International Rectifier new gallium nitride devices will make Power Conversion a lot more efficient

International Rectifier Corporation (NYSE:IRF) announced the successful development of a revolutionary gallium nitride (GaN)-based power device technology platform that can provide customers with improvements in key application-specific figures of merit (FOM) of up to a factor of ten compared to state-of-the-art silicon-based technology platforms to dramatically increase performance and cut energy consumption in end applications in a variety of market segments such as computing and communications, automotive and appliances.

IR’s GaN-based power device technology platform enables revolutionary advancements in power conversion solutions. The portfolio of system solution products and related intellectual property (IP) extends far beyond leading-edge discrete power devices by effectively deploying the company’s 60-year heritage in power conversion expertise in a wide variety of applications including AC-DC power conversion, DC-DC power conversion, motor drives, lighting, high density audio and automotive systems.

Power MOSFETs at wikipedia

Power semiconductor devices at wikipedia

Power semiconductor devices are semiconductor devices used as switches or rectifiers in power electronic circuits (switch mode power supplies for example). They are also called power devices or when used in integrated circuits, called power ICs.

Power Electronics at wikipedia

Power electronic systems are virtually in every electronic device. For example, around us:

* DC/DC converters are used in most mobile devices (mobile phone, pda…) to maintain the voltage at a fixed value whatever the charge level of the battery is. These converters are also used for electronic isolation and power factor correction.

* AC/DC converters (rectifiers) are used every time an electronic device is connected to the mains (computer, television,…)

* AC/AC converters are used to change either the voltage level or the frequency (international power adapters, light dimmer). In power distribution networks AC/AC converters may be used to exchange power between utility frequency 50 Hz and 60 Hz power grids.

* DC/AC converters (inverters) are used primarily in UPS or emergency light. During normal electricity condition, the electricity will charge the DC battery. During blackout time, the DC battery will be used to produce AC electricity at its output to power up the appliances.