Jul 31, 2023

PCIM: 80V 150A GaN brushless dc motor drive development board

EPC is aiming at eMobility, forklifts and high-power drones with a 150Arms brushless motor driver design using its GaN power transistors.

Documents for EPC9186, as it will be known, are not available yet, but the company promises operation from 14V to 80V for "applications such as electric scooters, small electric vehicles and agricultural machinery" in addition to the items above.

The design uses four of its EPC2302 transistors in parallel per switch position, so eight per half-bridge and 24 per board, and can deliver a peak of 200A.

On-board are gate drivers, regulated auxiliary power rails for housekeeping, protection circuits, and sensing for voltage, temperature and current sense – both phase and leg shunt current sensing is supported. And the same board can be re-configured for multi-phase dc-dc conversion.

"GaN-based inverters increase motor efficiency and can increase power capability without increasing size" claimed EPC CEO Alex Lidow. "This enables motor systems that are smaller, lighter, less noisy, have more torque, more range, and greater precision for a wide range of consumer and industrial applications."

Exactly what comes in the kit has not yet been revealed. The company said: "EPC provides full demonstration kits, which include interface boards that connect the inverter board to the controller board development tool."

It is not available yet. Pre-ordering EPC9186 is possible through Digi-Key, where it costs $900.

EPC's EPC9186 product page is here, but currently contains little information beyond a photo.

Find EPC at PCIM on hall 9 on stand 318

Steve Bush