Tag Archive for: SiC

Infineon, announced today they start mass production of the successful EASY 1B power module using their SiC MOSFET CoolSiC.

The EASY platform is widely used in the motor drive and industrial area, including hybrid and electric vehicles, HVAC, Pumps, DC/DC converters and on-board chargers. EASY platform has always been using latest Infineon IGBT technology. It’s now the first platform to propose a Silicon Carbide MOSFET option in mass production.

Infineon announced their SiC MOSFET technology last year at PCIM, after a long wait. They claimed to wait to have a reliable and easy to use technology. The CoolSiC is designed to be chip-to-chip replacable with an IGBT. They share the same driving voltages and characteristics. It’s probably not a good way to get the best performances but it surely facilitates the move to SiC technology by easing the work of designers.

As the biggest power semiconductor manufacturer, Infineon sets a new standard in pushing for SiC, at last.

The SiC version of EASY 1B will start with the B6 at 1200V: a six-pack full-bridge three phase design. EASY 2B with half-bridge and TO247 discrete components will also be available. This last part seems anecdotal, but let’s keep in mind that both Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X use Infineon’s TO247 IGBTs in the motor drive. The switch to Silicon Carbide in electric cars may be closer than we think.


Danfoss Silicon Power and General Electric announced they entered in an agreement this week. Danfoss is establishing a new production site for power modules. This was the opportunity for them to start the production of full SiC based power modules.

The collaboration between Danfoss Silicon Power and General Electric comes as part of the New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium (NY-PEMC). The NY-PEMC is a private-public collaboration with an investment of USD 20 billions established in 2014. By early 2018, Danfoss will have a running production site for Silicon Carbide power modules in Utica, NY. GE will provide SiC MOSFET and Diodes from its own technology and production sites.

New York State will own the buildings and finance start up costs, as an effort to promote innovation. Danfoss Silicon Power will rent them to   the state of New York.

Video of Claus Petersen talking about this partnership

“Danfoss Silicon Power is gaining a unique position as the only independent SiC module manufacturer in the US and GE has been a customer from day one. Similarly, it has opened the door to the US market, where demand for the power modules manufactured by Danfoss Silicon Power is expected to grow explosively,”

says Claus A. Petersen, General Manager and Vice President of Danfoss Silicon Power.


X-FAB is set to become a leader in the SiC devices production. Following their announcement in October last year, they did what they said. The Lubbock, Texas manufacturing site is now offering SiC devices production on 6 inches wafers, in addition to its 30K Si Wafer production capacity.

X-FAB not only invested capital to upgrade the fab. They also got the help of PowerAmerica Institute and NC State University. As a result, the following production tools have been added : high-temperature anneal furnace, backgrind equipment for thinning SiC wafers, backside metal sputter and backside laser anneal tools. A high-temperature implanter will be installed later this year.

The production capacity is of 5k wafers/month and can potentially be extended further.


The fuse and protection systems maker Littelfuse has increased its investment in Silicon Carbide. They already took part in the SiC business by investing in Monolith Semiconductor in December 2015. They increased their participation in the start-up of $15M to become the major investor.

This move fully integrates with the company’s strategy to enter the semiconductor market. They secured more standard technology production by acquiring a part of  ON Semiconductor. More precisely, the new “TVS” and “IGBT” product lines of Littelfuse were the former diodes, thyristors and Automotive IGBT activities of ON Semiconductor. Littelfuse also planned to invest $30M in production facilities improvement.

With this new investment, Littelfuse can now be considered as part of the main power semiconductor manufacturers. The Silicon Carbide market, which took time to establish. It has been difficult to manufacture components in mass and to drag costs down. It is now beginning to be real. Littelfuse grabbed the opportunity to be part of the next generation power semiconductor market.

Mitsubishi announced that their team developed an ultra-compact Full Silicon Carbide (SiC) inverter, targeting HEV (Hybrid & Electric Vehicle) applications. They claim it to be the world smallest with a volume of 5 litres.

The power density is 86 kVA/L, which is 10x more than CE+T Power, winner of the Google Little Box Challenge, with exactly 8.85 kW/L.

Mitsbishi Electric SiC inverter electric hybrid vehicle

Mitsubishi did not release more technical details than the picture up here. On the other side, they claimed to use solder to connect power semiconductors and cooling elements, in order to reach the best performance and lifetime. Commercialization is not planned before 2021… But more technical details will come during the National Convention of the Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEEJ) from March 15-17, 2017.



