Power Semiconductors Weekly+ Vol. 09

Breakthrough for High-Power Wireless EV Charging Technology

Wireless charging of electric vehicles (EVs) at up to 500kW could be possible following the development of new technology in Sweden.

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have pushed inductive power transfer technology further to enable high-power battery charging that is ready to presented to the fleet industry.

The initial study focussed on using the technology for charging electric urban ferries but Yujing Liu, professor of Electric Power Engineering at the Department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers said for the electric trucks of the future, there is a potential application.

The wireless charger uses a new type of silicon carbide semiconductor and a newly developed copper wire that is as thin as a human hair. These two factors make transmitting high power through air a realistic proposition.

Charging power of 150kW to 500kW are possible, with no physical connection between the vehicle and charger. This makes charging at a depot, for example, more straightforward and removes the need for heavy charging cable.

Liu said: “A key factor is that we now have access to high-power semiconductors based on silicon carbide, known as ‘SiC components’. As a power source for electronic products, these have only been on the market a few years. They allow us to use higher voltages, higher temperatures and much higher switching frequencies, compared to traditional silicon-based components.

“This is important because it’s the frequency of the magnetic field that limits how much power can be transferred between two coils of a given size.”

Liu emphasised that charging electric vehicles entails several conversion steps; between direct current and alternating current and between different voltage levels.

“So, when we say that we’ve achieved an efficiency of 98% from direct current in the charging station to the battery, that figure may not mean much if you don’t carefully define what’s measured.

“But you can also put it this way: losses occur whether you use ordinary cable-based conductive charging or charge by using induction. The efficiency we’ve now achieved means that the losses in inductive charging can be almost as low as with a conductive charging system. The difference is so small as to be practically negligible. It’s about one or two per cent,” Liu explained.

Original – FleetNews

SpeedVal Kit™ Ecosystem Simplifies Silicon Carbide Part Evaluation and Cuts Design Time

A new generation of power stages in high-power applications is using silicon carbide (SiC) parts to meet the growing need for higher power density and efficiency and smaller system size in electric vehicle (EV), data center, industrial, and renewable energy segments. Arrow meets this demand with a wide range of SiC parts, including Wolfspeed’s broad portfolio of 600 V to 1700 V discrete SiC MOSFETs and SiC Schottky diodes, as well as power modules in industry standard and power-optimized footprints.

Until now, engineers have relied on SiC evaluation kits that typically target a narrow set of components chosen for the current design. For instance, testing MOSFETs in different packages has required different evaluation boards that may have different gate drivers soldered on. If an engineer wanted to test different MOSFET packages or gate drivers, they would have often been required to purchase several evaluation kits or design their own test board to perform an evaluation. This approach has a detrimental impact on both cost as well as evaluation and development time.

Wolfspeed, a leading supplier of SiC solutions, has responded to this challenge by taking a modular approach with the introduction of the SpeedVal Kit modular evaluation platform. This evaluation platform utilizes a strong network of partners and products to effect an industry-wide journey toward SiC adoption. A key enabler of the modular ecosystem is a partnership with Arrow and its established network of technology manufacturers and service providers. The resulting broad ecosystem offers support for technical questions as well as design discussion opportunities through Wolfspeed’s Power Applications Forum.

At the center of the kit is a motherboard with card-edge connectors serving as interfaces for daughter cards that build the functionality of the power stage under development. This allows engineers to drop in and quickly evaluate various half-bridge power modules, gate drivers, control, and other potential accessories. Designers can test all Wolfspeed discrete devices up to 1200 V, while paired with a wide range of gate driver options from several manufacturers in the ecosystem.

The kit can be operated as a buck or boost converter, both synchronous and asynchronous, or used to perform double-pulse testing (DPT), allowing measurement of:

  • Timing, including TDELAY-ON, TDELAY-OFF, TRISE, TFALL
  • Overshoot, including VDS-MAX, ID-MAX
  • Switching speed, including di/dt, dv/dt
  • Parameters related to switching loss, including reverse recovery charge Qrr, turn-on switching energy EON, turn-off switching energy EOFF, and reverse recovery energy (loss) ERR

By adjusting the external gate resistance RG on the kit, designers can optimize all of the parameters above for the gate driver of their choice.

