Keynote Sessions

Dan Kinzer is COO, CTO, Co-founder and Director of Navitas Semiconductor, a young company focused on advanced GaN power semiconductor devices and circuits. For over 30 years, Dan has led R&D at leading power semiconductor companies at the VP level or higher. His experience includes developing advanced power device and IC platforms, wide bandgap GaN and SiC device design, IC and power device fabrication processes, advanced IC design, semiconductor package development and assembly processes, and design of electronic systems. Before Co-founding Navitas, Dan served 7 years as SVP & CTO at Fairchild Semiconductor. Before that he served 28 years at International Rectifier in various roles including VP R&D and Chief Technologist. He has a BSE degree in Engineering Physics from Princeton University.


Jim Witham’s career has focused on bringing new technology, like GaN Systems’ world’s best performing power transistors, to the Electronics market.

Witham joined GaN Systems from Neoconix, a manufacturer of high density, miniature connectors. As CEO of Neoconix, he successfully implemented strategic changes which dramatically increased revenue and resulted in the company’s acquisition by Unimicron Technology. Prior to Neoconix, Witham was CEO of Fultec Semiconductor, where his team made circuit protection devices using high voltage silicon, silicon carbide and gallium nitride (GaN) transistors. Fultec was acquired by circuit protection market leader Bourns. Witham has also held VP Sales & Marketing positions at Aegis Semiconductor, a tunable filter semiconductor manufacturer and Genoa, a semiconductor optical amplifier manufacturer.

Other notable career highlights include senior executive positions at Raychem, including General Manager of the Raychem Interconnect Division and Director of Asia Sales & Marketing, based in Japan, for the Raychem Circuit Protection Division. As an Engineering Specialist at General Dynamics’ Space System Division during the eighties, Witham designed fluid systems for the Space Shuttle and was on Mission Control for interplanetary missions. Witham holds an MBA from Harvard and both M.S. and B.S. with distinction in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford.


Dr. John W. Palmour is the Chief Technology Officer for Wolfspeed, a Cree company.  He focuses on SiC power devices, GaN microwave device, and WBG materials development for Wolfspeed.  He was one of the co-founders of Cree in 1987, and served on the Board of Directors for the company from 1995 to 2010.  Dr. Palmour has been a leader in SiC and GaN device development for the last 32 years, and has demonstrated numerous firsts in these technology areas.  He has been responsible for the development of high voltage, 4H-SiC power transistors and diodes, as well as high frequency GaN HEMTs and MMICs.  During his career, he has authored or co-authored more than 380 publications and is a co-inventor on 75 U.S. patents.  Dr. Palmour received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, in 1982 and 1988, respectively, where his major was in Materials Science and Engineering.  Dr. Palmour became a Fellow of the IEEE in 2013.




Alex Lidow is CEO and co-founder of Efficient Power Conversion Corporation (EPC).   Since 1977 Dr. Lidow has been dedicated to making power conversion more efficient upon the belief that this will reduce the harm to our environment and increase the global standard of living.

Dr. Lidow served as CEO of International Rectifier for 12 years prior to founding EPC in 2007.

Dr. Lidow holds many patents in power semiconductor technology, including basic patents in power MOSFETs as well as in GaN transistors and integrated circuits.  He has authored numerous peer reviewed publications on related subjects, and co-authored the first textbook on GaN transistors, “GaN Transistors for Efficient Power Conversion”, now in its third edition published by John Wiley and Sons.

Dr. Lidow earned his Bachelor of Science from Caltech in 1975, and his PhD from Stanford in 1977.


Prof. Wai Tung Ng is a professor with the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto. He is also the director for the Toronto Nanofabrication Center (TNFC), and open access research facility. Prof. Ng is a recognized researcher in the areas of power semiconductor devices and smart power integrated circuits. His research group has demonstrated many world-first innovative designs, including a digitally reconfigurable DC-DC power converter with resizable output stage [ISPSD 2006], a superjunction power FinFET [IEDM 2010], and a series of smart gate driver integrated circuits for Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors (IGBTs) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) power transistors. Currently, Prof. Ng’s group is actively engaged in the promotion of digitally reconfigurable gate driver circuits to improve the switching characteristics of GaN and Silicon Carbide (SiC) power transistors. These include many novel features such as one-step dead-time correction, indirect current sensing, dynamic driving strength to suppress Electromagnetic Interference (EMI), liquid-cooled packaging for intelligent power modules (IPMs), etc.

Prof. Ng earned his bachelor, master and doctoral degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto, in 1983, 1985 and 1990, respectively.


Title: “High-Frequency GaN-Based Transistor Technologies: Progress and Future”

Keisuke Shinohara is a Principal Scientist with Teledyne Scientific & Imaging. He has over 25 years of experience on compound semiconductor material growth and device development. His work has focused on RF transistors and diodes based on GaN and InP material systems for high-frequency applications. He has lead government-funded R&D programs to develop deeply-scaled GaN HEMTs (DARPA NEXT), low-Ron & high-voltage GaN HEMTs for high-speed and efficient buck converters (DARPA MPC), GaN-based multi-channel transistors for linear and efficient millimeter-wave power amplifiers (DARPA DREaM), and broadband high-power amplifier MMICs based on the new GaN transistor technology (ONR EWT). He has authoured or co-authored more than 120 peer reviewed journals and international conference papers including 32 invited presentations and 3 book chapters. He holds 24 patents in this techinical field. Dr. Shinohara recieved his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from Osaka University, Japan, in 1994, 1996 and 1998, respectively, where his major was in Engineering Science.



Thomas Schafbauer, Infineon Technologies