Tag Archive for: Device

Panasonic and Sansha Electric have announced that they have developed a compact SiC power module together with highly efficient operation of power switching systems. The SiC power module has sufficiently good reliability and greatly helps to reduce the size of power switching systems such as industrial inverters and power supplies.

The SiC power module integrates two SiC transistors into one package and achieves 6mΩ of on-state resistance with a rating current/voltage of 150A/1200V. The total volume of the module is reduced by one third compared to a conventional SiC power module. These features together with good reliability enable very compact and highly efficient power switching systems.

The developed SiC power module is based on two proprietary technologies. One is Panasonic’s SiC DioMOS (Diode-integrated MOSFET), which has the features of a reverse conducting diode without any external diode. The total chip area of SiC is reduced by half from a conventional SiC, which helps to reduce the total footprint of the module. The improved design of the DioMOS structure reduces on-state resistance to 6mΩ at 150A.

The second technology is Sansha Electric’s Techno Block module which uses solder bonding for the SiC chips without any wire bonding. This configuration reduces the height of the module by half from conventional ones as well as they can serve three times better endurance of power cycling tests.

These research and development results will be presented at the exhibition ‘The Applied Power Electrics Conference 2015’ from March 15 to 19, 2015 (Charlotte, North Carolina, US).

600V/10A GaN MISHEMT claimed to be a first for China:

Skysilicon, based in China, has released what it claims is the first GaN metal insulator semiconductor high electron mobility transistor (MISHEMT), N1BH60010A on an 8-inch GaN-on-Si wafer. This is the first 8-inch based GaN power device reported in China.

Skysilicon began the research on the GaN-on-Si power devices in July 2013. After 18 months of development, recently it successfully developed 600V/10A GaN MISHEMT on 8-inch silicon substrates, showing good switching characteristics and small parasitic capacitance.

Compared to a silicon super junction MOSFET, the GaN MISHEMT can reduce parasitic capacitance up to 90 percent says Skysilicon. The GaN research program in Skysilicon is funded by Chinese National Science and Technology Major Project (NSTMP), aiming to develop 8-inch based GaN-on-Si power devices and technologies.

Skysilicon is a semiconductor device manufacturer focused on power electronics. The main products of Skysilicon are discrete power device and power IC, MEMS sensors and compound semiconductor devices. The company built the GaN-on-Si power device platform on its own 8-inch manufactory line, which is suitable for high volume production.

More info here

Toshiba Lighting & Technology Corp developed a halogen lamp-shaped LED light bulb using a GaN (gallium nitride) power device for its power supply circuit.

The LED lamp will be released March 6, 2015. With the GaN power device, it can be operated with a frequency of 700kHz, which is about 10 times higher than the operating frequency of the company’s previous product using a Si (silicon) power device. As a result, the area of the new LED lamp’s main power supply circuit is about 40% that of the previous product’s main power supply circuit.

A dimming function was added by using the saved space. With a chip for phase-control dimming and software for controlling dimming, the “Premium Dimming Technology” of the new lamp supports not only dimmers dedicated to LED lamps but also dimmers for incandescent light bulbs. The technology reduces flickering caused by the fluctuation of power supply voltage and waveform distortion. In addition, it enables to smoothly adjust light intensity from 0% (extinction) to 100%.

Toshiba Lighting & Technology will release two models whose light fluxes are 200lm and 250lm, respectively. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices of them are both ¥7,500 (approx US$62.2, excluding tax). The company aims to sell 60,000 units of the two models combined.

It plans to exhibit the new product at Lighting Fair 2015, which runs from March 3 to 6, 2015, in Tokyo.


Raytheon UK is lending its expertise in high-temperature silicon carbide (HiTSiC) to partner on a project that would provide aircraft electronics and wiring with a device to protect against lightning strikes.

The innovative project – led by Controls and Data Services (part of the Rolls-Royce Group) and which also includes Newcastle University in the role of design authority and TT Electronics Semelab – is exploring the use of Raytheon’s and Newcastle University’s HiTSic technology to make Current Limiting Diodes (CLDs); a new kind of lightning protection device which stands to reduce the amount of electrical energy traditional suppressors have to deal with during a lightning strike.

“With today’s composite materials replacing metallic components and skin materials, the reduced electrical screening in airframes is forcing a rethink of lightning protection architectures,” said John Kennedy, head of Raytheon UK’s Integrated Power Solutions.

“Current Limiting Diodes will essentially absorb much of the electrical energy that the dampening device would otherwise have to channel during a lightning strike.”

The two-phase project, funded under Innovate UK, is currently in phase one; Newcastle University is conducting electrical characterization tests while TT Electronics Semelab develops the CLD packaging.