The half-bridge motherboard supports power daughter cards that come fully assembled with their own thermal management system comprising a heatsink and thermal isolator. The card-edge connection approach enables engineers to rapidly swap out SiC devices without the need for soldering, while maintaining a low-inductance connection to the DC bus to ensure optimal switching performance.

This ability to swap Wolfspeed SiC MOSFETs in a matter of seconds allows designers to test different devices on the same platform, with the same layout and gate driver, so that they can quickly attribute any measured differences to the device itself and dramatically speed up the device selection process.

The platform has many compatible gate driver cards available from carefully selected partners. Users can compare device performance with different gate drivers while holding all other variables constant, and thus quickly arrive at the optimum combination of device and gate driver for their application. Carrying this pairing into the engineer’s own design reduces design risk and shortens the product development cycle time.

The SpeedVal Kit platform works with the following building blocks:

  1. Power Daughter Card (1 required) – Half-bridge configurations of two MOSFETs are optimized for making accurate high-bandwidth current and voltage measurements
  2. Gate Driver Card (1 required) – Two-channel driver card including gate power supplies
  3. Control Card and User Interface (optional) – Brings additional control functionality to the design with easy-to-use GUI
  4. Buck Boost Filter Board (optional) – For high-power testing
  5. Air Core Inductor (optional) – For double-pulse testing.

The kit is supported by the unique partnership with Arrow that makes it easier to test a variety of parts quickly and cost-effectively. Part of this ecosystem are Arrow line card suppliers that are the best in the industry, including but not limited to Analog Devices (ADI), Skyworks, Bourns, NXP, Kemet, Allegro, and Molex. This collaboration continues the development of additional boards to address new and changing design requirements.

Original – Wolfspeed

Navitas Celebrates 75,000,000 GaN Power Shipments

Navitas Semiconductor announced an industry milestone of over 75 million high-voltage GaN units shipped.

GaN is a next-generation technology that is a significant upgrade over conventional high-voltage legacy silicon power semiconductors, that reduces the energy and physical space needed to deliver that performance. It runs up to 20x faster and can also enable up to three times more power handling or three times faster charging capability, in half the size and weight.

Navitas was founded in 2014, and pioneered a revolution in power electronics, beginning with the mass production release of GaNFast™ power ICs in 2018. GaNFast ICs monolithically-integrate GaN power and GaN drive, plus control and protection. Next, GaNSense™ power ICs added autonomous sensing and fast control, with single and half-bridge portfolios. Now, new GaNSense Control ICs combine high-voltage GaN power ICs with high-speed, low-voltage silicon system controllers for even higher integration, ease-of-use and system performance.

As the market-leader in GaN, Navitas is addressing a 2 billion unit per year mobile fast, and now ultra-fast charging market opportunity, with over 240 end-customer chargers reaching production. All of the top 10 mobile OEMs are in production or development with Navitas, including Dell, Samsung, Lenovo, LG, Xiaomi, Asus and OPPO, plus a broad range of aftermarket companies such as Anker, Belkin, Baseus and many more. As smartphone power demand has increased – driven by larger screens, bigger batteries, and 5G functionality – users have insisted on faster charging and ultra-portability. Now, smartphones such as Realme’s GT3 charge from 0-100% in a lightning-fast 9 minutes, 30 seconds using a GaNFast 240 W charger with world-class power density over 2.4 W/cc.

As millions of GaN ICs were shipped, with excellent quality performance, Navitas introduced the world’s first and only 20-year limited warranty, heralding GaN’s entry into higher-power, more-demanding applications, such as home appliance, data center, solar, energy storage and EV.

Navitas’ dedicated Data Center Design Center has created a series of complete, multi-kW platform designs for AC-DC supplies, that exceed Europe’s strict ‘Titanium-plus’ high-efficiency standards, are half the size, and lower cost than legacy silicon solutions. This performance has been confirmed by market-leading customers such as Compuware.

