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Qualcomm Inc. and NXP Semiconductors today announced a definitive agreement, unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, under which Qualcomm will acquire NXP.  Pursuant to the agreement, a subsidiary of Qualcomm will commence a tender offer to acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of NXP for $110.00 per share in cash, representing a total enterprise value of approximately $47 billion.

NXP is a leader in high-performance, mixed-signal semiconductor electronics, with innovative products and solutions and leadership positions in automotive, broad-based microcontrollers, secure identification, network processing and RF power.  As a leading semiconductor solutions supplier to the automotive industry, NXP also has leading positions in automotive infotainment, networking and safety systems, with solutions designed into 14 of the top 15 infotainment customers in 2016.  NXP has a broad customer base, serving more than 25,000 customers through its direct sales channel and global network of distribution channel partners.

“With innovation and invention at our core, Qualcomm has played a critical role in driving the evolution of the mobile industry.  The NXP acquisition accelerates our strategy to extend our leading mobile technology into robust new opportunities, where we will be well positioned to lead by delivering integrated semiconductor solutions at scale,”

said Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated.  “By joining Qualcomm’s leading SoC capabilities and technology roadmap with NXP’s leading industry sales channels and positions in automotive, security and IoT, we will be even better positioned to empower customers and consumers to realize all the benefits of the intelligently connected world.”

The combined company is expected to have annual revenues of more than $30 billion, serviceable addressable markets of $138 billion in 2020 and leadership positions across mobile, automotive, IoT, security, RF and networking.

Investor presentation deck is available here

 

Source

GaN again: good news?

I remember reading a tribune on TI social blog about how much GaN discussions were exhausting these days. The author said that APEC 2015 was hammering with GaN. We have been talking about GaN over and over. And every year it’s the same thing. 2015 Rap Session at APEC concluded once more that “It’s here, it’s coming. It’s good. We need to use it.” The round-table captivated the audience, as usual, but it leads to the same talks and questions with the same kind of people. I understand it becomes exhausting. It’s too much, even for me. I would like Gallium Nitride devices to be out, used everywhere, and that we start talking about something else, like Diamond or carbon nanotubes. I wish we had passed the curve, and we were at the top of it and we were looking at something else.

But we are not there yet. We will still see a lot of GaN, but I hope and I think that we will see different GaN. Let me explain why such a theory.

Why we will see GaN again at APEC this year

We already have device start-ups and bigger companies working on Gallium Nitride devices. We know the pros and cons. We know a lot about the devices themselves. So why would we still talk about that in 2016 at APEC? I wrote recently an article about why we still cannot find GaN in small power supplies (like Zolt and maybe FinSix). GaN devices will irrigate the market in the near future. You find all the analysis, explanations and some roadmap in the GaN Market Analysis report that we’re going to release next month. But there is still a missing thing: conversion systems (and the specialists that come with it).

And Point The Gap’s belief is that this is the next step for GaN. The step where you see big companies trying to use GaN devices, and where you see a few start-ups developing new types of systems. They work on new topologies, architectures, innovative passive components, PCB design or anything needed to make GaN or SiC deliver their best. This new era has started with FinSix  back when it was still On-Chip Power and they were targeting LED power supply business. Now you also have Cambridge Electronics Inc. in Massachusetts, or Nordic Power Converter in Denmark.

You also have companies like Navitas Semiconductor, which, even though they are still in stealth mode and will probably present more during APEC, claim on their single page website that they work on GaN power ICs.

Why is Gallium Nitride good news

We all want a “GaN break ”. But it’s very good news. It means a new era is coming. Now we have companies designing systems using GaN, and innovating at conversion level. Until now, all the power conversion topologies we have developed and invented were aimed at using Silicon. It started with Silicon MOSFET, then IGBT, and Super Junction MOSFET came after that to push further the limits of Silicon. Today, the performance of Silicon has been exploited, and even if we can still improve Si devices, the gain is not as large compared to what it was 10 or 20 years ago. GaN devices are available for sampling and soon for production, and now that system designers have something to work on, I think we will watch them play with it.

Thus we will hear about GaN because we are still expecting system design (and maybe passive components design) to show us what it got.

I bet we will see a few start-up companies going out of stealth mode, and these companies won’t talk about GaN devices. They will blow our mind with GaN based conversion systems. To me, it’s a heck of a good news!

All of this will of course be included in our “GaN devices and applications in power electronics” report, to be released by April of this year.

What else than GaN ?

SiC systems (and a few devices too)

We can definitely expect more Silico-Carbide devices. We have seen and we are seeing more and more systems using SiC MOSFETs. Not much using SiC BJT or other FET. We expect this trend to keep going on. Avogy proved that we can expect GaN and finally see SiC. Maybe it will happen again. PV inverters, UPS, Air conditioning built around full-SiC power modules and discrete devices is to expect this year at APEC.

