together with diagrams showing its thermal  dissipation paths and further explanation of how heat is dissipated by the  GaNPX packaging design. The second part of the Application Note looks at the key PCB factors to consider when designing with GaNPX devices: the heat spreading copper pad and the design of the thermal vias.  The third section contains a thermal analysis of three different PCB layouts with different copper layers and thicknesses and looks at details of the optimum layout.  Lastly, there is a section looking at how designers can utilise the maximum power capability of GaN Systems’ devices and estimate the maximum power capacity of the system they are designing.  This very informative Application Note for designer engineers is freely available to download at:

GaN Systems’ is the first company to offer a comprehensive range of GaN power switching transistors to the global market.  Its products span current ratings from 8A to 200A and are available now through its exclusive worldwide distributor, Mouser Electronics.

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