In home appliance and industrial markets, motor drives can be made more efficient, smaller and lighter with GaN in applications such as vacuum cleaners, refrigerator compressors, washing machines and dryers. A typical example is the 400 W drive using three GaNSense half-bridge power ICs, with over 70% reduction in power loss.

For residential solar inverters, GaN can bring an estimated 25% system cost saving vs. legacy silicon due to high-frequency operation and integration. In parallel, Navitas’ GeneSiC™ silicon carbide MOSFETs are already in mass production for higher-power commercial string inverters today, with customers such as KATEK from Germany.

Navitas SiC is also shipping into the EV market today, and Navitas GaN is in development for multi-kW on-board chargers (OBC) and DC-DC converters. ‘Vehicle-to-everything’ (V2x) is the industry term for using an EV to provide power to other loads, whether a home, clinic, or other vehicle. For V2x, Navitas’ EV Design Center platform designs include a 6.6 kW ‘3-in-1’ design, with consolidated bi-directional OBC and DC-DC functions, that achieves up to 17% energy savings and a 1.6x increase in power density vs. competing solutions.

“Next-gen GaNFast technology was the catalyst for a major upgrade in power electronics, and enabled our IPO within 7 years of founding,” said Gene Sheridan, Navitas co-founder and CEO. “We see a GaN opportunity of $13B/year by 2026. Our mission is to ‘Electrify Our World’™ and as each GaN chip sold saves 4 kg of CO2, we’ve so far saved over 150,000 tons of CO2 vs. legacy silicon chips.”

Original – Navitas Semiconductor

Infineon Teams With Infinitum to Drive Decarbonization

At APEC 2023, Infineon Technologies AG announced the company is joining forces with Infinitum, creator of the sustainable, breakthrough air core motor. In this technology collaboration, Infineon will provide silicon carbide (SiC) CoolSiC™ MOSFETs and other key semiconductor components that greatly contribute to the Infinitum motor system’s precise motor control, optimal power and energy savings.

The Infinitum Aircore EC motor for commercial and industrial applications will be showcased at Infineon’s booth #932 at APEC 2023 in Orlando, Florida, 19 to 23 March. The motor uses Infinitum’s patented air-core motor design, which replaces heavy iron used in traditional motors with a lightweight, printed circuit board (PCB). The company’s award-winning motors are 50 percent smaller and lighter, ten percent more efficient and use 66 percent less copper than traditional motors.

“Infineon is a leading provider of silicon carbide chips and embedded technologies that can greatly contribute to Infinitum motor system’s value-added features from an energy, carbon footprint and performance standpoint,” said Rick Tewell, President of Infinitum. “We are excited to team with Infineon on our continued collaboration. The company helps us bring innovative new breakthroughs to our customers in the industrial sector.”

“Infineon and Infinitum are two companies with the same mission to drive decarbonization, with greater efficiency in motor control and less waste in hardware for industrial applications,” said Michael Williams, Director of Product Marketing, Industrial Power Control Division, Infineon Technologies. “We are excited to team with Infinitum, a company that delivers award-winning motor control systems with hardware motor design that has been taken to a whole new level. With our proven SiC and semiconductor technologies, we are helping Infinitum deliver more precise motor control for better power and energy savings.”

As an industry leader in SiC chips, Infineon provides power switching in this arena of voltages at 650 V and above for a wide range of applications that operate in harsh environments. The company has more than two decades of SiC experience. Infineon’s CoolSiC semiconductors also offer added value to customers like Infinitum by providing better efficiency, size and cost compared to silicon-based solutions.

Original – Infineon Technologies

Adoption of 800V in Mass-Market EVs to Boost Transition of Power Electronics to SiC

The demand for electric vehicle (EV) power electronics will increase dramatically in the next ten years, primarily driven by rapid growth in the battery electric vehicle (BEV) car market, where market analyst firm IDTechEx predicts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15% globally over the next decade. Currently, the weighted-average battery capacity of BEV cars is increasing in all regions, piling pressure on battery supply chains, and creating uncertainty. The result is that drive cycle efficiency must come to the forefront of powertrain design, meaning the time has come for high-voltage wide-bandgap (WBG) power electronics.

