Power semiconductors based on silicon carbide (SiC) offer several advantages, like high efficiency, power density, voltage resistance, and reliability. This creates opportunities for new applications and improved charging station technology innovations. Infineon Technologies announced a collaboration with Infypower, a Chinese market leader in new energy vehicle charging. Infineon will provide INFY with the industry-leading 1200 V CoolSiC™ MOSFET power semiconductor devices to improve the efficiency of electric vehicle charging stations.
“The collaboration between Infineon and Infypower in the field of charging solutions for electric vehicles (EV) provides an excellent system-level technology solution for the local EV charging station industry,” said Dr. Peter Wawer, Division President of Infineon’s Green Industrial Power Division. “It will significantly improve charging efficiency, accelerate charging speed, and create a better user experience for owners of electric cars.”
“With Infineon’s more than 20 years of continuous advancement in SiC product offering and the strength of integrated technology, Infypower can consolidate and maintain its technological outstanding position in the industry by adopting state-of-the-art product processes and design solutions“, said Qiu Tianquan, President of Infypower China. “We can also set a new standard for charging efficiency of DC chargers for new energy vehicles. As a result, customers can enjoy more convenience and unique value, promoting the healthy development of the EV charging industry.”
SiC’s high power density enables the development of high-performance, lightweight, and compact chargers, especially for supercharging stations and ultra-compact wall-mounted DC charging stations. Compared to traditional silicon-based solutions, SiC technology in EV charging stations can increase efficiency by 1 percent, reducing energy losses and operating costs. In a 100 kW charging station, this translates to 1 kWh of electricity savings, saving 270 Euros annually and reducing carbon emissions by 3.5 tons. This drives the increasing adoption of SiC power devices in EV charging modules.
As one of the first SiC power semiconductor manufacturers to use trench gate technology for transistors, Infineon has introduced an advanced design that provides high reliability for chargers. The devices offer a high threshold voltage and simplified gate driving . The CoolSiC MOSFET technology has been subjected to marathon stress tests and gate voltage jump stress tests before commercial release and regularly afterwards in form of monitoring to ensure highest gate reliability.
By integrating Infineon’s 1200 V CoolSiC MOSFETs, Infypower’s 30 kW DC charging module offers a wide constant power range, high power density, minimal electromagnetic radiation and interference, high protection performance and high reliability. In this way, it is well suited for the fast charging demand of most EVs while possessing a higher efficiency of 1 percent compared with other solutions on the market. Consequently, significant energy savings and carbon dioxide emission reduction are achieved, which are leading at a global level.
Original – Infineon Technologies
LATEST NEWS / SiC / TOP STORIES / WBG4 Min Read
Aehr Test Systems announced it has received an initial customer order for a FOX-NP™ wafer level test and burn-in system, multiple WaferPak™ Contactors, and a FOX WaferPak Aligner to be used for engineering, qualification, and small lot production wafer level test and burn-in of their silicon carbide devices. The customer is a US-based multibillion-dollar semiconductor supplier serving several markets including automotive, computing, consumer, energy, industrial, and medical. The FOX-NP system, including the FOX WaferPak Aligner and initial WaferPaks are scheduled per the customer’s requested accelerated schedule to ship by the end of the calendar year 2023.
The FOX-NP system is configured with the new Bipolar Voltage Channel Module (BVCM) and Very High Voltage Channel Module (VHVCM) options that enable new advanced test and burn-in capabilities for silicon carbide power semiconductors using Aehr’s proprietary WaferPak full wafer Contactors. This new order highlights Aehr’s continued progression within the growing silicon carbide global power market.
Gayn Erickson, President and CEO of Aehr Test Systems, commented, “We are very excited that after conducting a detailed financial evaluation and multiple onsite visits to Aehr’s application lab, this new customer selected our FOX-P solution for engineering, qualification, and production of their silicon carbide power devices.
