If you’re in the market for a new charger for your phone, tablet or laptop you might want to consider one that utilizes GaN technology. The new chargers are able to top up your devices much faster than traditional silicon chargers and are much smaller too. In addition, they don’t get hot like older chargers and generate less waste energy. This is great news for anyone who wants to reduce their environmental footprint or is looking to save money on their electricity bills.
So what is a GaN charger and why are they so popular? We’ll have to take a little journey into the realms of chemistry, physics and electronics to explain what GaN is. It’s a crystal-like material that is able to conduct higher voltages than silicon and it also has a lot more electric and thermal stability at high temperatures, which means that less energy gets offset as heat when compared to silicon.
Because of these advantages, GaN has been adopted as a replacement for the transistors used in the majority of chargers. Transistors are the brains of a charger, they’re the switches that allow current to flow through your device or battery to charge it. When you have a charger with GaN, the transistors are able to switch much more rapidly which allows the electrical current to pass through your device faster and top up your batteries more quickly.
The other advantage of GaN chargers is that they’re able to use this power more efficiently. When silicon transistors are used, they’re susceptible to power loss due to a combination of switching losses and conduction losses. Different silicon transistor technologies such as super-junction, vertical and lateral all compete to reduce these losses but GaN offers a more efficient alternative that eliminates both switching and conduction loss altogether. This translates to a charger that uses less power, produces less heat and can be made much smaller than a traditional silicon charger.
While there are still many manufacturers that use silicon transistors in their chargers, a majority of the latest models now include GaN. You can find a wide range of GaN chargers from brands such as Anker, Ugreen and GP Batteries that are able to provide a quick and safe charge for your devices. Most GaN chargers are able to identify the type of connected device and will automatically adjust their operating parameters to ensure that your equipment receives the best possible performance. They also feature a range of safety features that prevent overcharging, overloading and overheating, so you can rest assured knowing that your device is being charged safely.
GaN chargers are more expensive than their silicon counterparts because they require a whole new design and development process. However, the extra investment will be recouped over time as you’ll only need to replace your chargers about every three years, or whenever the battery wears out. As a result, these chargers are more than worth the extra price for those looking to reduce their environmental impact and have a quicker charging experience.