This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Optimization of High Power Gallium Nitride Based Point of Load Converters for Data Center Power Supply Chains




Jenkins, Luke L.

Type of Degree



Electrical Engineering


Wide-bandgap semiconductors are enabling higher efficiency, greater power density, smaller size, and higher switching frequency than traditional Si semiconductors. This work shows the development of an over 96% efficient 12-to-1 V GaN-based point of load (POL) converter capable of 150 A operation. The multiphase POL converter demonstrates superior performance to commercial and other published POL converters. Layout and control algorithms help to produce a reliable product that is in a pre-production state. Development begins with optimizing a single phase POL converter and expanding to multiphase to meet load requirements and improve output signal integrity. Major concerns include reliability, efficiency, transient performance, and power density. These concerns are currently preventing industry adoption of wide-bandgap systems. In this work, efficiency is remarkably high, reliability studies have been performed and are ongoing, transient analysis is competitive with modern POL converters, and the current system has a competitive power density of approximately 270 W/in^3. The POL converter is part of a wide-bandgap power supply chain designed for data center applications and is tested along with a three-phase front end rectifier and intermediate bus converter to show the potential of modern semiconductors in power conversion applications. This work results in reduced energy consumption, higher output power, smaller size, and will ease reliability concerns of future wide-bandgap power electronics.