GaN devices have very low output capacitance and
switch quickly with a high dv/dt, yielding very low switching loss. To
preserve this low switching loss, additional capacitance added to the output node
must be minimized. The PCB capacitance at the switch node can be minimized by
following these guidelines:
- Minimize overlap between the switch-node plane
and other power and ground planes.
- Thin the GND return path under the high-side
device somewhat while still maintaining a low-inductance path.
- Choose high-side isolator ICs and bootstrap
diodes with low capacitance.
- Place the power inductor as close to the GaN
device as possible.
- Power inductors should be constructed with a
single-layer winding to minimize intra-winding capacitance.
- If a single-layer inductor is not possible,
consider placing a small inductor between the primary inductor and the GaN device to
effectively shield the GaN device from the additional capacitance.
- If a back-side heat-sink is used, restrict the
switch-node copper coverage on the bottom copper layer to the minimum area
necessary to extract the needed heat.