Transphorm announced that it has secured fundamental patents in the area of Gallium Nitride (GaN) power conversion. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) patent number 8,816,751 titled “Inductive Load Power Switching Circuits” was granted August 26, 2014 and the patent application number 13/887,204 titled “Bridge Circuits and Their Components” was allowed by the USPTO on August 27, 2014. Both are directed towards the operation and use of GaN transistors in a multitude of applications including half bridges, the basic building blocks of a variety of power conversion circuits. Counterparts of these patents have also issued in China, Taiwan and are pending in several other countries.
These patents belong to a bridge circuit patent family based on the TRANSPHORM DIODE-FREE™ GaN solution, wherein a GaN transistor also serves the function of the conventional anti-parallel or fly-back diode required in traditional approaches. This not only helps eliminate diode components, but also eliminates the cost, space and energy loss associated with them—resulting in compact, higher efficiency systems. Bridge circuits are used in virtually all power converters/inverters including PV inverters, motor drives, DC-DC blocks of power supplies, and many power factor correction (PFC) circuits such as ultra-high efficiency Totem-Pole PFCs. These bridge circuits cover more than 60% of the total market.
Over the last several years, GaN semiconductors have emerged as a leading technology enabler for the next wave of compact, energy-efficient power conversion systems – ranging from ultra-small adapters, high power density PCs, server and telecom power supplies, to highly efficient PV inverters and motion control systems. A strong IP position is essential to ramping any commercial GaN business.
Transphorm has established the next power conversion platform – demonstrating breakthrough performance and introducing the world’s first 600 Volt GaN products with its EZ-GaNTM platform. Its products are backed by a broad and deep intellectual property portfolio, comprising more than 450 independent patents/patent applications and more than 1,100 world-wide patents/patent applications—the most extensive IP portfolio in the GaN Power arena. “Based on my years of experience with patent portfolios of emerging semiconductor companies, Transphorm’s is the best and most complete I have ever encountered,” remarked Roger Borovoy, Transphorm’s IP counsel from Fish & Richardson.
“Transphorm’s patent portfolio comprises fundamental IP in all key areas, ranging from material growth of GaN-on-Silicon, device structures and fabrication, and packaging and circuits, with a particularly far reaching impact on the use of GaN in applications,” said Primit Parikh, co-founder and President of Transphorm. “No matter how other GaN providers manufacture their products, they will have to consider Transphorm’s GaN bridge circuit patent family for bridge applications, by far the largest market segment for high voltage GaN.”