Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New manufacturing process for SiC power devices opens market to more competition

14.09.2017

Researchers from North Carolina State University are rolling out a new manufacturing process and chip design for silicon carbide (SiC) power devices, which can be used to more efficiently regulate power in technologies that use electronics. The process - called PRESiCE - was developed with support from the PowerAmerica Institute funded by the Department of Energy to make it easier for companies to enter the SiC marketplace and develop new products.

"PRESiCE will allow more companies to get into the SiC market, because they won't have to initially develop their own design and manufacturing process for power devices - an expensive, time-consuming engineering effort," says Jay Baliga, Distinguished University Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NC State and lead author of a paper on PRESiCE that will be presented later this month.


Silicon carbide power devices, like the one shown here, are more efficient than their silicon counterparts.

Credit: NC State University

"The companies can instead use the PRESiCE technology to develop their own products. That's good for the companies, good for consumers, and good for U.S. manufacturing."

Power devices consist of a diode and transistor, and are used to regulate the flow of power in electrical devices. For decades, electronics have used silicon-based power devices. In recent years, however, some companies have begun using SiC power devices, which have two key advantages.

First, SiC power devices are more efficient, because SiC transistors lose less power. Conventional silicon transistors lose 10 percent of their energy to waste heat. SiC transistors lose only 7 percent. This is not only more efficient, but means that product designers need to do less to address cooling for the devices.

Second, SiC devices can also switch at a higher frequency. That means electronics incorporating SiC devices can have smaller capacitors and inductors - allowing designers to create smaller, lighter electronic products.

But there's a problem.

Up to this point, companies that have developed manufacturing processes for creating SiC power devices have kept their processes proprietary - making it difficult for other companies to get into the field. This has limited the participation of other companies and kept the cost of SiC devices high.

The NC State researchers developed PRESiCE to address this bottleneck, with the goal of lowering the barrier of entry to the field for companies and increasing innovation.

The PRESiCE team worked with a Texas-based foundry called X-Fab to implement the manufacturing process and have now qualified it - showing that it has the high yield and tight statistical distribution of electrical properties for SiC power devices necessary to make them attractive to industry.

"If more companies get involved in manufacturing SiC power devices, it will increase the volume of production at the foundry, significantly driving down costs," Baliga says.

Right now, SiC devices cost about five times more than silicon power devices.

"Our goal is to get it down to 1.5 times the cost of silicon devices," Baliga says. "Hopefully that will begin the 'virtuous cycle': lower cost will lead to higher use; higher use leads to greater production volume; greater production volume further reduces cost, and so on. And consumers are getting a better, more energy-efficient product."

The researchers have already licensed the PRESiCE process and chip design to one company, and are in talks with several others.

"I conceived the development of wide bandgap semiconductor (SiC) power devices in 1979 and have been promoting the technology for more than three decades," Baliga says. "Now, I feel privileged to have created PRESiCE as the nation's technology for manufacturing SiC power devices to generate high-paying jobs in the U.S. We're optimistic that our technology can expedite the commercialization of SiC devices and contribute to a competitive manufacturing sector here in the U.S.," Baliga says.

The paper, "PRESiCE: PRocess Engineered for manufacturing SiC Electronic-devices," will be presented at the International Conference on Silicon Carbide and Related Materials, being held Sept. 17-22 in Washington, D.C. The paper is co-authored by W. Sung, now at State University of New York Polytechnic Institute; K. Han and J. Harmon, who are Ph.D. students at NC State; and A. Tucker and S. Syed, who are undergraduates at NC State.

###

The work was supported by PowerAmerica, the Department of Energy-funded manufacturing innovation institute that focuses on boosting manufacturing of wide bandgap semiconductor-based power electronics.

Media Contact

Matt Shipman
matt_shipman@ncsu.edu
919-515-6386

 @NCStateNews

http://www.ncsu.edu 

Matt Shipman | EurekAlert!

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht Innovative process for environmentally friendly manure treatment comes onto the market
03.05.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB

nachricht No compromises: Combining the benefits of 3D printing and casting
23.03.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Produktionstechnik und Automatisierung IPA

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

Im Focus: Light-induced superconductivity under high pressure

A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.

Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A quantum entanglement between two physically separated ultra-cold atomic clouds

17.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers control the properties of graphene transistors using pressure

17.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

XXL computed tomography: a new dimension in X-ray analysis

17.05.2018 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>