The new IDTechEx report ‘Power Electronics for Electric Vehicles 2023–2033’ provides insight into the evolving semiconductor and package materials, including silicon, silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductors, die-attach materials, wire bonding and thermal management, as well as forecasts detailing unit sales, GW and US$ demand for inverters, onboard chargers (OBC) and DC-DC converters segmented by voltage (600V, 1200V) and semiconductor type (Si, SiC, GaN).

While silicon insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) have dominated the medium-to-high power device range for 20 years, including in EV power electronics, they are giving way to a new generation of WBG materials: SiC and GaN. This will fundamentally impact the design of new power devices, including the package materials, as high-voltage and high-power-density modules operating at higher temperatures becomes the trend.

The two drivers often cited to move from 350–400V to 800V and beyond are higher power levels of DC fast charging (DCFC), for example 350kW, and drive cycle efficiency gains. DCFC compatibility today is a relatively weak driver due to low availability versus AC chargers and the high costs associated with 800V infrastructure. Indeed, IDTechEx’s report ‘Charging Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles and Fleets 2022–2032’ estimates that about 3 million AC charging installations took place in 2022, compared with ~50,000 DCFCs over 100kW. In addition, higher levels of DCFC do not necessarily drive a transition to 800V, although it is more optimal. Tesla is a good example, having deployed 250kW superchargers without moving beyond its 350V platform.

The efficiency argument for 800V is the stronger one. This allows joule losses to be reduced and high-voltage cabling to be downsized. Combined with SiC MOSFETs, it typically leads to 5-10% efficiency gains, which can potentially downsize the expensive battery, save costs, or improve the vehicle’s range, creating a competitive advantage.

Yet, it is a challenging time for the automotive industry and 800V adoption experienced some pitfalls in 2022. The Lucid Air, the first 900V production car, sold about 7000 units in 2022 after an initial goal of 20,000. Porsche’s Taycan was also one of the OEM’s best-selling models in Europe in 2020–2021, but sales declined in 2022. Both are the results of continued parts shortages and supply chain challenges, for example wire harness shortages due to the Russia–Ukraine war.

On the other hand, Hyundai is demonstrating the success of 800V platforms. Sales of its models using the 800V E-GMP (Electric – Global Module Platform) more than doubled in South Korea to about 70,000 units/year, driven by the popularity of the IONIQ 5 and Kia EV6 models. This takes the 800V car market out of the luxury segment and predominantly into mainstream car segments for the first time. To support the rapid growth, Hyundai is diversifying its SiC supply partnerships, signing new deals with Onsemi and STMicroelectronics in 2022 to add to existing relationships with Infineon and Vitesco.

China is also signaling a transition to 800V vehicles, with development plans from major OEMs in 2022, including BYD, XPeng, Great Wall Motors, GAC, and others. These vehicles will most likely use SiC MOSFETs, allowing the SiC industry to tap into the world’s largest EV market, as China sold over 6.5 million EVs in 2022.

While 1200V SiC MOSFETs (adopted in 800V vehicle platforms) will play a key role in optimizing drive cycle efficiency, it is still only one piece of the puzzle. Drive cycle efficiency can be improved in many areas, from improved battery chemistry to solar bodywork, high-voltage cable reduction per vehicle, 600V SiC, improved motor design, and so on. The task for automakers is to work towards constantly improving the overall drive cycle efficiency to ensure that battery supply does not go wanting.

Original – Semiconductor Today

Aehr Comments on Recent Tesla Statements on Silicon Carbide and Reiterates its Annual Guidance

Aehr Test Systems announced that at the Power America conference on Wide Bandgap Semiconductors held in Raleigh, North Carolina, CEO Gayn Erickson spoke today on Aehr’s interpretation of Tesla statements made at Tesla’s Investor Day on March 1, 2023.

Gayn Erickson, President and CEO of Aehr Test Systems, commented:

“At Tesla’s Investor Day held in Austin, Texas yesterday, Tesla discussed their plans for a next generation drive unit that includes an electric motor with an integrated DC to AC power inverter based on silicon carbide semiconductor MOSFETS. In their presentation, Tesla stated that this new inverter would have a 75% reduction in silicon carbide. Aehr wants to make it clear that despite Tesla’s statements yesterday, Aehr does not expect a 75% reduction in the total market for silicon carbide wafers.

