Chargers have become an integral part in life. If you are a mobile tech follower you might have questions on this GaN chargers since it was recently provided along with Xiaomi’s Mi 11 Smartphone in the box. It’s Ok, if you hadn’t heard of it also. Let’s quickly gain some knowledge (in simple language) about this GaN Chargers and technology used in it.
What is GaN ?
GaN is basically a semiconductor material which was first used in creation of first white LED. Meanwhile Silicon is also a semiconductor material.
What is GaN Charger?
To understand in simple logic, basically most of the chargers we use are made of silicon material. In GaN (Gallium Nitride) chargers instead of Silicon, GaN semiconductor is used.
Advantages of GaN material over silicon:
1) GaN can withstand higher temperatures much better than silicone. GaN charger does not need additional components such as heat sink and filter circuit elements that substantially decrease the brick size due to this reduction in heat. In conclusion, GaN chargers’ charging speed and power efficiency are better than silicon chargers.
2) Now it comes to the technique of why silicone is superior to gallium nitride. You’d know that semiconductors have something like a band gap if you have read a lot of Physics. The narrower the bandgap, the stronger the power transfer between bands. Silicon has a 1.12 eV range and a 3.4 eV range is used for comparison.
From the above figure, Silicon appears to be a better electricity medium than GaN. The problem here, is the energy loss caused by the silicone bandgap. If there is an unnecessary bandgap, photons get too much energy, which contributes to energy loses, thus more heat dissipation in silicones.
To sum up GaN chargers will be relatively less in size compared to normal silicon chargers. Also there will be less energy loss while using it which will pay ways to conserve time and electricity.
Cost of production:
GaN semiconductors are actually more costly than the silicon kind. However, the dependency on additional materials such as heatsinks, filters and circuit elements is reduced because of improved performance. One company forecasts cost savings in this area of 10-20 percent which could even increase once production kicks off in masses.
In future we can see many mobile manufacturers providing GaN chargers. Now let’s have a glance on it’s pros and cons of GaN chargers
- Small in Size when compared to normal chargers
- Highly Efficient and saves energy
- It can withstand higher voltage
- Compatability with both laptop and smartphones with same charging brick.
- Bit costlier than normal chargers as of now.
Now many popular manufacturers like Anker, Rav Power, Portronics are selling this GaN Chargers for consumer purposes.
Featured Image credit: Alogic
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