This evaluation included cost of ownership and system throughput, as well as device test, burn-in, and stabilization coverage. As their production capacity increases, they told us that they will quickly move to our FOX-XP multi-wafer test and burn-in systems for high-volume production. In addition to the automotive electric vehicle device opportunity, this customer in particular sees the enormous opportunity for silicon carbide power devices in industrial, solar, and other power applications.
“William Blair forecasts that in addition to the 4.5 million six-inch equivalent wafers that will be needed to meet the demand for electric vehicle related silicon carbide devices in 2030, another 2.8 million wafers are needed to address industrial, solar, electric trains, energy conversion and other applications in 2030. The interesting part of this is that most of these applications will be served with discrete MOSFETS in single die packages.
The cost of ownership of our solution proved to be more cost-effective and efficient for these devices than package part burn-in after the die are packaged in packages such as TO-247 or other discrete packages. This is a strong testimony of the advantage of wafer level burn-in as a better alternative to package part burn-in. This expands our silicon carbide test and burn-in market even more and this new customer helps expand Aehr’s presence in this market as our total addressable market (TAM) continues to grow.
“Aehr’s FOX-P systems and proprietary WaferPak full wafer Contactors enable our customers to do economical production volume test and reliability burn-in with processes such as High Temperature Gate Bias (HTGB) and High Temperature Reverse Bias (HTRB) very cost-effectively and ensure extremely high device quality. Our systems are typically used for long burn-in times lasting up to 24 hours or more.
We can do this for under $5.00 per hour per wafer capital depreciation cost while testing and burning-in up to several thousand devices at a time per wafer. This is also in a test system footprint that is up to 94% less than a typical test system on a standard semiconductor wafer prober, which in a precious clean room wafer facility is extremely important and saves a great deal of cost.
“The FOX family of compatible systems including the FOX-NP and FOX-XP multi-wafer test and burn-in systems and Aehr’s proprietary WaferPak full wafer contactors provide a uniquely cost-effective solution for burning in multiple wafers of devices at a single time to remove early life failures of silicon carbide devices, which is critical to meeting the initial quality and long-term reliability of the automotive, industrial, and electrification infrastructure industry needs.”
The FOX-XP and FOX-NP systems, available with multiple WaferPak Contactors (full wafer test) or multiple DiePakTM Carriers (singulated die/module test) configurations, are capable of functional test and burn-in/cycling of devices such as silicon carbide and gallium nitride power semiconductors, silicon photonics as well as other optical devices, 2D and 3D sensors, flash memories, magnetic sensors, microcontrollers, and other leading-edge ICs in either wafer form factor, before they are assembled into single or multi-die stacked packages, or in singulated die or module form factor.
Original – Aehr Test Systems
LATEST NEWS / SiC / TOP STORIES / WBG3 Min Read
AIXTRON SE supports GlobiTech Inc., one of the world’s largest silicon-epitaxy foundries, to expand their business into silicon carbide (SiC) epitaxy. AIXTRON’s new G10-SiC has enabled this global leader to quickly ramp its SiC epitaxy production into high volume to address the world’s increasing demand for power epi-wafers. GlobiTech’s selection of the G10-SiC means a future-proof investment based on dual wafer size configuration of 9×150 & 6×200 mm and the highest throughput per fab space available in the SiC industry today.
The G10-SiC was officially introduced in September 2022. And it has quickly become the tool of record for both 150mm and 200mm SiC device makers as well as foundries like GlobiTech, the wholly owned subsidiary of GlobalWafers Co., Ltd., which manufactures silicon carbide and silicon epitaxial wafers focused on power and electric vehicle (EV) market segments.
“When one of the largest manufacturers and foundries like GlobiTech diversifies its business, it is a clear signal of a long-lasting trend in the semiconductor industry: conventional silicon is being replaced by silicon carbide in an ever-increasing number of applications. And it makes us proud when a leading company such as GlobiTech chooses AIXTRON and our new G10-SiC as an enabler of its transition intothis emerging SiC market. It confirms our overall strategy and the prospects for further growth”, says Dr. Felix Grawert, CEO and President of AIXTRON SE.
