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14 July, 2024

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UK GaN motor drive pioneer doubles crowdfunding target

02 April, 2024

Quantum Power Transformation (QPT), the UK power semiconductor specialist developing a high-efficiency motor control technology based on gallium nitride (GaN), has raised more than £1.2m in a crowdfunding drive – more than twice its target of £600,000. The funds will be used to scale up production and staff and to file 12 global patents to protect the company’s technologies.

QPT, founded in Cambridge in 2019, has a contract with ABB to develop a next-generation motor drive based on GaN transistors. GaN devices can switch at much faster speeds than silicon or SiC (silicon carbide), but can suffer radio frequency and thermal issues if driven above 100kHz. QPT claims to have solved these issues, resulting in a technology that is about 23 times faster than current SiC-based alternatives and could deliver “unprecedented” power savings.

The company is developing a facility to produce up to a million GaN modules annually, backed by outsourcing. It also expects to generate revenues from licensing its IP and selling chips.

The crowdfunding drive on Crowdcube attracted backing from 667 investors.

QPT CEO Rupert Baines: a real roadmap to make the world a better place

“QPT has a perfect combination of an amazing technology that can cut the power consumption of electric motors by 10% – thereby providing a way to actively help reduce climate change – and a management team of veterans of the GaN industry,” says Rupert Baines, a semiconductor industry stalwart who has recently been appointed the company’s CEO.

“QPT’s GaN technology is a unique solution for the issues of overheating and RF interference that currently limit the speeds that GaN can be driven at,” he adds. “Now GaN transistors can be run at much higher speeds that any other rival technology – 20 times faster than SiC, for example. The higher the speed, the less power is wasted in the motor control, which can be very significant, and the power savings rapidly add up as 45% of the world’s electricity is used by electric motors in industry, transportation, heat pumps and electric vehicles.

“Our solution is smaller with a significantly lower system cost and saves more energy than rivals, according to our studies. I am really excited to be heading a company with a real roadmap to make the world a better place.”

QPT has recently presented a Webinar on its technology and plans.

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