Intelligent Data Centres Issue 39 | Page 55


Cambridge GaN Devices project seeks to develop reliable GaN power transistors and ICs to cut data centre emissions

More than five megatons of CO 2 emissions can be saved each year over the next decade using Gallium Nitride ( GaN ) -based IC technology to increase the efficiency of data centre server power supplies .

Fabless semiconductor company Cambridge GaN Devices ( CGD ) has launched ICeData , a project aiming to develop and commercialise a highly efficient Gallium Nitride ( GaN ) -based IC ( integrated circuit ) for use in data centre server power supplies .

The primary goal of the ICeData project is to deliver state-of-the-art GaN power IC technology to boost the efficiency of data centre server power supplies to more than 98 %. Specifically tailored for Switched Mode Power Supplies ( SMPS ) for data centres and telecommunication servers , ICeData will contribute to the saving of more than eight megatons ( million metric-tons ) of CO 2 emissions annually in 2030 .
Data centres currently account for around 2 % of the world ’ s energy use , with an annual electricity consumption rate of 400TWh in 2018 set to double by the end of the decade . In power electronics applications , such as power supplies for consumer electronics and servers for data centres , GaN has the potential to massively reduce the energy wasted due to its structural and conductive properties .
The combination of higher efficiency and higher power density can also achieve significant savings on data centres ’ CAPEX and OPEX , potentially reducing investment and running costs by up to 10 %. Featuring the proprietary ICeGaN gate technology developed by CGD
( which enables the simple driving of the GaN transistor without using a specialised GaN driver ), the ICeData product will be a market first .
It will also boast smart features for sensing and protection to enhance reliability , without the need for extra components . The on-chip sensing and protection circuits can react in nanoseconds to overcurrent and overtemperature events , protecting the device and ultimately protecting the power system .
By the project ’ s end CGD will have a qualified and production-ready set of GaN power IC solutions . The overall GaN market is estimated to grow from a few million USD today to more than $ 1.1 billion by 2026 , driven by demand for lighter and efficient power supplies and more compact and powerful on-board chargers for EV and HEV . � www . intelligentdatacentres . com