GlobiTech, located in Sherman, TX, is already in high-volume production using both G5WW C and G10-SiC AIXTRON systems, with continued installation capacity over the next years.Modeled after the silicon business, GlobiTech supplies both SiC substrates and SiC epitaxy to the market.
“In AIXTRON, we have found a strong partner supporting us in our vision and plans to expand our business into the SiC epitaxy market – an important step as SiC technology is one of the fastest-growing semiconductor sectors. AIXTRON tools allow us to get the most wafers out of our current fab. And AIXTRON’s team understands what it takes to compete against silicon to grow this market while offering great customer support and service”, says Mark England, President of GlobalWafers.
The G10-SiC is the first SiC epitaxy tool on the market that truly enables high-volume production of SiC epi-wafers. Since the G10-SiC offers both 9×150 mm and 6×200 mm batch configurations, it is an instrumental tool for a market rapidly transitioning from 6-inch (150mm) to 8-inch (200 mm) wafer diameters. The new platform is built around AIXTRON’s proven automated wafer cassette-to-cassette loading solution with high-temperature wafer transfer.
Combined with high growth rate process capabilities, the G10-SiC provides best-in-class wafer throughput, an excellent epi wafer performance in terms of quality and uniformity, and the best throughput per square meter of fab space. All this leads to the lowest cost of ownership in the market. It is estimated that in 2023, the new G10-SiC will become AIXTRON’s top-selling product.
The wide-bandgap material SiC is set to become mainstream technology for efficient power electronics. Driven by the growing adoption of SiC-based power semiconductors within e-mobility solutions and the overall acceleration of the charging infrastructure, the global demand for SiC wafers is growing rapidly.And with its superior characteristics, SiC semiconductors offer higher energy efficiency than conventional power electronics based on silicon. Therefore, SiC significantly contributes to reducing the global CO2 footprint.
Original – AIXTRON
Navitas Semiconductor announced participation at the International Conference on Silicon Carbide and Related Materials (ICSCRM) 2023, to be held in Sorrento, Italy.
The ICSCRM conference fosters collaboration and knowledge sharing among the brightest minds in the field. The conference has a rich history dating back to its inaugural meeting in 1987, evolving into a premier global forum for in-depth technical discussions on all aspects of SiC and related materials.
GeneSiC™ power devices, optimized for high-power, high-voltage, and high-reliability SiC applications, address critical markets including electric vehicles, solar energy, energy storage, industrial applications, data centers, and consumer electronics. With an unmatched voltage range spanning from 650 V to 6.5 kV, GeneSiC MOSFETs and Schottky MPS™ diodes have been at the forefront of SiC technology advancement, offering performance and efficiency that pave the way for a more electrified and sustainable future.
Navitas Semiconductor will present two paper sessions at ICSCRM 2023:
- “New Generation SiC MPS Diodes with Low Schottky Barrier Height”
- “650 V SiC Power MOSFETs with Statistically Tight VTH Control and RDS(ON) of 1.92 mΩ-cm²”
Additionally, Navitas’ SVP of SiC Technology & Operations, Dr. Sid Sundaresan, will be chairing the session on Thursday, September 21st. The session, titled “Devices 4: Short circuit, avalanche and reliability,” will focus on crucial topics in the field of SiC technology.
“Navitas’ presence at ICSCRM 2023 is a testament to the company’s unparalleled expertise in SiC technology and its commitment to driving innovation in the industry,” said Dr. Ranbir Singh, Navitas EVP for the GeneSiC business line. “As a pioneer in the field, we continue to extend the boundaries of SiC technology, revolutionizing power semiconductors with cutting-edge GeneSiC™ technology.”
Original – Navitas Semiconductor
LATEST NEWS / PRODUCT & TECHNOLOGY / SiC / TOP STORIES / WBG3 Min Read
Vitesco Technologies is developing a power module which will be manufactured using transfer molding process. During this process the power electronics are sealed under a dielectric material that protects the components extremely well. The result is a very robust, cost effective and reliable electronic. The power module consists of three overmolded half-bridges and forms the core of an inverter system, which controls both the drive energy and the energy recovery (recuperation) in high-voltage electric vehicles.