With the project expected to be completed by late 2015, Raytheon UK’s innovative high-temperature silicon carbide solution to guard against lightning strikes will soon be the eye in the storm.

More info here


1. Who is this “Rohm” again…?

Kyoto based Rohm Semiconductor is the technology leader of SiC power devices. They have been the first to release SiC Schottky diodes, SiC MOSFET in 2010 and Full-SiC power modules in 2012.

They also master the full supply chain since the acquisition of the German SiC wafer manufacturer SiCrystal in 2009. They have access to German made 6-inch wafers since 2013.

According to their roadmap, showed and diffused during conferences in 2014, they are currently working on their 3rd Generation of SiC MOSFET to be released soon.

rohm roadmap on SiC diodes and mosfet releasing generation in 2015 and going up to 1700V

They will use a Trench Gate, together with a Trench Source. This Trench Source will allow reduction of the electric field and thus highly improve performances of SiC MOSFETS.

Roadmaps planned the release of these devices for 2015, and as APEC conference in Charlotte is approaching, the question has been raised.

Rohm kyoto based second generation and third generation of SiC mosfet. planar gate versus trench gate mosfet

Rohm 2nd and 3rd generation of SiC Mosfet

Will APEC be the day when Rohm will make a new step in the Wide band gap power electronics world by releasing its own SiC 1700V switch?

2. A bit of technology:

The 1700V breakdown voltage is very important in Japan. This is the voltage limit where devices can easily be used in Rail traction. You know how rail traction is important in Japan, in terms of sales but also in terms of image. If Rohm is able to gain market shares in auxiliary rail traction converters and light rail in Japan, they will have another advantage over the biggest European semiconductor companies.

They are working on 17A and 50A bare dies.

The 650V and 1200V devices will also adopt the new 3rd Generation U-MOS design, based on trenches.

3. And a tiny bit about competition:

As a reminder, Rohm is already supplying many system makers in Europe, with SiC devices for R&D and advanced design.

Cree is doing a good job too. But we believe that power is not their main target. Cash is coming from LED for them and power electronics is just extra-money.

And you can also note that their communication is getting better as well. They were already doing good products. Now, if they manage to sell them well, they can quickly become a very big competitor for the IGBT dinosaurs!


Sumitomo Chemical has agreed today with Hitachi Metals, Ltd. to acquire their compound semiconductor materials business. The acquisition is due to take place, effective April 1, 2015.

The business that Sumitomo Chemical will acquire from Hitachi Metals includes those of compound semiconductor materials, such as gallium nitride (GaN) substrates, GaN epiwafers, and gallium arsenide (GaAs) epiwafers. As far as GaN substrates and epiwafers are concerned, Hitachi Metals is a forerunner in the field and boasts its state-of-the-art technology.


The acquisition will allow Sumitomo Chemical to expand its business of GaN substrates and epiwafers for use in electronic and optical components, for which the market is taking off on a full scale, while at the same time devoting its efforts to early commercialization of the products for use in power devices.


Point the Power’s insight:

Sumitomo is a huge Japanese group. Chemicals are not their only activity in electronics. SEI, their electric division is actively using compound semiconductors. They developed Silicon Carbide MOSFET technology that has been released in 2013 and it is not a surprise if they are also actively working on Gallium Nitride devices. Their product portfolio goes far beyond power electronics. They are active in all electronics, connectors, materials applications as well.

The new SCT20N120 silicon-carbide power MOSFET from STMicroelectronics brings advanced efficiency and reliability to a broader range of energy-conscious applications such as inverters for electric/hybrid vehicles, solar or wind power generation, high-efficiency drives, power supplies, and smart-grid equipment.

SiC Silicon carbide ST microelectronics MOSFET 1200V device power electronics semiconductor

ST is among the few vendors leading the development of the robust and efficient silicon-carbide power semiconductors. The 1200V SCT20N120 extends the family, with on-resistance (RDS(ON)) better than 290mΩ all the way to the 200°C maximum operating junction temperature. Switching performance is also consistent over temperature thanks to highly stable turn-off energy (Eoff) and gate charge (Qg). The resulting low conduction and switching losses, combined with ultra-low leakage current, simplify thermal management and maximize reliability.

In addition to their lower energy losses, ST’s SiC MOSFET permit switching frequencies up to three times higher than similar-rated silicon IGBTs allow. This enables designers to specify smaller external components and save size, weight, and bill-of-materials costs. The SCT20N120’s high-temperature capability helps to simplify cooling-system design in applications such as power modules for electric vehicles.

The SCT20N120 comes with the added advantage of ST’s proprietary HiP247™ package with enhanced thermal efficiency, which allows reliable operation up to 200°C while maintaining compatibility with the industry-standard TO-247 power-package outline.

