Gallium nitride (GaN) is widely used in applications for high-power devices operating at high frequencies. This is because of its ability to operate at high-currents and high-voltages. While much attention is given to GaN chips, what is often overlooked is the package in which the GaN device is attached and the way the chip is attached to the package. It is well known that GaN chip efficiency and reliability can be improved by creating a package environment that reduces chip-to-package junction temperatures.
GaN, especially GaN on silicon carbide (SiC), handles higher temperatures, so it allows designers to make circuits smaller. The GaN chip can produce much greater power density, but it’s the job of the package to remove the heat that is generated. The goal is to increase the power output that a chip can achieve, thereby maximizing its performance. It is important to provide a more efficient way to dissipate the heat, so the chip isn’t as likely to overheat and fail during normal operation.
One way to increase power is to run a chip at a cooler temperature. Devices operating at cooler temperatures last longer, have higher reliability, and perform more efficiently. The ability to perform at a higher output conserves energy, as the same amount of electricity generates greater power output and provides a cushion when operated at a normal rate. The challenge is finding a suitable package for GaN because of its higher power density and the need to dissipate the heat while maintaining maximum device performance.