Design Method of PCB Inductors for High-Frequency GaN Converters

The new power Gallium Nitride transistors allow to increase the operating frequency of converters to megahertz range, thanks to their low switching time that is of a few nanoseconds or less. This permits to reduce the values and the volume of the passive components, and enhance the power density of power converters. However, inductors needed for energy storage still take a large volume in converters compared with the others components, because of their weak energy density. Furthermore, high-frequency operation require low-losses magnetic materials. In this article, a design method of PCB inductors is proposed. A flexible ferrite sheet is used to enhance the inductance value and ease the realization of custom-shape devices. The design method of the inductor is based on the optimization of the inductor volume taking into account thermal issues of the magnetic sheets. Also a simulation method is proposed to calculate the equivalent stray capacitance of the inductors. The proposed method provides a losses volume tradeoff that helps designers to optimize the inductor for their application.

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