Power/Performance Bits: June 25


Improving IGBTs Researchers at the University of Tokyo developed a power switching device that surpasses previous performance limits, showing that there may still be gains ahead for the silicon-based devices, which have been thought to be approaching their limits. The team's improved insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) used a scaling approach, and simulations showed that downscaling pa... » read more

SiC Demand Growing Faster Than Supply


The silicon carbide (SiC) industry is in the midst of a major expansion campaign, but suppliers are struggling to meet potential demand for SiC power devices and wafers in the market. In just one example of the expansion efforts, Cree plans to invest up to $1 billion to increase its SiC fab and wafer capacities. As part of the plan, Cree is developing the world’s first 200mm (8-inch) SiC f... » read more

What Happened To GaN And SiC?


About five years ago, some chipmakers claimed that traditional silicon-based power MOSFETs had hit the wall, prompting the need for a new power transistor technology. At the time, some thought that two wide-bandgap technologies—gallium nitride (GaN) on silicon and silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFETs—would displace the ubiquitous power MOSFET. In addition, GaN and SiC were supposed to pose a t... » read more

Searching For The Next Power Transistor


For decades, the industry has relied on various power semiconductors to control and convert electrical power in an efficient manner. Power semis are ubiquitous, as they are found in adapters, appliances, cars, elevators, switching power supplies, power grids and other systems. But today’s silicon-based power semiconductor transistor technologies, such as IGBTs, MOSFETs and thyristors, are ... » read more

IGBT Power Cycling And Lifetime Testing


I have never been very good at introducing topics. During my presentations, I either jump directly into the subject matter, or start with a joke. My mom always said I could be a stand-up comedian. I prefer to sit. Oddly, that led me to becoming an engineer. And while this introduction does not lead me any closer to my actual topic, I presume some people rolled their eyes back and crossed their ... » read more