Wide-Bandgap Semis

March 2020
GaN and 48 V – Where are We and Where are We Going?

Figure 1: Si MOSFET-based architecture for providing AC power to the CPU or GPU

Three years ago, the cost of making medium voltage eGaN FETs fell below the cost of equivalently rated power MOSFETs.  At that time EPC decided to use the performance and cost advantages of eGaN FETs to aggressively pursue applications with input, or output, voltage around 48 V. Specifically, automotive an
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Date:
03/31/2020

Eco-Sustainability Using Pressure-less Silver Sintering

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Figure 1. Dispense Line Consistency (um)

Silver sintering provides a void-free strong bond with superior thermal and electrical conductivity. It can decrease the junction temperature (Tj) of a device up to 100°C. In the process, when the material is heated under optimal pressure, temperature and time, its form will change from powder to a solid structure. Th
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Date:
03/30/2020
SiC Semiconductors Towards an Energy Efficient Auto Industry

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Figure 1. The above graph shows the strong growth opportunity at hand as emission standards drive a significant shift to battery electric vehicles. (Source: Yole and Cree estimates)

It’s no secret that the automotive industry is striving for "zero emissions" transportation, which means manufacturers are rapidly ramping up their electrification programs. Most OEMs target 2025 for significant sales volumes of battery and hybrid electric vehicles (BEV and HEV). To meet customer ex
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Date:
03/30/2020
The APEC That Could've Been
The worst collateral damage of COVID-19 is the decimation of global commerce, and trade shows have been hit especially hard – tough to practice “social distancing” with a few thousand people (or more) clustered together. And one of the most unfortunate victims of this new, quarantined reality was the 2020 Ap
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Date:
03/30/2020
Cree's 650V MOSFETs Offer Industry-leading Efficiency
Cree announced the expansion of its product portfolio with the release of the Wolfspeed 650V silicon carbide MOSFETs, delivering a wider range of industrial applications and enabling the next generation of Electric Vehicle (EV) onboard charging, data centers, and other renewable systems with industry-leading po
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Date:
03/30/2020
UnitedSiC Announces New Global Partnership with Digi-Key
The new partnership willprovide Digi-Key customers with worldwide, 24-hour availability of UnitedSiC’s Silicon Carbide product portfolio - including the only standard gate drive SiC devices currently in the market.   Yalcin Bulut, VP of Global Sales and Marketing at UnitedSiC, said: “This partnership focuses
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Date:
03/19/2020
OptiMOS™ IPOL voltage regulators with COT engine
      This product family is designed for today’s server, base station and telecom (operating at 85˚C ambient temperature) and storage applications requiring both high efficiency and high density. The IR3887M is the smallest 30 A device on the market. Fusing Infineon’s latest FET gene
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Date:
03/19/2020
KEMET Introduces Automotive Metal Composite Power Inductors
The MPXV product offering enhances the company’s METCOM range and is AEC-Q200 qualified for use in the automotive sector.   The new power inductors provide efficient power conversion while minimizing Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) and are ideal for use in DC to DC switching power supplies for t
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Date:
03/19/2020
Microchip Expands SiC Family of Power Electronics
Together with its broad portfolio of microcontrollers (MCUs) and analog products, Microchip serves the needs of high power system control, drive and power stage – supporting customers with total system solutions.   Microchip’s SiC family includes commercially qualified Schottky Barrier Diode (SBD)-based pow
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Date:
03/19/2020
SCALE-iDriver for SiC MOSFETs Achieves AEC-Q100
Power Integrations announced that its SIC118xKQ SCALE-iDriver, a high-efficiency, single-channel gate driver for silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFETs, is now certified to AEC-Q100 for automotive use. Devices can be configured to support gate-drive voltage requirements of commonly used SiC MOSFETs and feature sophisticated sa
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Date:
03/17/2020
900 V and 1200 V SiC MOSFETs for Demanding Applications
ON Semiconductor has expanded their range of wide bandgap (WBG) devices with the introduction of two additional families of silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFET. Intended for use in a variety of demanding high-growth applications including solar power inverters, on-board charging for electric vehicles (EV), uninterruptible po
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Date:
03/17/2020
IC Family Designed for 48 V DC-DC Conversion
EPC announces the introduction of an 80 V, 12.5 A power stage integrated circuit designed for 48 V DC-DC conversion used in high-density computing applications and in motor drives for e-mobility. The EPC2152 is a single-chip driver plus eGaN FET half-bridge power stage using EPC’s proprietary GaN IC techno
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Date:
03/16/2020
SiC Family Provides System Level Improvements in Efficiency
Demand continues to rapidly grow for Silicon Carbide (SiC)-based systems to maximize efficiency and reduce size and weight, allowing engineers to create innovative power solutions. Applications leveraging SiC technology range from electric vehicles and charging stations to smart power grids and industrial and ai
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Date:
03/16/2020
UnitedSiC Announces Distribution Partnership with Digi-Key
UnitedSiC announced a distribution agreement with Digi-Key Electronics. The new partnership will provide Digi-Key customers with worldwide, 24-hour availability of UnitedSiC’s Silicon Carbide product portfolio - including the only standard gate drive SiC devices currently in the market. Yalcin Bulut, VP of G
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Date:
03/16/2020
PCIM Europe 2020 Postponed till July
COVID-19 has claimed another victim – on Friday, PCIM Europe 2020 was officially postponed. The good news is that PCIM will be delayed (until July 28-30) instead of cancelled. And the decision was almost entirely out of the show organizers’ hands. German Health Minister Jens Spahn recently called for
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Date:
03/13/2020
600 V CoolMOS PFD7 series provides ultra-high power-density
The devices are suitable for ultrahigh power-density designs such as chargers and adapters as well as for low-power drives and specific lighting applications. Robustness and reliability gains together with increased efficiency, minimized switching losses and improved thermal behavior make this product fami
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Date:
03/12/2020
Pre-Switch Demonstrates Efficacy of AI-based Soft Switching
Pre-Switch, Inc., has released first data from its Cleanwave 200kW inverter reference. Double pulse test data demonstrates that the Pre-Switch soft-switching platform – comprising the Pre-Drive 3 controller board powered by the Pre-Flex FPGA, and RPG gate driver board – reduces total system switching losses by
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Date:
03/12/2020
APEC 2020 Cancelled over Coronavirus Concerns
For the first time in 35 years, the show won’t go on for the Applied Power Electronics Conference. On Tuesday, show organizers and sponsors decided to cancel APEC 2020. We all know why – the COVID-19 coronavirus has already claimed South by Southwest (SXSW),
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Date:
03/10/2020
Expanded Range of ICs Incorporate 750 V GaN Transistors
Power Integrations announced an expansion of its InnoSwitch 3 families of offline CV/CC flyback switcher ICs. The new INN3x78C devices incorporate a smaller “size 8” 750 V PowiGaN transistor, enabling  compact, efficient power supplies delivering between 27 W and 55 W without heatsinks. The ICs are hou
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Date:
03/10/2020
Transphorm Inc. Raises $21 Million, Completes Reverse Merger
Transphorm, Inc. announced it raised $21.5 million in a private placement equity financing. Prior to the financing, Transphorm Technology, Inc. (“Transphorm”) completed a reverse merger with Peninsula Acquisition Corporation (“Peninsula”), a public Delaware corporation, whereby Transphorm became a wholly ow
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Date:
03/04/2020
When Does it Make Sense to Switch Out Si for SiC?