For further information please visit: http://www.st.com/sicmos

Our point of view:

ST Microelectronics is part of the few SiC MOSFET manufacturers. The leader in this field being the Kyoto-Japan based manufacturer Rohm. There are other players who preferred another technology (JFET, Bipolar) but the specific designs that they require does not make them great competitors. Today, MOSFET is the most used device.

1200V is the right voltage where Silicon Carbide material starts to give its potential. Applications as Renewable energies, Heavy industrial applications are among the targets. They represent a very good sales volume versus average price trade-off.

Using a “Camry” hybrid prototype and a fuel cell bus, Toyota Motor Corporation will bring a brand new technology to the streets of Japan for testing this year. The tests will evaluate the performance of silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductors, which could lead to significant efficiency improvements in hybrids and other vehicles with electric powertrains.

SiC Silicon Carbide Hybrid camry toyota EV HEV electric vehicle hybrid car

Test vehicles and period

In the Camry hybrid prototype, Toyota is installing SiC power semiconductors (transistors and diodes) in the PCU’s internal voltage step-up converter and the inverter that controls the motor. Data gathered will include PCU voltage and current as well as driving speeds, driving patterns, and conditions such as outside temperature. By comparing this information with data from silicon semiconductors currently in use, Toyota will assess the improvement to efficiency achieved by the new SiC power semiconductors. Road testing of the Camry prototype will begin (primarily in Toyota City) in early February 2015, and will continue for about one year.

Similarly, on January 9, 2015, Toyota began collecting operating data from a fuel cell bus currently in regular commercial operation in Toyota City. The bus features SiC diodes in the fuel cell voltage step-up converter, which is used to control the voltage of electricity from the fuel cell stack.

Data from testing will be reflected in development, with the goal of putting the new SiC power semiconductors into practical use as soon as possible.

Transphorm Inc., and Fujitsu Semiconductor announced today the mass production of GaN power devices.

Fujitsu Semiconductor group’s CMOS-compatible, 150mm wafer fab in Aizu-Wakamatsu, Fukushima, Japan, has started mass production of Gallium Nitride (GaN) power devices for switching applications.

The large-scale facility, which is providing exclusive GaN foundry services for Transphorm, will allow dramatic expansion of Transphorm’s GaN power device business. This stepped up production can satisfy the increasing market demands for GaN devices, thereby enabling the next wave of compact, energy-efficient power conversion systems.

Transphorm has established the industry’s first qualified 600V GaN device platform, backed by its GaN power IP portfolio. The world’s first photovoltaic power conditioner products using the GaN module from Transphorm was launched in January, 2015. Other applications include ultra-small AC adapters, high-density power supplies for PCs, servers and telecom equipment, highly efficient motion control systems, and more.

In 2013, Fujitsu Semiconductor and Transphorm announced the business integration of their GaN power device solutions. Since then, Transphorm’s JEDEC-qualified process has been combined with Fujitsu Semiconductor’s basic technology and ported to the CMOS-compatible, 150mm fab of Aizu Fujitsu Semiconductor Wafer Solution Limited, with key improvements for high-volume, silicon-compatible device manufacturing. The companies have successfully finished the development in Aizu-Wakamatsu and have now started mass production.

“The start of the mass production in a CMOS-compatible fab is a significant step forward toward achieving the widespread use of GaN power devices, as well as a demonstration of the successful integration of both companies’ strengths,” said Haruki Okada, President of Fujitsu Semiconductor. “We will continue to enhance our high-quality manufacturing technology to support the stable supply of the products and bring the new value of GaN power devices to the world.”

“Manufacturing Transphorm’s GaN power devices at the Fujitsu Aizu-Wakamatsu facility will assure our customers a scalable, stable supply of products with the stamp of Fujitsu’s proven, high-quality standard in mass manufacturing,” said Fumihide Esaka, CEO of Transphorm.

“We will continue to expand our GaN power device portfolio with continued partnership with Fujitsu Semiconductor.”

About Transphorm
Transphorm is redefining electric power conversion, providing cost-competitive and easy-to-embed power conversion modules that reduce costly energy loss by more than 50 percent, and simplify the design and manufacturing of motor drives, power supplies and inverters for solar panels and electric vehicles. From material technology and device fabrication to circuit design and module assembly, Transphorm designs and delivers its power conversion devices and modules to meet the needs of global customers, helping them scale quickly and save money. By creating an ecosystem of electrical systems manufacturers powered by Transphorm, the company accelerates the adoption of application-specific power modules and paves the way for the next generation of electrical systems designed for optimal efficiency. To learn more about Transphorm, please visit www.transphormusa.com.

