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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.

 

Hidden inside nearly every modern electronic is a technology — called power electronics — that is quietly making our world run. Yet, as things like our phones, appliances and cars advance, current power electronics will no longer be able to meet our needs, making it essential that we invest in the future of this technology.

Today, President Obama will announce that North Carolina State University will lead the Energy Department’s new manufacturing innovation institute for the next generation of power electronics. The institute will work to drive down the costs of and build America’s manufacturing leadership in wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductor-based power electronics — leading to more affordable products for businesses and consumers, billions of dollars in energy savings and high-quality U.S. manufacturing jobs.

Integral to consumer electronics and many clean energy technologies, power electronics can be found in everything from electric vehicles and industrial motors, to laptop power adaptors and inverters that connect solar panels and wind turbines to the electric grid. For nearly 50 years, silicon chips have been the basis of power electronics. However, as clean energy technologies and the electronics industry has advanced, silicon chips are reaching their limits in power conversion — resulting in wasted heat and higher energy consumption.

Wide band gap infrographics

Power electronics that use WBG semiconductors have the potential to change all this. WBG semiconductors operate at high temperatures, frequencies and voltages — all helping to eliminate up to 90 percent of the power losses in electricity conversion compared to current technology. This in turn means that power electronics can be smaller because they need fewer semiconductor chips, and the technologies that rely on power electronics — like electric vehicle chargers, consumer appliances and LEDs — will perform better, be more efficient and cost less.

One of three new institutes in the President’s National Network of Manufacturing Innovation, the Energy Department’s institute will develop the infrastructure needed to make WBG semiconductor-based power electronics cost competitive with silicon chips in the next five years. Working with more than 25 partners across industry, academia, and state and federal organizations, the institute will provide shared research and development, manufacturing equipment, and product testing to create new semiconductor technology that is up to 10 times more powerful that current chips on the market. Through higher education programs and internships, the institute will ensure that the U.S. has the workforce necessary to be the leader in the next generation of power electronics manufacturing.

Watch our latest video on how wide bandgap semiconductors could impact clean energy technology and our daily lives.

Source: http://energy.gov/eere/articles/infographic-wide-bandgap-semiconductors