GaN-based high-power wide-bandgap semiconductor electronics and photonics have been considered as promising candidates to replace conventional devices for automotive applications due to high energy conversion efficiency, ruggedness, and superior transient performance. However, performance and reliability are detrimentally impacted by significant heat generation in the device active area. Therefore, thermal management plays a critical role in the development of GaN-based high-power electronic and photonic devices. This paper presents a comprehensive review of the thermal management strategies for GaN-based lateral power/RF transistors and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) reported by researchers in both industry and academia. The review is divided into three parts: (1) a survey of thermal metrology techniques, including infrared thermography, Raman thermometry, and thermoreflectance thermal imaging, that have been applied to study GaN electronics and photonics; (2) practical thermal management solutions for GaN power electronics; and (3) packaging techniques and cooling systems for GaN LEDs used in automotive lighting applications.

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