“In summary, we believe the announcement by Tesla does not impact the market significantly, either higher or lower, as they are adding a new half power drive train to be used on a new lower cost platform that will increase the market opportunities for Tesla and help drive volumes particularly in lower cost target markets such as China, but also in the US and around the world. The move to larger die to be package in module form is seen as a benefit for Aehr’s wafer level test and burn-in solution total available market.

“Specifically, Telsa clarified that the 75% reduction applies only to the next generation lower cost drive units to be included in the new model platform, which is still in development with a yet to be announced initial ship date. Tesla clarified that this will not impact the current high-performance model platforms including the Model S/X and Model 3/Y vehicles. Also, we believe that the new chips in the lower cost models will be 100 Amps per device versus 50 Amps per device today and likely 50% or more larger in surface area; therefore, the number of wafers required will be less impacted. This is important as Aehr’s total available market is primarily driven by the number of wafers required, not the number of devices. Tesla did not provide timing on availability of this new drive unit and platform nor whether it would coincide with a new Giga-factory such as the announced new factory to be built in Mexico, or whether this would or could be made in one of Tesla’s current Giga-factories. Tesla stated that this future platform and drive unit would still be on a 400V battery architecture.

“The current Model S/X and Model 3/Y platforms today use an inverter using a half bridge rectifier on each of three phases used to power the engine. Both platforms and both models in each platform all use the same inverter that uses 24 silicon carbide devices which each have two silicon carbide die in each device package. These 48 silicon carbide devices can drive 400A on the 400V system to drive the engine at a simplified 160 kVA power (400V times 400A = 160 kVA).

“The silicon carbide semiconductor for the inverter on the current Models 3, Y, S, and X were originally selected in 2017 and used with the introduction of the Model 3 in 2018. These were earlier generations of silicon carbide and had a lower current density per unit area. They were also rated at lower current than the typical ~ 100A silicon carbide MOSFETs being used in other silicon carbide modules such as those used in other vehicle manufacturers. 100A silicon carbide MOSFETs are also the “sweet spot” for yield as devices exceeding 100A per device yield have been widely reported to have a drop in yield quickly with higher current due to the defect density of silicon carbide materials. Aehr believes it makes sense and stands to reason that Tesla would make a lower cost lower power inverter and drive unit for a new low-cost platform. An inverter made of 12 100A silicon carbide devices would provide a 200A, 400V, 3 phase 80 kVA inverter and create a lower cost drive unit that would be only half the power of the current drive units in current models. In Aehr’s opinion, putting a Model 3 inverter into a lower performance “Model 2” vehicle seems like overkill and unnecessary. It is also important to understand that a 100A device using today’s generation of silicon carbide devices is approximately 50% larger than the devices used in the current Telsa inverters. So, while this new lower performance 800 kVa inverter only uses 12 die or 75% less than the current 48 die design, the die themselves are estimated to be about 50% larger, or require 50% more wafers for the same number of die.

“In addition, during the Q&A session, Tesla further clarified that the new inverters would be made from a new Tesla-proprietary custom module package, and that Tesla would purchase the die from multiple manufacturers and package them in this Tesla-proprietary custom module. Again, Aehr sees this as a natural roadmap and consistent with the roadmaps stated by major manufacturers of silicon carbide where the electric vehicle inverters will migrate multi-chip modules to reduce power conversion losses, improve thermal performance, simplify design, and lower overall cost of the inverter system. As companies migrate to silicon carbide modules with multiple die in a single module package, the need for wafer level test and burn-in become critical to ensuring automotive quality and reliability as well as cost as the yield loss as a result of the stress test induced failures during burn-in become extremely expensive as a single die failure in a module results in throwing away the entire module including the other die in the module. Therefore, we believe the business use case for our solution actually increases. Wafer level test and burn in of 100% of die and extended burn in times will be required to earn Tesla’s business.

