NIIT Launches National Semiconductor Day

    3 Min Read

    This week the National Institute for Innovation and Technology (NIIT), the leader in developing the U.S. semiconductor talent pipeline through Registered Apprenticeships (RAs), is celebrating the U.S. Department of Labor’s 9th Annual National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) and the first annual National Semiconductor Day.

    NAW is a national celebration to showcase the success of RAs and the instrumental role they play in rebuilding our economy, advancing diversity and equality in the workforce, creating high-quality jobs, and supporting underserved communities.

    “Registered Apprenticeships change lives. The ‘learn-and-earn’ model is a key piece in solidifying the global competitiveness of our economy by increasing opportunity and providing pathways to success in the rewarding and rapidly growing semiconductor and advanced manufacturing industries,” said NIIT President & CEO Mike Russo.

    Throughout the week, NIIT will participate with partner organizations across the country in promoting the efficacy of RAs as part of a nationwide workforce development effort, including a live webinar event. “Emerging Industries, Inclusive Futures: DEI in Workforce Development Through Registered Apprenticeships Accelerator Roundtable,” on November 14, 2023 at 2 p.m. Eastern.

    During the webinar, NIIT and industry leaders from the University of Rochester’s Advance 2 Apprenticeship Project, work2future, and Manufacturing Works will speak to strategies for intentionally building diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into workforce development efforts, the opportunities that RAs in the semiconductor industry provide to underrepresented populations, and why these programs are not just a moral imperative, but a business necessity.

    Advance 2 Apprenticeship is an employment initiative though the University of Rochester’s Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities in partnership with The Manufacturers Association of Central NY and funded by The NYS Council on Developmental Disabilities, which is working to improve access for people with disabilities to apprenticeship programs.

    Advance 2 Apprenticeship offers pre-apprenticeship training courses in manufacturing for people with and without disabilities who can benefit from additional support to succeed. Advance 2 Apprenticeship is paving the way for neurodiverse learners to succeed by utilizing universal design within curriculum, training for business and connecting wrap around support for students.

    Manufacturing Works, a Northeastern Ohio-based nonprofit, has created opportunities for workers that take them on a pathway from student to journeyman, including certification and access to apprenticeship programs.

    “Given the significant expansion of the semiconductor industry in Ohio, we know it is imperative to make investments statewide in growing the area’s skilled workforce through apprenticeships and related programs. Through a commitment of $20 billion in investment by Intel, Manufacturing Works is intensifying their focus on assisting this industry and partnering with NIIT to do so,” said Manufacturing Works President and Executive Director Ken Patsey.

    On November 15, 2023, NIIT will hold the first National Semiconductor DayTM, a day created to highlight the monumental technical advances and economic benefits brought about by the semiconductor industry. The U.S. semiconductor industry employs almost 300,000 Americans and directly contributed $264.4 billion to the U.S. GDP in 2020.

    “Semiconductors have revolutionized the way we live, work, and connect. From smartphones to life-saving medical equipment, the innovations powered by semiconductors have shaped our world, and our national security and global competitiveness hinge on our ability to innovate and lead in this critical sector.

    At NIIT, we felt that it was important to establish National Semiconductor DayTM coinciding with National Apprenticeship Week, to call attention to the important work being done in the semiconductor industry and the role Registered Apprenticeships play in expanding the pipeline of talent to include individuals from all backgrounds and walks of life,” said Russo.

    Original – National Institute for Innovation and Technology

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  • Heraeus Acquires Stake in Zadient Technologies, Materials Supplier to SiC Semiconductor Industry

    Heraeus Acquires Stake in Zadient Technologies, Materials Supplier to SiC Semiconductor Industry

    2 Min Read

    The Hanau-based technology company Heraeus has acquired a significant stake in the start-up company Zadient. Heraeus, as a German high-tech materials player considers the market of SiC base material highly relevant and a suitable addition to its other operations.

    The French-German firm Zadient specializes in the production of silicon carbide source material. Silicon carbide is a wide band gap semiconductor material, which is currently gaining rapid traction in the semiconductor market. Its properties lend themselves to use in power semiconductors, which help to convert current and voltages.

    Its fundamental contribution is the dramatic increase in efficiency it provides over silicon by reducing the heat losses that occur while power passes through chips. Its ability to handle higher power densities with low losses allows for the transition from 400V to 800V battery systems in EVs which significantly shortens their charging time and increases their range. SiC based electronics are also smaller and lighter, which also contributes to increased range.

    These properties have lead to the rapid adoption of SiC in applications ranging from the main inverters and on-board chargers in EVs to wind and solar power inverters, battery storage systems and even airplane power management modules. The breadth of these few examples is already an indication of the significant role SiC will play in the mobility and energy transition.

    Through the partnership, Heraeus intends to accelerate the company’s growth and support Zadient’s innovative approach with its own know-how.

    “Heraeus recognizes the potential of the SiC market and considers it to be highly relevant for high-tech applications. By acquiring a stake in Zadient, we can jointly offer our customers even better solutions” said Steffen Metzger, member of the Heraeus Group Management Committee. “We are very happy that we found a way to accelerate growth in the SiC market by combining the innovative ideas of the materials start-up Zadient with the manufacturing and technical expertise of the Heraeus Group.”