In addition to that, this is the first year Wolfspeed will attend APEC as « Wolfspeed », grouping ex-Cree Power & RF together with ex-APEI Inc. This would be a good time to announce new projects, joint work or even high-end products. APEI Inc being very good at military or Hi-rel applications.

Power stacks for high-voltage applications are mostly announced during PCIM in May in Nuremberg. I thick we will wait a few more months for these announcements.

Passive components, power stacks or new inverters ?

We will probably have some new stuff on this side. But it’s not easy to define what will be announced in which field. There are some things going-on about digital control. Integration of passive components or Power IC is also fields where we expect to see tome new things announced.

Only time will tell. PointThePower.com will attend. We will be pleased to meet with you. Drop us an e-mail and we will come to you.

Otherwise, stay tuned on the website and you will live APEC as if you traveled, there through our report to come right after the show !

Integrated Device Technology, Inc. (IDT®) (IDTI) today announced an agreement to acquire privately held ZMDI (Zentrum Mikroelektronik Dresden AG) for total consideration of $310M in cash. The acquisition provides IDT with a highly regarded Automotive & Industrial business, and extends their technology leadership in high performance programmable power devices and timing & signal conditioning.

Automotive & Industrial provides a significant new growth opportunity. IDT gains immediate leverage for new designs in Wireless Charging, Power Management, and Timing & Signal Conditioning. ZMDI’s business is already well established and positioned for growth, and benefits immediately from IDT’s scale and technology.

“This move accelerates progress to our $800M annual revenue goal within our industry benchmark financial performance by over a year,” said Gregory Waters, IDT President & CEO. “IDT’s strategy is unchanged, but our product and technology position is significantly expanded. Our target market segments of Consumer, Communications, and High Performance Computing all benefit from additional product, revenue, and customer relationships that bolster our commitment to outgrow the semiconductor market by at least a factor of two.”

IDT extends their rapidly growing line of programmable power devices, with new high-power products addressing Communications Infrastructure and Data Center applications. This creates a new industry franchise for high performance, scalable power management solutions that cover applications ranging from Wireless Charging to Solid State Drives to Data Centers & 4G/5G basestations.

“We gain an exceptional group of talented people and intellectual property from ZMDI, who join one of the technology industry’s fastest growing companies. With the added benefit of IDT’s cost structure and high volume manufacturing capability, we expect ZMDIrevenues to achieve a similar financial model as IDT’s existing business in the first year of combined operations,” Waters added.

ZMDI’s signal conditioning products provide an elegant interface between microcontrollers and analog components, such as sensors. This is extremely complimentary to IDT’s Advanced Timing products, and will enable intelligent systems that are aware of their surroundings, and can adjust system performance, timing, and power management automatically.

“We’re enthusiastic to join with IDT, and create the best positioned product innovation team in the mixed-signal semiconductor industry,” said Thilo von Selchow, President and CEO of ZMDI. “It’s rare to see such a potent combination that not only provides a powerful financial result, but more importantly establish the product and technology teams that will lead the industry in innovative new products and growth for this decade.”

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the board of directors of both companies, with closing expected before calendar end.

 

Have you ever seen a Wide Band Gap semiconductor market report talking about laptop adaptors?

[Update 06/2016]: You want to know more about the GaN power devices market and applications? We have a market report released in June 2016, talking about that. Click here to see it!

Nobody I know and that has been working in the power electronics world, forecasted or even thought that WBG semiconductor success will come through a highly massive and common product and market as laptop chargers. They talked about power supplies and P-o-L. But they also pointed out the industrial or professional computing stuffs rather the charger in front of you right now.

Today, Laptop adaptors are massively using Super Junction MOSFET: These are MOSFETs at 600V or 900V using a specific design to enhance electron mobility (and thus efficiency and performance) beyond Silicon standards. They work, they are now massively and easily produced, they represent 61M$ market size just for laptops today and more than 900M$ over all applications. Infineon is moving product manufacturing to their brand new and bigger site in Dresden. SJ MOSFET just fit perfectly and do the job like hell. That is for today.

Zolt and finsix dart Gallium nitride based power supplies

Now let’s look at what power supplies start-ups are doing for tomorrow…

Similarly, I did not see many market reports on Wide band gap semiconductor talking about OnChip Power (former name of FINSix) and how they pivot from LED power supplies to laptop adaptors probably using Gallium Nitride power devices and high frequency conversion.

I have been following FINSix for a while, and have been curious, both professionally and personally, about their product: The Dart. It’s a real breakthrough they are working on. The same breakthrough that made transformers disappear to leave the place to Switch mode power supplies (SMPS) for portable devices. This was during the 90’s and allowed our chargers to become a little smaller, but mainly much lighter. You are not carrying hundreds of grams of a metal magnetic transformer anymore thanks to SMPS.

And FINSix is currently bringing high frequency conversion to the same public.

 We are now seeing another evolution, if not a revolution in the power adapter/charging world, that is very big for all Wide Band Gap community.

