ZD Tech: When charger manufacturers eye a new technology

Hello everyone and welcome to ZD Tech, ZDNet’s daily editorial podcast. I am Rock and today I will explain to you why USB charger makers are touting a new technology known as GaN.

Your drawers are most certainly overflowing with numerous USB chargers. If the latter show a few years, then they will most certainly be equipped with silicon transistors. However, manufacturers of USB chargers are now touting a new technology called “GaN” and based on another semiconductor material than silicon, namely gallium nitride.

More compact, but also more efficient, these new chargers are equipped with transistors, tiny electronic switches, capable of transporting more power, switching more quickly (about 40 million times per second, four times faster than transistors in silicon). Above all, these transistors have much higher energy efficiency than traditional silicon transistors.

More power… and savings!

Translation: While it’s common for chargers using silicon transistors to get almost too hot to touch, it’s rare for a charger using GaN technology to feel slightly warm. In addition, their faster switching allows them to support larger and larger loads.

As next-gen smartphones are increasingly power-hungry, 100W chargers are now commonplace, and 240W chargers will soon be a reality, that’s why GaN technology-based chargers are expected to soon replace our old silicon chargers for good.

Does this mean that you can already throw away your old chargers and upgrade to higher technology? Far from it: if you’re happy with your current magazines, keep them until you feel the need to upgrade. You will then have plenty of time to turn to this new technology which will allow you to benefit from many advantages for a minimal cost.

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