EPC and innosonix address power consumption and efficiency demands for high-end audio amplifier application with eGaN FET design

Idle power consumption and overall efficiency were key concerns of innosonix when designing its latest high-end Maxx Series multi-channel power amplifier. By changing from traditional silicon FETs to EPC’s EPC2059 eGaN FET the company reduced idle loss by 35 per cent and lowered the on resistance to increase the total power efficiency by 5 per cent.

The EPC2059 is a 6.8 mΩ, 170 V enhancement-mode gallium nitride (eGaN) transistor offering impressive audio performance for high-end amplifier applications. The low on resistance and low capacitance of the EPC2059 enables high efficiency and lowers open loop impedance for low Transient Intermodulation Distortion (T-IMD). The fast-switching capability and zero reverse recovery charge enable higher output linearity and low cross over distortion for lower Total Harmonic Distortion (THD).

By using the EPC2059 eGaN FET, innosonix was able to decrease the idle switching loss as the total gate charge was nearly reduced by half. The output capacitance only doubled for tripling the max drain voltage enabling innosonix to switch from a full-bridge to a half-bridge design, which also reduced component count costs. The low package inductance gives a clean switching waveform which leads to a nearly perfect switching voltage and, therefore, better linearity. This resulted in a reduction in harmonic distortion of almost 6dB and the subjective audio quality has improved audibly, to benefit customers.

The MAxx multi-channel power amplifiers are said to mark an unprecedented standard for high-end audio installations in residential, science, industry and many other applications where high channel count is required. Paired with an unseen low power consumption per channel, the MAxx series fits the modern world’s requirements to reduce CO2 emissions since many devices are running 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“We are delighted to be working with EPC. As a small company, it’s not always easy to do business with some large semiconductor manufacturers and to be taken seriously. We chose the EPC2059 eGaN FET as it perfectly matches innosonix’s voltage current and price requirements and its’ small form factor is an impressive feature for designing high-density circuits”, commented Markus Bätz, CEO, innosonix.

Wolfram Krüger, EPC’s VP Sales Europe added: “This application is a great example of the real benefits that GaN brings and, together with our distribution partner FinePower, we have worked closely with innosonix to find the best eGaN FET to meet the design challenges that the Maxx power amplifier brings.”

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