Manufactured at the Nuremberg electronics plant, the power modules will be delivered to a large global car maker from mid-2025 onwards.
Vitesco Technologies has been adapting and utilizing transfer molding technology since 2020, first applying it to compact Transmission Control Units designed for full integration inside a gear box.
The overmold power modules now combine highly efficient state-of-the art silicon carbide (SiC) chip technology with overmolding to facilitate a particularly robust product with increased power density, lower cost and reduced weight.
These power modules are a good example of strategic approach of using the scalability and modularity of our power electronics to develop and manufacture submodules in addition to the complete electronics. Combined with extensive overmolding expertise, Vitesco can deliver an extremely robust product to our customers. This is yet another example of how the company successfully transfers proven technology to an electrification product.
- Thomas Stierle, member of the board and head of Vitesco Technologies’ Electrification Solutions division
Vitesco Technologies has extensive expertise in power electronics and is already on the market with its fourth generation. The newly developed overmold power module expands the company’s strategic portfolio.
A very deep system competence is necessary to ensure that a sub-module of this kind, which forms the core of the inverter, can be successfully integrated into the full system. Our degree of electronics modularity and scalability enables us to offer more flexibility in terms of customer-specific interfaces.
- Michael Horbel, head of product and platform management high voltage inverter at Vitesco Technologies
Vitesco Technologies will continue to use this strength to bring further electronic sub-modules to the market.
The lead plant for these modules is Vitesco Technologies’ Nuremberg site. With its existing competencies and experience, the plant offers a high degree of automation as well as the focus on electronics and e-mobility required for the power modules. This is a further step forward into the “Plant of the Future” concept, defined for the Nuremberg plant to maintain its international competitiveness.
Original – Vitesco Technologies
LATEST NEWS / SiC / WBG
Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute Transfers Ion Implantation Evaluation Technology for SiC to Hungary3 Min Read
Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute (KERI) succeeded in transferring the ‘Ion Implantation and its Evaluation Technology for the SiC (silicon carbide) Power Semiconductor’ to a Hungarian company.
Power semiconductors are key components in electricity and electronics, acting as the muscles of the human body by regulating the direction of current and controlling power conversion. There are many different materials for power semiconductors. Among them, SiC is receiving the most attention due to its excellent material properties, including high durability and excellent power efficiency. When SiC power semiconductors are incorporated into electric vehicles, they cut down the power consumption of the battery and reduce the body weight and volume of the vehicle, resulting in energy efficiency improvements of up to 10%
While SiC power semiconductors have many advantages, the manufacturing process is also very challenging. Previously, a method was applied to create a device by forming an epi layer (single-crystal semiconductor thin-film) on a highly conductive wafer and flowing current through that area. However, during this process, the surface of the epi layer becomes rough and the speed of electron transfer decreases. The price of the epi wafer itself is also high, which is a major obstacle to mass production.
To solve this problem, KERI used a method of implanting ions into a semi-insulated SiC wafer without an epi layer. Ion implantation, which makes a wafer conductive, is the work that breathes life into a semiconductor.
SiC materials are hard and require very high energy ion implantation followed by high temperature heat treatment to activate the ions, making it a difficult technology to implement. However, KERI has succeeded in securing the relevant technologies based on its 10 years of experience in operating ion implantation equipment dedicated to SiC.
“Ion implantation technology can significantly reduce process costs by increasing current flow in semiconductor devices and replacing expensive epi wafers,” said Dr. Kim, Hyoung Woo, Director, Advanced Semiconductor Research Center, KERI. He continued, “This is a technology that increases the price competitiveness of high-performance SiC power semiconductors and contributes greatly to mass production.”
This technology was recently transferred to ‘SEMILAB ZRT (CEO: Tibor Pavelka)’, a semiconductor metrology equipment company located in Budapest, Hungary. With a 30-year history, SEMILAB has manufacturing plants in Hungary and the United States. SEMILAB owns patents for medium-sized precision measurement equipment and material characterization equipment, and has the world’s leading technology in semiconductor electrical parameter evaluation system.
