Challenges and Options for Using GaN FETs in High-Performance Class-D Audio Amplifiers
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With the current maturity of Class-D audio amplifier architectures, fidelity and efficiency limitations are primarily at the device level. Silicon MOSFETs have been evolving for almost 40 years, and their progress towards a perfect switch has slowed dramatically. Some fundamental characteristics of MOSFETs affect sound quality and efficiency. The use of enhancement mode Gallium Nitride (GaN) Power FETs provides a large step towards achieving that "perfect switch." However, along with the improvements come additional challenges of circuit design and PCB layout to achieve and maintain the higher level of performance in a robust and repeatable product design.