After acquiring International Rectifier in January 2015, Infineon signed an agreement to acquire Wolfspeed in July 2016 for $850 M. This agreement has first been put on hold by the CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States). The Committee required guarantees on several national security concerns about leaving Wolfspeed in the hands of a non-US company.

As a reminder, the SiC (Silicon Carbide) device maker Wolfspeed was spin-off from Cree in May 2015, and renamed in September of the same year. The objective for Cree was to run their RF and Power electronics activities separately from the LED activities. The two businesses have different gowth rates and investment needs.

The new entity came after Cree acquired APEI (Arkansas Power Electronics Inc.), a North Carolina-based company designing high-performance and high-efficiency converters. APEI’s activity was probably the source of these concerns, as most of their commercial activity is directly linked with military applications of power electronics converters, DoD (Department of Defence) being in need of such systems.


[EDIT: Infineon’s attempt to buy Wolfspeed is terminated since February 16th 2017.]

Wolfspeed, former power electronics division of Cree, has expanded its line of SiC (Silicon Carbide) MOSFETs. Generation 3, also called C3M(r) platform, features lower inductance and RdsON.

The 1200V device comes in addition to the 900V and 1000V devices previously available. It also comes in a new package as surface-mount 7L D2PAK, available in a few weeks. The more classics 4L TO-247 and SMD packages are already available, with respectively C3M0075120K and C3M0075120J part numbers. It’s a 30 A maximum current MOSFET, with as low as 75 mΩ RdsON.

For more details, you can check the datasheet here.


Toshiba Corporation’s Storage & Electronic Devices Solutions Company today announced the launch of second generation 650V silicon carbide (SiC) schottky barrier diodes (SBDs) that improve on the surge forward current (IFSM) offered by the company’s current products by approximately 70%. Shipments of the new line-up of eight SiC schottky barrier diodes start today.

The new SiC schottky barrier diodes, fabricated with Toshiba’s second-generation SiC process, deliver approximately 70% better surge forward current than first generation products, and at the same time reduce the switching loss index of “RON*Qc” by around 30%, making them suitable for use in efficient power factor correction (PFC) schemes.

The new products are available in four current ratings of 4A, 6A, 8A, and 10A, either in a non-isolated “TO-220-2L” package or an isolated “TO-220F-2L” package. These products can contribute to improving the efficiency of power supplies in devices including 4K large screen LCD TVs, projectors and multifunction copiers, and in industrial devices such as telecommunication base stations and PC servers.

Package Characteristics
Absolute Maximum Ratings Electrical Characteristics
Forward DC Current Non-repetitive Peak Forward Surge Current Total Power Dissipation Forward Voltage Anode-cathode
Junction Capacitance Total Capacitive Charge
Symbol IF(DC) IFSM Ptot VF Ron Cj QC
Value Max Max Max Typ.
Typ. Typ. Typ.
Unit (A) (A) (W) (V) (mΩ) (pF) (nC)
Test Conditions/
Part Number
@ Half-sine Wave
t=10 ms
@IF(DC) @IF(DC)×
0.25 to 1.0
@VR=1 V @VR=400 V
Non- Isolation
TRS4E65F 4 39 55.6 1.45
120 165 10.4
TRS6E65F 6 55 68.2 82 230 15.1
TRS8E65F 8 69 83.3 62 300 19.7
TRS10E65F 10 83 107 48 400 24.4
TRS4A65F 4 37 33.6 1.45
120 165 10.4
TRS6A65F 6 52 35.4 82 230 15.1
TRS8A65F 8 65 37.5 62 300 19.7
TRS10A65F 10 79 39.7 48 400 24.4


We know that GaN and SiC are a recurring topic, and you may be overwhelmed with it. We are sorry but what has been said about Gallium Nitride (GaN) and Silicon Carbide (SiC) power devices’ market in the past hasn’t done much good to the Power Electronics community. At PntPower.com, we want to be talk openly about what is happening. So here is our point of view.

The question is: “Who really needs GaN or SiC Power Devices?”

We’re not the kind of analyst to go through the usual message about WBG and how they are awesome and will change the world. Yes, the technology is interesting. But we strongly believe it’s not about the performances, it’s about the product/market fit. So the only question we need to ask ourselves is: What do GaN and SiC bring to power electronics systems, that IGBT, MOSFET and Super Junction MOSFET don’t?

