STM’s New IC Simplifies Designing High-Efficiency SMPS

By Sharad Bhowmick

ViperGaN 50, GaN converter for SMPS

ST Microelectronics recently launch the VIPerGaN50, a 50W gallium-nitride (GaN) converter. The Gan converter integrates a 650V GaN power transistor and requires minimal additional components for designing a Switch mode power supply (SMPS) thus simplifying the design. The 50W converter also packs multiple protection features with good efficiency and to further enhance the efficiency at all line and load conditions, the converter employs multiple modes. The VIPerGaN50 has a very low power standby mode consuming power of less than 30mW.

It operates at quasi-resonant (QR) operation at heavy load, furthermore, it operates at zero-voltage switching to reduce turn-on losses and negate electromagnetic emissions (EMI). At reduced losses, it employs ST’s ‘valley lock’ a proprietary valley skipping technique that limits switching losses and minimizes audible noises. It also employs frequency foldback with zero-voltage switching that further improves the efficiency at light loads, and for the very low load, it uses an adaptive burst mode operation to enhance the efficiency.

According to the company, the GaN converter incorporates a GaN transistor that increases the high switching frequency and requires minimal external components thus reducing development cost and time for the power supply design. It has a single-switch topology and feed-forward compensation that reduces the variation of output peak power over the full range of input voltage. The company mentions that it has advance protection feature that substantially improves the safety of the end product.

All the protection features have auto-restart mode, the protection features of VIPerGaN 50 are:
• Overvoltage protection
• Overload protection
• Overtemperature protection
• Input overvoltage protection
• Brown-in/out protection
• Frequency jitter for EMI suppression

The VIPerGaN50 comes in a low-cost compact package measuring just 5mm x 6mm. It leverages GaN wide-band technology to meet the ecodesign code that targets net-zero carbon emissions. The converter can be used in both industrial and consumer-grade products in applications such as USB-PD chargers, SMPS for home appliances, LED-lighting equipment, smart meters, air conditioners, etc.


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