Want more power, but faster? This new charging tech GaN claims it can deliver

The days of lugging around huge power bricks and multiple cables to keep your devices ticking over may be at an end. Waiting hours for your smartphone or laptop to charge, or being surprised by an alarmingly hot charger, could also be a thing of the past. GaN technology is here and it promises to make everything better

“Silicon is reaching its limits in terms of efficiency and power levels,” Graham Robertson, spokesperson for told Digital Trends. “So, we added GaN technology, which is element 31 and element 7 combined to make gallium nitride.”

“Silicon is reaching its limits in terms of efficiency and power levels.”

The “GaN” part of GaNFast stands for gallium nitride, and the “Fast” part denotes greater charging speed. Navitas Semiconductors is using this material in its Power ICs (power management integrated circuits), which it sells to charger manufacturers.

“We put a layer on a traditional silicon wafer and that takes performance to new heights with faster speeds, greater efficiency, and higher density,” Robertson said.

Power has induced headaches for portable electronics from day one. Despite the fast pace of innovation in the tech world, we’ve been using the same lithium-ion batteries, with all their limitations, for 25 years now. That means most of our portable gadgets can barely go a day without having to be plugged in.

Where we have seen a lot of innovation in recent years is in faster charging speeds, but delivering a lot of power with traditional chargers requires them to be sizeable and produces a lot of heat, which is wasted electricity. According to Navitas, GaNFast Power ICs offer 3x higher power density, 40 percent greater energy savings, and 20 percent lower system costs.

They’re also compatible with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4.0 specification, which is a rarity right now, and should equate to five hours of smartphone battery life from just five minutes of charging. GaNFast works with the Power Delivery specification as well, which is the standard phones like Google’s Pixel 3 and laptops like Dell’s XPS 13 rely on. However, it’s worth noting that ports can offer either QC 4.0 or PD, not both as that breaks the USB-C PD specification.

Post time: Oct-14-2020