EE times Europe

Wise-integration, a France-based startup focused on the design and development of solutions based on gallium nitride (GaN) technology, announced it has sealed a channel partnership with EDOM Technology to deploy its WiseGan portfolio of GaN-based components across Asia.

“The target of this partnership is to promote our WiseGan portfolio in Asia, and be supported by EDOM in the design process,” said Thierry Bouchet, CEO of Wise-Integration. “Today, we don’t have a strong team in Asia to support our customers in the design of tailored solutions, so EDOM can help us in this activity.”

Founded in 1996 and headquartered in Taipei, EDOM Technology has become Asia’s leading distribution and solutions provider. Leveraging strong technical experience in optoelectronics, digital, analog and mixed-signal applications, combined with logistics and operations capabilities, EDOM says it bridges the gap between vendors, customers and partners through services and solutions.

As the WiseGan first devices enter production in May, EDOM will not only assist Wise-Integration in the design process, but will also promote and distribute the newly qualified 650V GaN/Si transistors manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC).

Wise-Integration said it has chosen EDOM because it is one of the main distributors in Asia. That means EDOM can distribute WiseGan products portfolio not only in Taiwan, but also in other countries such as China, Japan and Korea. “We consider it a good partnership for this reason and also for another very important point, which is their ability to support our customers in the design process,” said Bouchet. “Unlike our competitors, we don’t yet have a design center in Asia; the collaboration with EDOM will allow us to have a design team here in-house.”

WiseGan is an average base product that can be employed in standard topologies, such as active-clamp flyback, or PFC LLC for boards. According to Bouchet, the first step of EDOM’s partnership will be to promote the use of WiseGan power devices in standard topologies, providing the design which best suits the customer specifications. The second step, which to date has not yet been fully implemented, consists in providing digital control. Wise-Integration will present some demo boards at the next PCIM, with this feature built into the device.

“Our WiseGan products will be initially qualified for industrial applications according to the JC-70 JEDEC standard,” said Bouchet. “However, we do mixed qualification between JEDEC and AEC-Q100, since we believe our GaN-based technology can already support some requirements for the automotive.”

WiseGan technology
By combining WiseGan, the core technology based on gallium nitride, with an advanced AC-DC system architecture, and with WiseWare software for digital control, Wise-integration allows a charger design, which is up to 3x smaller, 3x more efficient and 3x lighter, with power ranging from 30W to 3kW. This combination of features targets the consumer, e-mobility, and data-center server markets.

Wise-integration makes use of the newly qualified 650V GaN/Si technology from TSMC and is able to manage all the industrialization flow, starting from the device specification up to the system assembly. WiseGan technology integrates on the same die 650V e-mode power switches with smart functions, including gate control, protection circuits, designer-friendly functions and application security features.

At the recent Consumer Electronic Show (CES), held from January 5 to 9, 2022, Wise-Integration participated in the presentation of the first onboard charger for e-bikes. SmartBat, shown in Figure 1, is a smart battery that includes both the battery and a GaN-based onboard charger. This solution allows the user to charge the e-bike anywhere, even directly from the grid, without requiring heavy and bulky chargers. The onboard GaN charger greatly improves the vehicle’s efficiency, while reducing both size and heat generation. That, in turn, results in a higher e-bike range.

Figure 1: the SmartBat ebike presented at CES 2022
“Today, for mobility, we are mainly focused on e-bikes and scooters, and we would like to become a major player using GaN in this market,” said Bouchet. “We think it is also a way for us to promote our technology in a place where there are not many GaN competitors today.”

The concept presented by Wise-Integration at CES 2022 attracted the attention of many e-bike makers, as well as battery and charger makers, who called it a very interesting approach.

“And now we would like to accelerate because we have done an e-bike prototype with SmartBat. That means we can work on the specifications and build partnerships in order to manage the full supply chain. Starting from our GaN-based technology, we can manage the interfacing with battery and cooperate with people who can produce the chargers and people who make their own bicycles,” concluded Bouchet.

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