About Fujitsu Semiconductor
Fujitsu Semiconductor Limited designs and manufactures semiconductors, providing highly reliable, optimal solutions and support to meet the varying needs of its customers. Products and services include Customized SoCs (ASICs), Foundry Service, ASSPs, and Ferroelectric RAMs (FRAMs), with wide-ranging expertise focusing on mobile, imaging, automotive and high performance applications. Fujitsu Semiconductor also drives power efficiency and environmental initiatives. Headquartered in Yokohama, it was established as a subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited on March 21, 2008. Through its global sales and development network, with sites in Japan and throughoutAsia, Europe, and the Americas, Fujitsu Semiconductor offers semiconductor solutions to the global marketplace.
For more information, please see: http://jp.fujitsu.com/fsl/en/

EPC announces the EPC2027, a 450 V normally off (enhancement mode) power transistor for use in applications requiring high frequency switching in order to achieve higher efficiency and power density. Applications enhanced by high voltage higher switching speeds include ultra-high frequency DC-DC converters, medical diagnostic equipment, solar power inverters, and LED lighting.

EPC corporation logo GaN power semiconductor company

The EPC2027 has a voltage rating of 450 V and maximum RDS(on) of 400 mΩ with a 4 A output. It is available in passivated die form with solder bars for efficient heat dissipation and ease of assembly. The EPC2027 measures 1.95 mm x 1.95 mm for increased power density.

“As off-line adapters and inverters increasingly push toward smaller size, less weight, and higher power density, the demand for corresponding higher voltage and faster switching speeds is increasing. The 450 V EPC2027 allows power designers to increase the switching frequency of their off-line power conversion systems for increased efficiency and smaller footprint,”

said Alex Lidow, EPC’s co-founder and CEO.

Price and Availability

The EPC2027 eGaN FETs are priced for 1K units at $5.81 each

The EPC9044 development boards are priced at $137.75 each

Both are available for immediate delivery from Digi-Key at http://www.digikey.com/Suppliers/us/Efficient-Power-Conversion.page?lang=en

Design Information and Support for eGaN FETs:

About EPC

EPC is the leader in enhancement mode gallium nitride based power management devices. EPC was the first to introduce enhancement-mode gallium-nitride-on-silicon (eGaN) FETs as power MOSFET replacements in applications such as DC-DC converters, wireless power transfer, envelope tracking, RF transmission, power inverters, remote sensing technology (LiDAR), and Class-D audio amplifiers with device performance many times greater than the best silicon power MOSFETs.

eGaN is a registered trademark of Efficient Power Conversion Corporation, Inc.


Chinese semiconductor specialist Enkris Semiconductor, Inc. has successfully demonstrated the manufacture of high voltage Gallium Nitride HEMT (High Electron Mobility Transistor) structures on 200mm Silicon (GaN-on-Si) by using an AIXTRON CRIUS® II Close Coupled Showerhead® Reactor.
GaN-on-Si power devices have attracted much attention from both academics and industry recently because of their potential applications in power electronics. Due to the defective nature of heteroepitaxial GaN layers grown on silicon, GaN-on-Si power devices have suffered from high buffer leakage. Most recently, Enkris Semiconductor has produced high voltage GaN HEMT materials on 200mm silicon with excellent uniformity and low buffer leakage combined with excellent thickness uniformity of <0.5% without edge exclusion. Under special conditions the uniformity value can be improved even further.


Figure 1 Thickness mapping of 200mm GaN-on-Si wafers

“It has been well accepted that GaN on large size silicon substrates is the most cost-effective way to achieve high volume production of GaN power devices. However, a large wafer bow combined with a high buffer leakage has hindered the further development of the GaN-on-Si technology so far. Our process on 200mm silicon substrates shows that high breakdown voltage (>1600V) GaN power devices with low leakage currently can be achieved with relatively thin buffer layers of 4 µm. They simplify the growth process, minimize the wafer bow and reduce the epi-cost significantly. Based on our processes which were applied on AIXTRON’s CRIUS® system, GaN-on-Si power devices may reach even higher voltages in the near future,” comments Dr. Cheng Kai, co-founder of Enkris.

Enkris-wafer-graphDr. Frank Wischmeyer, Vice President Power Electronics at AIXTRON, says “Enkris‘ remarkable success in achieving excellent layer quality and material properties show the capability of the Closed Coupled Showerhead® technology for high voltage GaN HEMT applications. The MOCVD technology is enabling the integration of wide band-semiconductors on large diameter silicon substrates. AIXTRON is committed to support the power electronics industry advancing toward high volume 200mm GaN-on-Si device manufacturing.”

About Enkris Semiconductor
Enkris Semiconductor, Inc. is located in Suzhou, Jiangsu, China. The company’s main products are GaN epi-wafers for electronics applications including both wireless communications and high voltage power switching devices.