We worked on applications-oriented market reports in order to start answering this tricky question. The idea was to define the market segments where GaN brings a real competitive advantage (not only performance-based, any competitive advantage). What we learned was: many market segments will be open to GaN penetration only when prices drop. GaN devices manufacturers may say otherwise to try and sell a wonderful world with GaN everywhere, but many applications are too cost-driven to ever be interested.

It’s quite the same story for Silicon Carbide. The technology has been here for a while, but it took time for the right product to find the right market. And that fit happened on a much higher voltage than the current product offering. So potential users had to be patient. The market estimations produced in the early days of SiC looked very optimistic for a while, now they are more reliable (only a few years later).

GaN Power Devices and SiC Power Devices’ market penetration cannot be compared

We know you had many market reports trying to tell you about this marvellous competition between the two Wide Band Gap materials, GaN and SiC. But why would GaN and SiC be in competition on the Power devices market when one gives its best at 10 kV (or so) and the other at 0.6kV (600V)? These power devices simply do not compare, and so don’t their market penetration. We cannot measure different technologies on a similar scale when they bring different advantages.

Silicon Carbide Gallium Nitride IGBT Super Junction MOSFET mapping market positionning and strategy

Extract from a Fairchild Semiconductor presentation. Designed originally by Alex AVRON, founder of PntPower.com

GaN is fit for lower voltages, high-end products. It is in direct competition with Super Junction MOSFET, when SiC is in competition with IGBT. The only voltage range SiC and GaN share could be 600V in the kilowatt range applications. But in this voltage range, we believe that GaN will quickly be cheaper than SiC, and there will be no competition. So there’s no huge fight coming up: we’re pretty sure that only one technology perfectly fits your needs.

There is a possibility that GaN reaches good performances up until 1200V later, so that’s something that could move the lines a bit in the future. But we’ll see…

Now what do the end-users and system designers feel about SiC and GaN: enthusiasts? In the end, they’re the only ones who will validate the product/market fit. The replies we had from the people we interviewed were very different from one application to another and the whole analysis is synthesized in our market report.

Teaser: the main idea is that the first market segment to adopt GaN will be the consumer applications segment.

GaN Power Devices is for Consumer markets first, and SiC will be for Transportation markets

Wide Band Gap power devices are not cheap, so the benefit of using them rather than another (cheaper) technology has to be huge. What would be that benefit, and could it be important enough to make the cost a secundary criteria? Years ago, Super Junction MOSFETs brought smaller and more efficient power supplies to consumer applications. This tendency to value size and efficiency for a device has not slowed a bit, it has even become a huge deal in the consumer market. A deal worth value, thus a deal that makes GaN interesting, despite its higher cost. Innovation is driven by high-end side.

Many have been struggling to define what the future application for Silicon Carbide MOSFET will be. The SiC material characteristics provide devices with a very high-blocking voltage (much higher than GaN, MOSFET and even IGBT). This characteristic makes it very attractive only for a limited type of application. These applications, such as rail traction or Grid and T&D, are already working on R&D development for these devices. But these segments also have very long product lifecycles (35 years for rail traction!), which makes production introduction and adoption very long.

When one technology leads to the consumer market, and the other one to complex industrial markets, we can bet that market penetration and trends will not be very similar.

The Next Steps for SiC & GaN in Power Electronics

Don’t expect Wide Band Gap to be quickly adopted in the power electronics world. Those things take time. For human reasons, for technology reasons, for money reasons. But if you want to know better what will happen for GaN in power electronics, we have a market report for that.

Curious about the SiC market? We plan on releasing an online training in 2018. Meanwhile, you can write us a message with your questions and we will give you an answer.

And the prophecy will (most likely) become true…

We (and some other blogs) wrote a lot about the laptop and consumer charger market. We tried to raise awareness and convince you that this trend is a main trend.

Although the market and supply is not going as fast as we would like it to, the market is moving.

There is activity around smaller and better laptop and smartphone chargers. As the battery market has not made the breakthrough to leave us with weeks of battery, technology relies on power electronics engineers to add to smartphones, tablets and laptops some mobility through their chargers.

Dart from Finsix, and Zolt from Avogy are now on the market, and you can buy both.


So now we know more about those two chargers that were much expected.

We have seen teardowns of the Zolt, and were (you probably were, too) disappointed to see that they used Silicon Carbide MOSFET. Problably supplied by Cree (which, in the meantime, has spinned-off its RF and Power business units, renamed the new entity Wolfspeed, the later being acquired by Infineon…).

After giving it a closer look, FinSiX Dart does not feature GaN device either. It does not even feature the VHF (30Mhz) they talked about and that the whole industry was expecting.