“For its fiscal year ending May 31, 2023, Aehr is reiterating its previously provided guidance for total revenue to be $60 million to $70 million, with strong profit margins similar to last fiscal year. Aehr also continues to expect bookings to grow faster than revenues in fiscal 2023 as the ramp in demand for silicon carbide in electric vehicles increases exponentially throughout the decade.”

Original – Aehr Test Systems

onsemi Celebrates Move of its Headquarters to LEED Gold-Certified Building on the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community

onsemi announced the move of its headquarters from Phoenix to Scottsdale. With the new office located on the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC), the inauguration event will include an official welcome to the LEED Gold-certified building at 5701 N. Pima Road by Doran Dalton, assistant community manager, SRPMIC. A ribbon cutting and remarks by Mark Stanton, president and CEO, Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce, will round out the formal part of the festivities, before onsemi employees and guests will enjoy refreshments and entertainment.

By reducing onsemi’s energy consumption by 12.84 million kWh compared to its energy use in 2021, the move to the new headquarters will positively impact onsemi on the journey to its net-zero emissions by 2040 goal. The reduction in energy equals providing electricity to 1,057 homes for an entire year. Based on features such as its windows-to-wall ratio, which improves lighting levels within the building, and lighting equipped with controls that are responsive to ambient daylight throughout the day, the building received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Interior Design and Construction (LEED ID+C) Gold certification in 2019. The open-plan environment will promote innovation, collaboration and creativity for local employees. Amenities include a coffee shop, fitness center, training and conference centers and covered parking for all employees.

“The move to the new headquarters, along with our continued investment in US semiconductor manufacturing and the local economy, marks our ongoing transformation as a company on the heels of a record fiscal year in 2022,” said Hassane El-Khoury, president and chief executive officer, onsemi. “Despite hiring fluctuations in the technology industry, we continue to recruit top talent to drive technology breakthroughs that deliver on the promise of a sustainable future. The location and building of our new headquarters properly reflect those sustainability goals and the desire to be part of the communities we work and live in.”

onsemi’s new home base is part of the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community, which was established in 1879 and is a self-governing tribe that encompasses two sovereign tribes: the Pima and the Maricopa. The SRPMIC has more than 11,000 Salt River tribal members and consists of 52,600 acres of land, many of which are being used for agriculture. Out of respect for its land, the Community maintains 19,000 of its acres as natural preserve. onsemi’s office building is located on the Pima corridor, which is part of the land SRPMIC uses commercially.

Original – onsemi

Nexperia Introduces the First Application-Specific MOSFETs (ASFETs) for Hotswap in SMD Copper-Clip LFPAK88 Packaging for 60% Reduced Footprint

Nexperia announced the release of its first 80 V and 100 V application-specific MOSFETs (ASFETs) for hotswap with enhanced safe operating area (SOA) in a compact 8×8 mm LFPAK88 package. These new ASFETs are fully optimized for demanding hotswap and soft-start applications and are qualified to 175°C for use in advanced telecom and computing equipment.

By applying decades of expertise in both advanced silicon and package development, Nexperia’s PSMN2R3-100SSE (100 V, 2.3 mΩ N-channel ASFET) is the leading addition in the portfolio, delivering low RDS(on) and strong linear-mode (safe operating area) performance in a compact 8×8 mm footprint, tailored to meet the requirements of demanding hotswap applications. Nexperia has also released PSMN1R9-80SSE (80 V, 1.9 mΩ), an 80 V ASFET which responds to the growing trend for using 48 V power rails in computing servers and other industrial applications where environmental conditions allow for MOSFETs with a lower BVDS rating.

ASFETs with enhanced SOA are becoming increasingly popular within hotswap and soft start applications. Their strong linear mode performance is essential to manage in-rush current effectively and reliably when capacitive loads are introduced to the live backplane. Low RDS(on) is also important to minimize I2R losses when the ASFET is fully turned on. Despite the lower RDS(on) and compact package size, Nexperia’s third generation of enhanced SOA technology also achieves 10% SOA improvement compared to previous generations in D2PAK packages (33 A vs 30 A @ 50 V @ 1 ms).

