Leveraging GaN Products – How to Get Started

Oct. 8, 2018
This is the final entry in a four-part Data Center Frontier special report series that explores how Gallium Nitride, or GaN, is showing significant benefits for data center equipment refreshes. This post provides a primer for leveraging GaN products in your business, and how to get started improving power efficiency. 

This is the final entry in a four-part Data Center Frontier special report series that explores how Gallium Nitride, or GaN, is showing significant benefits for data center equipment refreshes. This post provides a primer for leveraging GaN products in your business, and how to get started improving power efficiency. 

Download the full report.

Foresight is invaluable to any forward-thinking strategic business leader, whether they operate in the data center industry or elsewhere. Pre-empting the capping out of silicon-driven power is an opportunity for data center leaders to design future-proofed facilities that maximize performance and output at every level. Consider that power supply efficiency — particularly when gained through the use of GaN — affects more than just the power supplies themselves. It also affects cooling and space efficiency as power density increases and cooling loads decrease.

Proving the technology’s viability, high-voltage GaN applications demonstrate the potential positive impact from OPEX to power output. The market will see more product manufacturers releasing servers, power supplies and other end equipment that leverage this semiconductor technology’s benefits. Related, as explained earlier, these manufacturers often source Transphorm, as it is currently the only high-voltage GaN manufacturer offering qualified, high-reliability third-generation transistors. Trusted Transphorm transistors deliver:

  • Bi-directional switch. Ability to use Bridgeless Totem-pole topology efficiently
  • Faster devices. Lower cross over switching losses
  • Lower capacitance. Reduced losses when charging and discharging devices
  • Less drive charge needed. Reduced gate drive requirements, which improves the circuit’s efficiency and ease of driveability

Manufacturers often source Transphorm, as it is currently the only high-voltage GaN manufacturer offering qualified, highreliability third-generation transistors.

In short, the new power semiconductor technology can translate to better data center performance and efficiency, as it reliably handles growing workloads.

The takeaway for data center and IT decision makers is simply this: During your next refresh cycle, consider a “bottoms up” approach. Explore whether supplies and other IT equipment you are vetting deploy GaN. Research what’s available to you. Ask the right questions of your suppliers.

While this is a niche area within the data center’s overall infrastructure and IT plan, making small changes at this level may impact decisions you make at more prominent levels. If you have more efficient main power sources, cooler supplies, smaller supplies, what changes can you make elsewhere to produce a higher performing, more competitive data center overall?

As you embark on your next refresh cycle, evaluate GaN as a technology that can make a real difference. Educate yourself, and start the conversation with your suppliers and colleagues.

This Data Center Frontier series, focused on data center efficiency and GaN products, also covered the following topics:

Download the full Data Center Frontier Special Report, “Optimizing Data Center Power Efficiency: How Forefront GaN Technologies Show Significant Benefits for Data Center Refreshes,” courtesy of  transphorm. 

And for further coverage, check out Data Center Frontier’s page dedicated to the GaN market that will provide the latest stats and info on the power conversion tool that has the potential to change the landscape of the modern data center.

About the Author

Bill Kleyman

Bill Kleyman is a veteran, enthusiastic technologist with experience in data center design, management and deployment. Bill is currently a freelance analyst, speaker, and author for some of our industry's leading publications.

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