What does this all mean?

Delta Innergie PowerGEAR 65

Delta Innergie PowerGEAR 65


Our job is to predict the future without the use of a crystal ball (though using it is quite appealing sometimes…).

So let’s sit and think.

FinSix and the Dart

History :

  • 2010: OnChip Power was created. The objective is to built and sell power converters operating at high frequency, for the LED and lighting market.
  • 2012: OnChip Power is renamed FinSix. The company now welcomes investors and on board. Vanessa Green takes the CEO position and the strategy is redesigned from scratch. Together they define a new target: the charger market. The moto is clear, FinSix is self named worldwide leader in VHF power conversion technology (30 to 300MHz switching frequency)
  •  2014 April: FinSiX launch a product on pre-sale on a crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. It’s a laptop adapter, much smaller and convenient than comparable power adapters. They claim it wil operate at VHF (more than 30Mhz) and will revolutionize the market. +500,000USD worth of Dart products have been sold in advance of production. Initially claimed delivery date is early 2015.
  • 2016 July: Dart starts shipping to the first pre-sale customers. With more than a +18 months delay.
  • 2016 September: The first discussions on the inside of the FinSix charger, especially it’s topology, design and frequency are starting on social networks.
FinSix Dart VHF power electronics converter topology market

FinSiX Dart

It seems that Dart finally has the following characteristics :

  • Frequency of switching : 300Khz
  • External max. temperature at full load : 80°C
  • efficiency : 93.4%
  • Digital control
  • Topology : Multi-level resonant LLC half-bridge, using 4 Silicon MOSFETs

We are quite far from what we expected from FinSiX. There seems to be no GaN devices used in FinSiX charger, and there are quite far from the 30Mhz promised. On the other side, some discussions on social networks revealed a theory: maybe engineers team could not push the initial design in full production, as it’s very innovative and needs to fill in many safety regulations. So FinSiX developped a plan B, in order to have workaround and develop and alternative solution.

They delivered the product, it fits the first description and makes customer happy. It does not match the initial project design, this makes the engineers we are quite unhappy. But well, it works!


Avogy and the Zolt

Avogy is a start-up developping GaN-on-GaN power transistors. The technology is very expensive and at early stage. They created a parallel activity in which they developped a laptop charger called Zolt.

Avogy Zolt Silicon Carbide mosfet

Avogy Zolt

We already talked a lot about :

But we still expect to see different devices in future revisions of this design.

According to us, using Silicon Carbide MOSFET makes no cost sense. It shoudl be easy to replace it with GaN IC (with integrated driver, to ease the building of the new design) and cost effective. It’s quite funny for a company developping GaN-on-GaN power transistors to produce SiC chargers.

Other start-ups  :

The market is expanding now a little. Here are a few start-ups or companies in this field to watch closely :

Nordic Power Converters :

Spin-off from  DTU university, which is working on VHF converter topologies and targetting LED power supplies.

Cambridge Electronics :

Based near Boston, this start-up was created in 2012 and seems to work both at device and system level. They have presented 200V and 650V GaN devices as well as proof of concept for a power supply design.

Appulse Power :

A Start-up out from the University of Toronto, and working on digital control solutions to drastically reduce sub-100W power supplies size.

We probably missed some of the start-ups in this field. If you want us to add one, please let us know.


Laptop chargers are definitely the future for power electronics innovation, especially for Wide band Gap. TSMC confirmed that by building a production line for GaN power devices and confirming the target market is laptop, smartphone and tablet chargers.

We wish it could go faster, but it looks like device makers were a bit too optimistic when they announced their products to be fully ready and on production. GaN is still a new technology to apprehend and production is not yet mastered.

But it’s coming. And we confirm our prevision of $ 370M for GaN in 2020 with a third of it for these chargers.

CISSOID, the leader in high-temperature and extended lifetime semiconductor solutions, announces cooperation with Data Device Corporation (DDC), the world leader in the design and manufacture of high-reliability data bus, motion control, and solid state power controller products for aerospace, defense, and industrial applications, and with its subsidiary Beta Transformer Technology Corporation (BTTC), the leader in high performance military, commercial and space-level magnetic components, for the development of more compact and reliable Silicon Carbide (SiC) MOSFET Intelligent Power Modules (IPM) for Aerospace power converters and motor control.

