When Less Can Be More With Smart Module Design: Part 1

Size and power often seem like opposite sides of a coin. When you reduce size – one of the ever-pressing goals in our industry – you inevitably reduce power. But does that have to be the case? By shifting our thinking from the chip to the module design, there’s no need to flip a coin. In IGBT modules, chip shrinkage leads to an increased thermal impedance, which then impacts performanc... » read more

Application and Verification of Effective Heat Spreading Angles on a Multi-Layer Thermal Design

Abstract: "When designing converters, the average junction temperature of the semiconductor is a frequently required estimate. Its analytical calculation requires the total thermal resistance of the cooling arrangement. Unfortunately, due to the complexity of the heat dissipation processes, an estimate of the thermal resistance is usually associated with low accuracy. To significantly improve ... » read more

Short-Circuit Ruggedness In SiC MOSFETs

Trench-based silicon carbide power MOSFETs (Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistors) represent a dramatic improvement in the Figure of Merit (FOM) values of power conversion switching devices. As a result, outstanding system performance is achieved, enabling higher efficiency, power density, and reduced system cost for many applications. Today, for major target applications for S... » read more

Fabs Drive Deeper Into Machine Learning

Advanced machine learning is beginning to make inroads into yield enhancement methodology as fabs and equipment makers seek to identify defectivity patterns in wafer images with greater accuracy and speed. Each month a wafer fabrication factory produces tens of millions of wafer-level images from inspection, metrology, and test. Engineers must analyze that data to improve yield and to reject... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: June 7

High-voltage superjunction SiC devices The University of Warwick and Cambridge Microelectronics have presented a paper on the latest effort to develop of a new type silicon carbide (SiC) power device called a SiC superjunction Schottky diode. Researchers have simulated and optimized the development of 4H-SiC superjunction Schottky diodes at a voltage class of 1700 volts, aiming for breakdow... » read more

The Ins And Outs Of Silicon Carbide

John Palmour, CTO at Cree, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about silicon carbide, how it compares to silicon, what's different from a design and packaging standpoint, and where it's being used. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: SiC is well-understood in power electronics and RF, but is the main advantage the ability to run devices hotter than silicon, or is ... » read more

SiC Foundry Business Emerges

Several third-party foundry vendors are entering or expanding their efforts in the silicon carbide (SiC) business amid booming demand for the technology. However, making a significant dent in the market will not be so easy for SiC foundry vendors and their customers. They are facing stiff competition from traditional SiC device vendors such as Cree, Infineon, Rohm and STMicroelectronics. ... » read more

Silicon Carbide’s Superpowers

As we enter a new computing era driven by the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI), demand is growing for more energy-efficient chips. In this context, we usually think about Moore’s Law and reducing the size of transistors. However, advances in power semiconductors are not governed by node size reduction. Silicon power switches, such as MOSFETs and IGBTs, ar... » read more

Electric Cars Gain Traction, But Challenges Remain

Battery-powered electric vehicles are expected to reach a milestone in terms of shipments in 2019, but the technology faces several significant hurdles to gain wider adoption in the market. Limited driving range, high costs, battery issues, and a spotty charging infrastructure are the main challenges for battery electric vehicles (BEVs). In addition, there are issues with various power semic... » read more

SiC Chip Demand Surges

The silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductor market is experiencing a sudden surge in demand amid growth for electric vehicles and other systems. But the demand also is causing a tight supply of SiC-based devices in the market, prompting some vendors to add fab capacity in the midst of a tricky wafer-size transition. Some SiC device makers are transitioning from 4- to 6-inch wafers in the f... » read more

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