    “We are very excited to be partnering with an industry leader like Heraeus,” noted Zadient CEO Kagan Ceran.  “The expertise that Heraeus has in the industrial scale production of advanced materials, both in its home market of Germany and abroad, offers us unique synergies as we strive to realize our vision to be the world’s largest volume, highest purity producer of silicon carbide semiconductor materials.”

    Original – Heraeus

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  • OKI Develops GaN Lifting offBonding Technology on QST Substrates of Shin-Etsu Chemical

    OKI Develops GaN Lifting off/Bonding Technology on QST Substrates of Shin-Etsu Chemical

    3 Min Read

    OKI, in collaboration with Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd., has announced the successful development of a technology that uses OKI’s CFB (crystal film bonding) technology to lift off only the GaN (gallium nitride) functional layer from Shin-Etsu Chemical’s uniquely improved QST® (Qromis Substrate Technology) substrate and bond it to a different material substrate.

    This technology enables the vertical conduction of GaN and is expected to contribute to the realization and commercialization of vertical GaN power devices capable of controlling large currents. The two companies will work further together to develop vertical GaN power devices that can be implemented in society by partnering with companies that manufacture these devices.

    GaN devices are attracting attention as next-generation devices that combine high device characteristics with low power consumption, such as power devices that require high breakdown voltages of 1800 volts or more, high-frequency devices for Beyond5G, and high-brightness micro-LED displays.

    In particular, vertical GaN power devices are expected to achieve significant demand growth as devices that can improve the basic performance of electric vehicles by endowing them with extended driving ranges and shortened power supply times. However, two major challenges hinder the social implementation of vertical GaN power devices: the diameter of the wafers must be increased to improve productivity and vertical conductivity must be realized to enable large current control.

    The coefficient of thermal expansion of Shin-Etsu Chemical’s QST substrate is equivalent to that of GaN. It can suppress warpage and cracking. This characteristic enables the crystal growth of thick GaN films with high breakdown voltages even on wafers larger than 8 inches, thereby enabling the production of wafers with larger diameters.

    On the other hand, OKI’s CFB technology can lift off only the GaN functional layer from the QST substrate while maintaining high device characteristics. The insulating buffer layer required for GaN crystal growth can be removed and bonded to various substrates via metal electrodes that allow ohmic contact.

    Bonding of these functional layers to a conductive substrate with high heat dissipation will enable both high heat dissipation and vertical conductivity. Through this, the combined technologies of Shin-Etsu Chemical and OKI solve the above two major challenges, paving the way for the social implementation of vertical GaN power devices.

    In the future, the two companies will contribute to the realization and widespread use of vertical GaN power devices through Shin-Etsu Chemical’s provision of QST substrates or GaN grown QST substrates to companies manufacturing GaN devices and OKI’s provision of CFB technology through partnering and licensing.

    Furthermore, OKI hopes to use CFB technology to provide added value to semiconductor devices that go beyond the framework of single materials and help realize the company’s key message of “Delivering OK! to your life”.

    Original – OKI

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  • Mitsubishi Electric to Partner with Nexperia to Develop SiC Power Semiconductors

    Mitsubishi Electric to Partner with Nexperia to Develop SiC Power Semiconductors

    2 Min Read

    Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announced that it will enter into a strategic partnership with Nexperia B.V. to jointly develop silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductors for the power electronics market. Mitsubishi Electric will leverage its wide-bandgap semiconductor technologies to develop and supply SiC MOSFET chips that Nexperia will use to develop SiC discrete devices.

    The electric vehicle market is expanding worldwide and is helping to drive the exponential growth of SiC power semiconductors, which offer lower energy loss, higher operating temperatures and faster switching speeds than conventional silicon power semiconductors. The high efficiency of SiC power semiconductors is expected to contribute significantly to global decarbonization and green transformation.

    Mitsubishi Electric has established leading positions in applications such as high-speed trains, high-voltage industrial applications and home appliances. The company launched the world’s first SiC power modules for air conditioners in 2010 and became the first supplier of an all-SiC power module for Shinkansen bullet trains in 2015. Mitsubishi Electric has accumulated superior expertise for the development and manufacture of SiC power modules, which are known for their advanced performance and high reliability.

    Going forward, Mitsubishi Electric expects to strengthen its partnership with Nexperia, a global leader with decades of experience in the design, manufacture, quality assurance and supply of diverse discrete devices. Nexperia’s devices are used in the automotive, industrial, mobile and consumer markets, contributing to decarbonization and a more sustainable future. Mitsubishi Electric will continue to improve the performance and quality of its SiC chips and focus on the development of power modules using proprietary module technologies.

    Mark Roeloffzen, SVP & General Manager Business Group Bipolar Discretes at Nexperia, said: “This mutually beneficial strategic partnership with Mitsubishi Electric represents a significant stride in Nexperia’s silicon carbide journey. Mitsubishi Electric has a strong track record as a supplier of technically proven SiC device and modules. Combined with Nexperia’s high-quality standards and expertise in discrete products and packaging, we will certainly generate positive synergies between both companies – ultimately enabling our customers to deliver highly energy efficient products in the industrial, automotive or consumer markets they serve.”

    Masayoshi Takemi, Executive Officer and Group President, Semiconductor & Device at Mitsubishi Electric, said: “Nexperia is a leading company in the industrial sector with proven technologies for high quality discrete semiconductors. We are delighted to enter into this co-development partnership that will leverage the semiconductor technologies of both companies.”

    Original – Mitsubishi Electric

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