Dev Kit Weekly: GaN Systems Audio Evaluation Bundle

October 2, 2020 Brandon Lewis

Holy dev kit this is a lot of equipment! That’s because the GS-EVB-AUD-BUNDLE1-GS is, well, a bundle of two GaN Systems evaluation boards. One of the boards, the GS-EVB-AUD-AMP1-GS, sports a 400 W Class D audio amplifier, while the other features a 650 V switched-mode power supply (SMPS) with power factor correction (PFC) that can be driven from PFC or LLC controllers.

And being from GaN systems, both boards are powered by Gallium Nitride technology.

The Class-D amplifier on the GS-EVB-AUD-AMP1-GS board uses the GaN Systems’ 100V GS610008P, GaN-on-silicon power transistors that leverage enhancement-mode High-Electron Mobility Transistors (E-HEMT) built on GaN Systems’ Island Technology that optimizes cell layout.

Because the eHEMT transistors provide a higher electron velocity than silicon or silicon carbide alternatives, it allows the GaN Systems transistors to produce unprecedented switching efficiencies of more than 96 percent at full load in the reference design while driving 200W per channel into 8 ohms, 300W per channel into 4 ohms, or 400 W of continuous output power. It also contributes to reduced component count and overall size of the power subsystem in high-frequency switching devices like audio amps.

Now the other board, the GS-EVB-AUD-SMPS1-GS, is home to the 650 V, 22.5A GS66506T enhancement-mode GaN-on-silicon power transistor. It’s based on GaN Systems’ EZDrive circuit, which can be adapted to any switching frequency, power level, or LLC/PFC controller to optimize system cost and ease of use.

The GS66506T 650V eHEMTs have all the same features as the GS61008P devices, and boast low total gate charge (Qg) and output capacitance Coss to provide low switching losses and high efficiency. Moving around the board, you can see a common-mode AC line filter, AC line connector, +/-HV Split-Rail Output, PFC inductor, PFC front-end, and LLC Half-Bridge.

If you’re looking to get your hands on one of these GaN evaluation platforms, you might want to hang onto your wallet if you’re prototyping on a budget. The GaN Systems GS-EVB-AUD-BUNDLE1-GS costs a pretty penny, retailing for $995 from distributors like Mouser. But, as we do every week, we will be giving away one of these for absolutely free to one of you, so long as you fill out the form below:

We’ll even deliver it right to your door.

Best of luck to you in this week’s raffle, and we’ll see you next week, on Dev Kit Weekly.

About the Author

Brandon Lewis

Brandon Lewis, Editor-in-Chief of Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for guiding the property's content strategy, editorial direction, and engineering community engagement, which includes IoT Design, Automotive Embedded Systems, the Power Page, Industrial AI & Machine Learning, and other publications. As an experienced technical journalist, editor, and reporter with an aptitude for identifying key technologies, products, and market trends in the embedded technology sector, he enjoys covering topics that range from development kits and tools to cyber security and technology business models. Brandon received a BA in English Literature from Arizona State University, where he graduated cum laude. He can be reached by email at brandon.lewis@opensysmedia.com.

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