Watching Finsix make it’s way was enjoyable. I ended up learning that they were testing Transphorm GaN devices (for the most engineers among us: it’s a Cascode mounted Normally-On GaN-on-Silicon HeMT), together with an Infineon OptiMOS, to build a resonant converter. The real innovation was to transpose that topology, from military or aerospace, to mass production (Shipping has not begun yet…) for a public use.

They developed this tiny charger and managed to have enough publicity and buzz to build a company and a full business model around it. The first idea was to use the design for other purposes, but It seems that investors and deciding people thought money was somewhere else: between the wall plug and your laptop. Don’t misunderstand me: I think it’s a very good idea.

They completed a kickstarter campaign that worked very well ( almost 500,000$ and more than 4,000 pre-sales), attended several CES, and had their articles in CNet, TechCrunch, EnGadget, PCmag and a few other trendy-geeky website. They perfectly managed communication around the start-up and the product. The launch was a success; they got backed by VCs (5.2$M so far), and had media coverage.

Image capture of Finsix Dart laptop charger on kickstarter

Image capture of Finsix’s campaign on Kickstarter. See www.kickstarter.com

And you are going to ask me when is the GaN battle starting?

You don’t have a battle with a single player. And it did not take long before another GaN (Gallium Nitride) power devices manufacturer decided to build and sell their own product.

There was and there still is a battle in WBG, about which technology is best: Between GaN-on-GaN, GaN-on-Silicon or GaN-on-SiC. And the battle is still going on, with several start-up companies (GaN Systems, Transphorm, Avogy and a few others) developing and promoting their own technology.

But to win, you need to produce. You need to make your technology and your devices used in different systems. It’s the best proof that your stuff is working. And for your company to be successful, you need to sell.

Transphorm did well using that strategy. They communicated well. They managed to have their devices announced in PV inverters (with Yaskawa), motor drives, EV chargers and also these FinSix tiny laptop chargers.

And Avogy smelled the opportunity. What happened next? They also decided to develop, announce and produce their own tiny laptop charger.

Introduced during the last CES in January 2015, the Zolt was born. It’s a bit bulkier than Finsix Dart, but with extra USB ports. It’s announced to be shipped this summer and to be in the same price range the Dart is proposed: Zolt is 79USD pre-ordered or 99USD ortherwise, Dart is 89USD pre-ordered.

And that is what I call a battle. And I say, whoever the winner is, if he manage to sell to the mass, this will be a huge market breach for Wide Band Gap semiconductor to enter in our lives (at last…).

Gan products to be released illustration: Zolt, Finsix power supplies, yaskawa pv inverter, delta ev charger and toshiba LED power supply

Extract from PointThePower.com Market report on GaN for Power electronics.

So what if Wide Band Gap semiconductor future was laptop adaptors, and nobody saw it coming?

Now, we are at a situation where FinSiX has quite a lot of pre-order from Kickstarter to be honored while the release of the product is delayed again (to this summer) and people start to complain on Kickstarter’s comments board. The Dart is even part of The Verge’s “CES 2014 products that went nowhere”

On the other side, Avogy has created a very well designed website too, and is featured in The Verge with their Zolt charger, that is announced to be ready sooner than the Dart; even though they started later (And yet there is a big battle on the marketing and communication field).

I will have a lot of questions to ask during APEC Conference in March: Meeting with Avogy and Transphorm is already planned. (NDLR: We could not meet Avogy, but we met Vanessa Green, FinSix CEO in person, and the GaN devices based version does not seem to be current version. Maybe Dart 2.0 will be? and Transphorm’s devices are not the only one being under test).

And if one of these products is a success, it will provide a maximum visibility to GaN devices, and to the company doing it.

Avogy could easily put a “Avogy GaN inside” sticker, like Rohm did for the REFU-Sol PV inverter first featured SiC MOSFETS. This is the opportunity for them to gain visibility, market shares and cash. And we all know that a combination of these three is a very good first step to success.

So let’s watch and see: Which product is released first and is a commercial success? The answer to this two question is opening the door to GaN massive adoption in power electronics.

 

 

You thought you were a geek but you did not get a thing of what is said up here? Read this:

 

GaN, manufacturers and devices:

Gallium nitride power devices main manufacturers and their source for founding

Extract from PointThePower.com Market report on GaN for Power electronics.

GaN is a compound material made of Gallium and Nitride. It’s a semiconductor material called Wide Band Gap. Its gap being wide provides much better performances compared to silicon, traditionally used to design semiconductor devices, even in power electronics (for electric power conversion).

But producing GaN is a complicated and expensive process. Depending on how you do it and how cheap you want it, you end having a Silicon, a SiC (another Compound semiconductor) or GaN (polycrystal) to grow monocrystal GaN on top of it, Each having their pros and cons. This will be the subject of another article.

 

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.

Source

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.

Source

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.