Within this partnership, BTTC will develop high reliability and high temperature transformer modules, embedding both power and pulse transformers, optimized for CISSOID HADES2®  Isolated Gate Driver. This solution will be used in SiC MOSFET Intelligent Power Modules (IPM) developed by CISSOID, making them more compact and reliable. It will address SiC IPM developed for high power density applications (see picture) but also IPM in hermetically sealed packages currently in development for harsh environments, e.g. unpressurized locations and/or extreme temperatures.

SiC high temperature Cissoid Avionics power module

First transformers modules are being developed, validated and qualified for temperature ranges from -55°C and up to +225°C. Magnetic cores and other transformer materials have been carefully selected to offer a stable behaviour and a reliable operation within this range. The transformers will provide isolation in excess of 2500Vdc and are optimized for very low parasitic capacitances in order to support high dV/dt, typically up to 50KV/µs, common with fast switching SiC transistors. These transformers have been optimized to work with HADES2®  Isolated Gate Driver chipset: the power transformer is used inside a Flyback DC-DC converter supplying both low- and high-side isolated gate drivers while pulse transformers are transmitting PWM and Faults signals.

“With DDC and BTTC, we found the right partners to develop high reliability and high temperature transformer solutions for our SiC IPM and gate drivers. They bring to CISSOID their long experience in developing signal and power transformers for data transceivers and power converters as well as their high quality manufacturing facilities. This partnership shows CISSOID’s commitment to work with partners to offer to its customers a complete ecosystem for the development of high temperature system solutions.”, says Dave Hutton, CISSOID CEO. “We believe that this first partnership with CISSOID will trigger others as we see various collaboration opportunities between DDC and CISSOID, e.g. the developement high temperature motor drive or power converter solutions for aerospace, defense, and industrial applications.”, says Frank Bloomfield, VP Power Systems at DDC.


Semiconductor presented its cutting-edge silicon carbide (SiC) technology at the first race of the new 2016/2017 Formula E season in Hong Kong. At the start of season three, the leading Japanese semiconductor manufacturer started sponsoring and officially partnering with the Venturi Formula E team. The exciting collaboration between ROHM and Venturi in Formula E highlights the key to success in the all-electric racing series – power management. The challenge of Formula E is to find the most efficient way of using the energy provided by the battery and applying it on the road. To do this, ROHM developed new power device technology using silicon carbide. This material can withstand much higher electric fields than conventional silicon, which results in extremely low losses of power and higher temperature resistance. Thus, ROHM and Venturi hope to gain an edge over the competition while also pushing forward the development of new technical solutions to increase power conversion efficiency.

SiC silicon carbide Rohm power electronics formula E electric car

SiC technology at a glance – making power electronics smaller, stronger and faster

Silicon carbide is a compound of silicon and carbon. It is produced using a crystal growth process of sublimation and exposure to high temperatures of about 2,000°C. Using this technology in power devices, ROHM, a leader in SiC applications, has achieved lower power consumption and more efficient operation. There are several benefits compared to conventional silicon:

SMALLER – System miniaturisation means reduced size and weight, which allows for improved weight distribution in motorsports and less power consumption in general.
STRONGER – Devices with SiC can work with higher voltages and currents, which increases power density and reduces switching losses even under high temperatures.
FASTER – The ultimate outcome of ROHM’s partnership with Venturi. The best performance and maximised probability of speed.

Sponsorship and technology partnership embodies the commitment to future development ROHM has been a leading developer of advanced SiC products and SiC power devices in particular. It was the first company in the world to manufacture the SiC MOSFET in 2010. In the automotive sector, an increasing number of EVs and inverters are adopting the use of SiC, and ROHM has already had an overwhelming market share of on-board chargers for rapid charging.

ROHM is also an industry leader in system LSI, with a large lineup of AEC-Q-approved ASIC and ASSP products, including LED drivers, motor drivers and gate drivers optimized for engine control units (ECUs), as well as standard discrete components such as transistors, diodes, and general ICs.

For the first time ever, ROHM Semiconductor has become a global sponsor for the brand. This partnership is a big step for the world-leading semiconductor manufacturer, which is based in Kyoto, Japan, and exemplifies their commitment to further development of power and energy management systems. Bringing SiC technology to Formula E and to e-mobility in general is an important step in changing drive technology. Furthermore, ROHM is taking an active role in revolutionising energy policy. When the presentation with Venturi illustrates how effective the new technology works, SiC power devices will make their way into serial production and benefit both industry and society as a whole.

To share and promote the Formula E partnership, ROHM decided to create a special website for clients, employees, motorsport fans and decision makers from electronic industries to showcase the latest news about Formula E along with special background information on the partnership and SiC technology generally.