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A 200-W-into-8-Ω-per-channel, GaN-driven stereo class-D amplifier and SMPS development kit

The GaN Systems GS-EVB-AUD-BUNDLE2-GS bundle comprises the GS-EVB-AUD-AMP2-GS amplifier board and the GS-EVB-AUD-SMPS2-GS Switched-Mode Power Supply (SMPS) board. This GaN-based evaluation platform provides an excellent reference design for implementing a high-performance, low-cost audio system, enabled by fast-switching, low-cost, zero-QRR enhancement mode GaN transistors.

The class-D amplifier and companion power supply designs are optimised for sound quality, thermal performance, size, and cost. This GeN2 reference design features a 20% overall size reduction in the power supply and a higher level of protection into lower impedance loads to the amplifier. Improved thermal management also results in 10°C temperature reduction for a fan-less design solution that achieves extremely high efficiency, high power density, and reliable start-up, with no heat sinking, low THD, and low EMI.

The GS-EVB-AUD-AMP2-GS amplifier board provides 200 W per channel into 8 Ω or 300 W per channel into 4 Ω with a full-load efficiency >96%, and it is configured to allow for both ‘open-loop’ and ‘closed-loop’ operations, with various standard audio source inputs. This board is driven by the GaN Systems GS61008P, a bottom-side cooled 100 V, 90 A E-HEMT that can be easily driven directly from a variety of GaN drivers. With GaN Systems’ packaging innovations, this device offers very low junction-to-case thermal resistance, low inductance, and very-high-efficiency power switching for demanding high-power applications.

The GS61008P offers simple gate drive requirements (0 V to 6 V), a very high switching frequency of >10 MHz, and fast-and-controllable fall and rise times with reverse current capability and zero reverse recovery loss. A Source Sense (SS) pin is included for optimised gate drive, and the size of this device is 7.6 x 4.6 x 0.51 mm.

The GS-EVB-AUD-SMPS2-GS SMPS board operates on a universal AC line input voltage of between 85 V and 264 V and provides a ±32 VDC regulated output voltage. The design is capable of 400 W continuous output power with a full-load efficiency >90%. The SMPS is controlled by advanced digital control methods coupled with 650 V GaN enhancement mode E-HEMTs, the GaN Systems GS-065-030-2-L and GS-065-011-2-L, but I have concentrated on the amplifier board transistors for the purpose of this post – links to the others in the comments.

When applying for the kit, feel free to say if you only want to test one of the boards, but either way, I think this is a great application kit for these devices. I’d be intrigued to hear how it all sounds.

Keep designing!

(Image sourced from GaN Systems)

GaN Systems GS-EVB-AUD-BUNDLE2-GS Audio Class-D Amplifier and SMPS Development Kit

Want to crank up the volume in a lighter package, or simply see test the power supply?

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