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Figure 1: RDS(on) comparison for a CoolSiC device using various gate drive voltages at different temperatures

Switch mode power supplies (SMPS) have continued to improve in the overall efficiencies that are attainable when using classic silicon (Si) MOSFET technology. This has been achieved by pushing the boundaries with new silicon fabrication processes, design methodologies, and using these devices in innovative new to
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Date:
03/02/2020
SiC MOSFET Gate-Driver Design for Efficiency and Reliability

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Figure 1. A large driver source current is needed to charge gate capacitances quickly. Source: ON Semiconductor TND6237/D

Silicon carbide power MOSFETs are moving closer to approximate price parity with conventional silicon MOSFETs or IGBTs. Their key advantages are lower RDS(ON) and reduced switching losses, breakdown voltages comparable to IGBTs, and greater temperature capability. These give designers of power-conversion systems su
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Date:
03/02/2020
Testing GaN Devices to Failure

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Figure 1: Weibull plots of gate-to-source failures of EPC2212. Note that very few failures occur even at 8 VGS , yet the device has a maximum VGS rating of 6 V. The data on the left is at 25oC and the data on the right is at 120oC

Standard qualification testing for semiconductors typically involves stressing devices at-or-near the limits specified in their data sheets for a prolonged period of time, or for a certain number of cycles.  The goal of qualification testing is to have zero failures out of a relatively large group of parts te
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Date:
03/02/2020
GaN Takes the Baton from Silicon to Support High Efficiency

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Figure 1: GaN optimized for fast switching

As silicon-based technology approaches its evolutionary limits, design engineers are now looking to wide bandgap technologies such as gallium nitride (GaN) to provide a solution. Unusually for a new technology, GaN is inherently lower cost than the technology it will supercede, namely silicon. GaN devices a
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Date:
03/02/2020
GaN Type Determines Design Benefits

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Figure 1: Two-chip normally-off high voltage GaN FET

Two-chip normally-off Gallium Nitride (GaN) FETs are currently used in in-production power systems in various markets ranging from Consumer Adapters, PC Gaming to Broad Industrial. Within these applications, the GaN devices regularly demonstrate the end-to-end benefits expected from GaN, including increased ef
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Date:
03/02/2020
Enabling High-Density Multi-Kilowatt Grid Converters w/ GaN

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Figure 1: Examples of grid-tied converters

Grid converters manage the flow of power between the electric grid and loads, as well as energy storage and generation sources. Their efficient operation and physical size have become more important recently for a couple of reasons. First, any inefficiency has a direct impact on operating costs, as well as cooling an
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Date:
03/02/2020
Follow the Yellow SiC Road
Growth in electric vehicle adoption is now exponential. According to the International Energy Agency ‘Global EV Outlook 2019’ document, there were over 5 million electric passenger cars on the roads in 2018, up 63% from 2017, with the figure set to reach 250 million in just ten years. This is in the EV30@30 sc
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Date:
03/02/2020
Half Bridge, Gate Driver Measurements for Wide Bandgap

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Figure 1. The half-bridge circuit is widely used to convert electrical energy efficiently in modern designs

The faster switching transitions on modern wide bandgap power devices (SiC, GaN) have made measuring and characterizing a considerable challenge, and in some cases, nearly impossible. That is changing with new isolated probing technologies that are allowing designers to at long last confidently measure half br
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Date:
03/02/2020
Gearing Up for APEC
Across the Atlantic this month, all the talk is about APEC, the first real show of the year to focus on the power industry. This year, the event will take place in New Orleans, which should bring a touch of French Quarter sparkle to the event. However, in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center the focus will be
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Date:
03/02/2020
Wide Band-Gap Semiconductors in the Big Easy
It’s that time of year again – no, not the one where weird relatives stink up the joint and some fat guy zips around the world with magical caribou. I’m talking about APEC. The big one. The crown jewel. The World Series of power. And with it comes arguably the hottest topic in our fair industry – wide ba
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Date:
03/02/2020