Enphase Energy has been granted a patent for an apparatus designed for substrate voltage management in bidirectional gallium nitride high electron mobility transistors. The active circuit controls bias voltage by connecting the source to the substrate, with resistors for overcurrent protection. GlobalData’s report on Enphase Energy gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Enphase Energy, Smart energy mgmt systems was a key innovation area identified from patents. Enphase Energy's grant share as of January 2024 was 47%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Apparatus for managing substrate voltage in gallium nitride transistors

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Enphase Energy Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11838017B2) discloses an apparatus and method for performing substrate voltage management in a bidirectional gallium nitride high electron mobility transistor. The active substrate voltage management circuit includes two circuits connected to the transistor's sources to control the bias voltage applied to the substrate. These circuits protect the transistors from overcurrent situations and ensure proper voltage management during state transitions of the transistor. When the transistor is operational, one of the circuits connects the substrate to the corresponding source, and when the transistor is turned off, the circuit with the higher voltage source is activated to connect the substrate.

Furthermore, the disclosed apparatus and method involve identical circuits comprising resistors, a capacitor, a Zener diode, and a transistor. The Zener diode plays a crucial role in limiting the maximum gate voltage applied across the transistor's gate and source. By utilizing discrete components or integrating the circuit into the transistor's silicon or gallium nitride layer, efficient substrate voltage management is achieved. The method involves dynamically adjusting the gate current for the transistors during state changes of the transistor, ensuring optimal performance and protection against overcurrent situations. Overall, this patent provides a comprehensive solution for substrate voltage management in bidirectional gallium nitride high electron mobility transistors, enhancing their reliability and efficiency in various applications.

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GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.