Department of Engineering / News / Department spin-out company leads €10.3 million project to help shape the future of power electronics

Department of Engineering

Department spin-out company leads €10.3 million project to help shape the future of power electronics

Department spin-out company leads €10.3 million project to help shape the future of power electronics

High-voltage probe station for the characterisation of power devices (part of the 'Royce equipment' at the Department of Engineering).

Cambridge GaN Devices Ltd (CGD), a spin-out from the Department of Engineering, will lead a €10.3 million project dedicated to the design and development of the most energy-efficient next-generation Gallium nitride (GaN) power modules.

The PENTA project will aim at delivering fully-working prototypes in lighting, motor drives, converter blocks for renewable energies and on-board chargers for automotive with record specifications and outstanding performance.

Dr Giorgia Longobardi

Working alongside a consortium of 13 European partners with expertise across all aspects of power conversion, the GANEXT project, under the PENTA programme, will focus on producing prototypes for low and high power applications such as lighting, motor drives, converter blocks for renewable energies and on-board chargers for electric vehicles.

CGD develops highly efficient power electronics offering major energy savings in applications ranging from power supplies for consumer electronics to LED drives, data centres and wireless chargers. The company was spun out of the Department of Engineering’s High Voltage Microelectronics and Sensors Group in 2016, in order to develop GaN silicon substrate power semiconductors.

Dr Giorgia Longobardi, CGD’s founder and CEO, and Research Fellow in Electronic Engineering at Gonville & Caius College, said: “The PENTA project creates a tremendous opportunity for CGD to engage with leading-edge companies in the area of power electronics. Not only will the project advance the knowledge in GaN technology and provide insights into its complex facets, but it will aim at delivering fully-working prototypes in lighting, motor drives, converter blocks for renewable energies and on-board chargers for automotive with record specifications and outstanding performance.”

Professor of Semiconductor Engineering Florin Udrea, CGD’s CTO and founder, said: “The quality of the PENTA consortium is remarkable and I have no doubt that we will deliver on the promises to make GaN technology a great success in the market. There is also a broader impact in adding our contribution to our ultimate quest for better use of energy resources and a cleaner environment.”

About Cambridge GaN Devices Ltd (CGD)

CGD offers GaN transistors that can operate at significantly higher switching frequency with lower losses and lower on-resistance when compared to state-of-the-art silicon devices. CGD is developing a range of GaN transistors, customised for different applications, to push the boundaries significantly in conversion systems in terms of efficiency and power density. CGD is developing GaN devices that can be driven in a similar way to silicon transistors and which are easy to use. 

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