Advanced Power Electronics for LED Drivers

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Cambridge, Massachusetts
Project Term:
09/01/2010 - 12/31/2013

Technology Description:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is teaming with Georgia Institute of Technology, Dartmouth College, and the University of Pennsylvania to create more efficient power circuits for energy-efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs) through advances in 3 related areas. First, the team is using semiconductors made of high-performing gallium nitride grown on a low-cost silicon base (GaN-on-Si). These GaN-on-Si semiconductors conduct electricity more efficiently than traditional silicon semiconductors. Second, the team is developing new magnetic materials and structures to reduce the size and increase the efficiency of an important LED power component, the inductor. This advancement is important because magnetics are the largest and most expensive part of a circuit. Finally, the team is creating an entirely new circuit design to optimize the performance of the new semiconductors and magnetic devices it is using.

Potential Impact:

If successful, MIT’s new LED power circuits would increase the efficiency and decrease the cost of energy-efficient LED lights, helping to facilitate their widespread use.


This project could contribute to a smarter, more advanced, and more reliable power grid.


This project would drive adoption of energy-efficient lighting, in turn reducing pollution and harmful emissions.


This project could cut the cost of an LED circuit by 50%—reducing the cost of energy-efficient lighting for consumers.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Timothy Heidel
Project Contact:
Prof. David Perreault
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


Dartmouth College
Georgia Tech Research Corporation
University of Pennsylvania

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