Robotic arms, audio amplifiers or drones – all of these applications are using so called inverters. Inverters are high-power electronic devices that adapt the frequency of a voltage as desired, in fractions of a second.
Today a wide variety of very specialized small inverters are used for specific application areas. This might soon be a thing of the past, thanks to Tapas, a new universal inverter that was developed by experts at Siemens Corporate Technology.
This innovation of this inverter was primarily made possible by the development of gallium nitride (GaN) – a material that can withstand higher frequencies and temperatures than silicon, the main material currently used in inverters. What’s more, GaN produces less waste heat. “We describe the transition from silicon to GaN as being similar to the switch from vacuum tubes to transistors – it will make completely new applications possible overnight,” says Dominic Buchstaller, who managed the development at Siemens of the new inverter. “The effect will be disruptive.”