Cambridge GaN devices to bring GaN benefits to motor control

Evaluation kit to feature Qorvo’s high-performance BLDC/PMSM motor controller/driver and CGD’s easy-to-use ICeGaN ICs

Cambridge GaN Devices (CGD), the fabless, clean-tech semiconductor company that develops energy-efficient GaN-based power devices that make greener electronics possible, is partnering with Qorvo, a leading global provider of connectivity and power solutions, to develop a reference design and evaluation kit (EVK) that showcases GaN for motor control applications. CGD aims to speed the use of GaN power ICs in BLDC and PMSM applications, resulting in higher power, highly efficient, compact and reliable systems. Qorvo is building an EVK for its PAC5556A motor/control IC that is powered by CGD’s ICeGaN (IC-enhanced GaN) technology.


“Because ICeGaN – unlike other GaN implementations from other companies – integrates the interface circuitry but not the controller together with the GaN HEMT, it is simple to combine with highly integrated motor controller and drive ICs such as Qorvo’s PAC5556A 600 V High Performance BLDC / PMSM Motor Controller and Driver. We are delighted to partner with Qorvo to enable motor controller and driver applications to enjoy the benefits of GaN power.”


“Wide bandgap semiconductors such as GaN and SiC are being actively considered in various motor control applications for the power density and efficiency benefits they bring. CGD’s ICeGaN technology offers ease of use and reliability, two crucial factors for motor control and drive designers. We are excited to see the reaction of design engineers when they experience the power of GaN combined with our highly integrated PAC5556A 600V BLDC motor control solution.”

GaN brings a variety of benefits, primarily lower losses, which results in higher efficiency, leading to increased power availability and less heat. This reduces the need for complex, bulky, and costly thermal management solutions, resulting in smaller, more powerful systems that have a longer life. GaN also delivers higher torque at low speeds and, therefore, more accurate control. Also, GaN allows high-speed switching, which can reduce audible noise, which is especially valued for domestic items such as ceiling fans, heat pumps, and refrigerators.

In addition to being easy to use, ICeGaN offers several other significant benefits over other GaN devices. The gate drive voltage of ICeGaN is compatible with IGBTs. Because ICeGaN integrates the Miller clamp within the GaN IC, a negative Turn-Off voltage is not required, and low-cost current drivers can be used. Finally, ICeGaN includes a useful current sense function, simplifying circuit design and reducing BOM.

The reference design is available today, and EVK RD5556GaN will be available for purchase in Q324. It will also be shown on CGD’s booth Hall 7 643 at the PCIM exhibition in Nuremberg, Germany,  11-13 June. Qorvo will also exhibit at PCIM, on booth Hall 7 406.