View Point: The Right Timing



Welcome to the March edition of PSD Europe. It’s starting to feel a lot like spring here in Scotland. With the COVID 19 vaccine being more widely distributed, the sun out, and plans in place to ease the lockdown that we have been on for several months, there is a general feeling of optimism around. The industry also has a similar feeling. I think it is harder to gauge mood without being at exhibitions and conferences and actually speaking to people face to face, but from the Zoom calls I have been on, everyone seems to feel a little bit more upbeat about the future. Of course, it will be some time before we actually get back to fully normal. This was demonstrated by the news that PCIM will again be held virtually in May this year. Hopefully by the autumn, we will be able to get to exhibitions and other events.

No matter if you are at an exhibition, or on video presentations at home, one subject that is sure to come up is wide bandgap materials. I’m still amazed at how quickly these new products have taken over the industry. In this month’s magazine, we will be having another look at the topic. The first article in our special report is from Avnet Silica. In the article, Senior Technology Application Engineer, Udo Blaga writes about how best to choose between GaN and SiC for high voltage switching applications. Developers of GaN technology have made a real effort to encroach on the traditional SiC end of the market by making products suitable for higher and higher voltages. Udo provides an overview and then sets a series of questions with answers that will give a top-level view of what technology could be best for each application. He also looks at some applications where it may be preferable to stick with silicon.

In the second article of our Special Report, Wolfspeed’s Guy Moxey talks about the modelling and simulation of SiC MOSFETs. SiC has many different characteristics and capabilities when compared with silicon. These devices require a good level of modelling and simulation to ensure they work like you think they will. In the article, Guy looks at the different tools available from different suppliers and which tests provide the best view of how the SiC device will operate in different applications. He also mentions what characteristics to look out for and how to test them.

Our final Special Report article comes from MinDCet and is written by the company’s CEO, Mike Wens. In the article, Mike looks at the optimisation of the GaN gate-drive. GaN devices require a much tighter gate driver than normal silicon technology. MinDCet has developed a new gate driver that is intended to make driving GaN devices much easier and to avoid many of the pitfalls of designing with GaN.

As well as our Special Report, we also have a general features section and lots of news and opinion pieces. I hope you enjoy!

Best Regards,

Ally Winning

European Editor, PSD