They predict that through this technology transfer, they will be able to standardize high-quality SiC. SEMILAB plans to use KERI technology to develop specialized equipment to evaluate the ion implantation process of SiC power semiconductor.
Park Su-yong, the president of SEMILAB Korea, said, “Through the development of specialized equipment, we will be able to progress in-line monitoring of implant processes on SiC wafers for immediate, accurate, and low-cost production control of implant systems and in-line monitoring for pre-anneal implant.” He added, “This will be a great foundation for stably securing a high-quality ion implantation mass production process with excellent uniformity and reproducibility.”
KERI is a government-funded research institute under the NST (National Research Council of Science & Technology) of the Ministry of Science and ICT. It has a total of more than 120 intellectual property rights in the field of power semiconductor research. As of the last 10 years, power semiconductor division of KERI has achieved more than KRW 3 billion in technology transfers, the highest level in South Korea.
Original – KERI
On the road towards becoming a fully electric car maker by 2030, an important focus area for Volvo technology investments and R&D spending is e-motors, inverters and overall electric drivetrain optimisation.
Only by gaining control over electrification technology stack – a process called “vertical integration” – can can a company create pure electric Volvo cars that deliver on everything the customers want: longer range, faster charging and a great Volvo driving experience.
The latest investment by the Volvo Cars Tech Fund, the corporate venture capital arm, reflects those ambitions. Leadrive, a Shanghai-based company founded in 2017, is an exciting new player in power electronics and control units for fully electric cars.
Leadrive is specialising in designing and building power modules that use silicon carbide (SiC) technology. Silicon carbide is a semiconductor base material that promises to unlock highly efficient and flexible electric propulsion systems.
“Leadrive’s technology demonstrates a lot of potential for the development of more efficient electric drivetrains,” said Alexander Petrofski, CEO of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund. “That potential closely aligns with our own focus on electrification, so we’re excited to invest in the company and help it to continue growing its business.”
“Volvo Cars and Leadrive have been working very closely on the development of new generation SiC technologies, which has built a firm stairway towards the strategic collaboration,” said Jie Shen, founder and CEO of Leadrive. “This is a great milestone in Leadrive’s global strategy and demonstrates the huge potential of our cooperation in advanced electrification technology.”
Original – Volvo Car Corporation
LATEST NEWS / PRODUCT & TECHNOLOGY / SiC / TOP STORIES / WBG1 Min Read
The new Vincotech 1200 V flowCSPFC S3 SiC module featuring current-synthesizing PFC (CS-PFC) topology based on the constant power control, strikes the best balance between performance and system cost to benefit your business.
The first module of this new product family is well suited for a DC fast charger PFC converter stage up to 35kW power, a “sweet spot” for building scalable DC charger units on a modular approach.
- Current-synthesizing PFC slashes module costs by > 25% with conversion efficiencyranging as high as >99%
- System costs come down with fewer and smaller inductors on the PCB
- No large electrolytic DC-link capacitors for even more system-level savings
- Pinout is ready for bidirectional applications and optimized for easy PCB routing
- High power density for compact designs and fast charging
- EV fast charger
Original – Vincotech
LATEST NEWS / PRODUCT & TECHNOLOGY / SiC / TOP STORIES / WBG3 Min Read
McLaren Applied has launched IPG5-x, a highly flexible 800V Silicon Carbide (SiC) inverter that can be integrated into Electric Drive Units (EDUs). Targeting growing OEM demand for high-performing, integrated EDUs that save space and cost, the British engineering and technology pioneer has developed IPG5-x to work with a variety of motors and transmissions – especially in performance applications.
IPG5-x is an adaptation of McLaren Applied’s current award-winning 800V SiC inverter, IPG5. IPG5-x will coexist alongside the standalone IPG5, with application depending on customer need. The ‘x’ suffix was chosen because IPG5-x is a product designed for collaboration with Tier 1 and OEM partners looking to bring EDU products to market quickly and cost effectively. McLaren Applied is in discussions with several OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, and is working with transmission provider TREMEC to jointly develop an integrated EDU for their first customer vehicle application.
