Mind the Bandgap

Ally Winning, European Editor, PSD



Ally Winning, European Editor, PSD

Welcome to the November edition of Power Systems Design Europe. With there being no electronica this year, this month will be quieter than normal. That won’t stop the innovation in the power industry though, as new announcements and breakthroughs are coming thick and fast. I try to cover as much of these as I can in depth in my TechTalk blog every week, so please keep a look out for that newsletter in your inbox.

The theme of the Special Report in this issue is Power Semiconductors, the bread and butter of our industry. It is a very broad area that affects every area of the industry either directly or indirectly. Of course, wide-bandgap technology will feature heavily in the issue, but there are still some fascinating innovations happening in silicon, despite its age. The element’s cost and its ability to be designed into products easily will ensure it will be a while until it is displaced at the cheaper end of the market. However, the wide bandgap area is moving much faster and changing some applications beyond recognition.

One benefit of wide bandgap semiconductors is that they are capable of much higher switching speeds than silicon power transistors. This higher switching speed brings many benefits, such as higher power density and smaller supporting components, which in turn means smaller, more efficient solutions. Their one downside is that switching needs a much tighter level of control, meaning that they are much more difficult to drive. The first article in this month’s Special Report comes from Infineon and looks at the company’s low-side gate driver solution. It is an extensive article that goes through the full capabilities of the EiceDRIVER 2EDN range and describes how, together with Infineon’s MOSFETs, they can achieve new levels of power density.

The second article in this month’s Special Report comes from onsemi. In the article, Ajay Sattu looks at the company’s new r700V M1 planar EliteSiC MOSFET range, and the advantages it will bring to the market. Later in the article, Sattu will also talk about ensuring availability of components. The COVID-19 pandemic done what could be irreparable damage to the global supply chain for semiconductors, which stopped many industries in their tracks. The war in Ukraine has also badly affected the global marketplace, and China has implemented a ban on the export of some technologies that are vital to wide bandgap semiconductors. It has never been more important to ensure that your supplier can get components to you on time. As a result, more companies, and even countries, are trying to control the entire supply chain. Sattu takes this opportunity to explain how onsemi’s acquisition of GTAT will provide the company with end-to-end capabilities to meet the expected growth in the SiC market.

As well as the articles in this month’s Special Report, we will also feature a variety of general articles that are intended to be of interest to engineers in the power market, as well as the latest news and views from the industry.

Enjoy the November issue!


Best Regards,

Ally Winning

European Editor, PSD