“In our discussions with customers and partners, it’s become clear that OEMs are increasingly looking for the option to source integrated EDUs that save space, cost and speed up development time,” commented Paolo Bargiacchi, Head of Product, Automotive at McLaren Applied. “We’ve developed the IPG5-x to be highly flexible, so it’s ready to be integrated within any combination of motor and transmission. It carries over all of our standalone IPG5’s qualities – peak efficiencies over 99%, continuously variable switching and fine motor control – building on the maturity of that product.”
Derived from decades of innovation in top tier automotive and motorsports, McLaren Applied’s IPG5-x offers best-in-class fine motor control and high efficiency through continuously variable switching frequencies; maximising the advantages of SiC semiconductors.
The IPG5-x forms a step forward in what the automotive team at McLaren Applied describes as the ‘waves of electrification’. The first wave involved early pioneers of technology, the second wave is denoted by the breakthrough of EVs to the mainstream. The third wave is efficiency and will see inverter technology rapidly adopt SiC semiconductors, especially in 800V architectures, enabling vehicles to achieve longer range where efficient power electronics are key.
Bargiacchi added: “The immediate focus must be on achieving greater drivetrain efficiency and cost reduction, which you can do through a product like IPG5-x. The competitive landscape is ramping up significantly now that all manufacturers have established their product entry points.
“Models based on dedicated 800V SiC architectures are leading the way, driving a virtuous cycle: an efficient drivetrain inherently has a smaller battery, which makes the vehicle cheaper, lighter and easier to control, and offers a smaller embedded and operating carbon footprint. It also increases range and speeds up charge times, building trust in the technology.”
As competition increases, we will enter the fourth wave, where OEMs will need to differentiate the customer experience their products deliver. In anticipation of this change, McLaren Applied has developed advanced motor control software in both IPG5 and IPG5-x that enables a variety of features ranging from improved refinement through to a more engaging drive.
Original – McLaren Applied
STMicroelectronics will supply BorgWarner Inc. with the latest third generation 750V silicon carbide (SiC) power MOSFETs dice for their proprietary Viper-based power module. This power module is used in BorgWarner’s traction inverter platforms for several current and future Volvo Cars electric vehicles.
“This collaboration will give Volvo Cars the opportunity to further increase the attractiveness of our electrical vehicles with longer range and faster charging. It will also support us on our journey towards being fully electric by 2030 and strengthen our increased vertical integration and our control of critical components,” says Javier Varela, Chief Operating Officer & Deputy CEO, Volvo Cars.
“BorgWarner is pleased to partner with ST to supply our longstanding customer Volvo Cars with inverters for their next generation of BEV platforms,” says Stefan Demmerle, Vice President of BorgWarner Inc. and President and General Manager, PowerDrive Systems.
To fully leverage the performance of ST’s SiC MOSFET dice, BorgWarner collaborated closely with ST’s technical team to match their die with BorgWarner’s Viper power switch, thereby maximizing inverter performance and delivering a compact and cost-effective architecture. The collaboration between the companies provides the high-volume capability that is required by the quickly growing EV market.
“Our collaboration with BorgWarner, a leading global automotive supplier in electrification, will enable Volvo Cars to offer their customers superior vehicle performance and range,” says Marco Monti, President, Automotive and Discrete Group, STMicroelectronics. “We are committed to expanding SiC capacity and to reinforcing our SiC supply, including through vertical integration, as we ramp up volumes to support our global automotive and industrial customers in their shift to electrification and higher efficiency.”
ST’s high-volume STPOWER SiC products are manufactured in its fabs in Italy, and Singapore, with advanced packaging and testing at its back-end facilities in Morocco and China. In October 2022, ST announced it would expand its wide bandgap manufacturing capacity with a new integrated SiC substrate manufacturing facility in Catania, home to the company’s power semiconductor expertise and the site of integrated research, development, and manufacturing of SiC.
Original – STMicroelectronics