Another innovation from Nexperia is that the new ASFETs for hotswap have fully characterized SOA at both 25 °C and 125 °C. Fully tested, hot SOA curves are provided within the datasheets, removing the need for design engineers to perform thermal de-rating calculations, and significantly extending the useful hot SOA performance.

Until now, ASFETs for hotswap and computing applications were limited to much bigger D2PAK packages (16×10 mm). LFPAK88 packages are the ideal replacement for D2PAK, providing up to 60% space efficiency. The PSMN2R3-100SSE has an RDS(on) of only 2.3 mΩ, representing at least a 40% reduction on currently available devices.  This results not only in industry leading power density improvements of 58x, LFPAK88 also offers two times higher ID (max) current rating, ultra-low thermal and electrical resistance. This release combines the best features of Nexperia’s advanced silicon and copper clip packaging technologies, including a smaller footprint, lower RDS(on) and improved SOA performance. Nexperia also offers a range of 25 V, 30 V, 80 V & 100 V ASFETs in a 5×6 mm LFPAK56E package, optimized for lower power applications where smaller PCB footprint is needed.

Original – Nexperia

Infineon and Delta Electronics to Collaborate on Electromobility

Infineon Technologies AG and Delta Electronics, Inc., the world-leading power and energy management company based in Taiwan, are expanding their long-term cooperation from industrial to automotive applications. Both companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will deepen their joint innovation activities to provide more efficient and higher-density solutions for the fast-growing market of electric vehicles (EV). The agreement covers a wide range of components such as high-voltage and low-voltage discretes and modules as well as microcontrollers to be used in EV drivetrain applications such as traction inverters, DC-DC converters and on-board chargers.

In addition, both parties agreed to set up a joint innovation lab for automotive applications. The Delta-Infineon Automotive Innovation Center will be co-managed by both companies. It is scheduled to be set up in Pingzhen, Taiwan in the second half of 2023.

“Infineon and Delta share the common goal of developing increasingly energy-efficient and CO 2-saving solutions that support global decarbonization efforts,” said Peter Schiefer, President of Infineon’s Automotive division. “We want to further advance the energy efficiency of electromobility together by combining Infineon’s comprehensive automotive product portfolio and application know-how with Delta’s expertise in integration and system optimization. Ensuring the energy efficiency of automotive applications is of paramount importance in our time and we are committed to further improving it.”

“Infineon is a trusted partner of Delta. Over the past 25 years we have successfully collaborated in the area of industrial products. We are now looking forward to extending this partnership to electromobility,” said James Tang, Corporate Vice President of Delta Electronics. “We see a growing demand in the automotive industry for innovative, clean and energy-efficient solutions. Together with Infineon, we are committed to support the global transition to electromobility with our products and solutions and to bring electromobility to a whole new level.”

Original – Infineon Technologies

onsemi Honored with Supplier of the Year 2022 Award by Hyundai Motor Group

onsemi received the 2022 Supplier of the Year Award from global automotive leader Hyundai Motor Group (HMG) at its Global Supplier Day in Montgomery. HMG recognized onsemi as a trusted provider of key technology in its ecosystem, offering supply chain resilience and manufacturing sustainability.

“HMG is pleased to announce that onsemi has been recognized as a ’2022 Supplier of the Year’,” said Hyokjoon Lee, vice president, head of Electronic Parts Purchasing Group, HMG. “Not only for the hard work in maintaining supply stability during 2022, but also for the continuous communication and strategic collaboration between both companies, which raised our relationship to a new level.”

“Our collaboration with HMG is rooted in the superior performance of our intelligent power and sensing technologies,” said Mike Balow, executive vice president, Sales, onsemi. “As important as performance are our manufacturing capabilities, quickly growing vertically integrated silicon carbide supply chain and supply resilience. Together, they enable onsemi to support HMG’s high-volume production of innovative EVs equipped with advanced semiconductor materials.”

As a top-tier eco-friendly brand that has earned its customers’ trust and meets their evolving demands, HMG provides electric vehicles equipped with outstanding electrification systems on its Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). HMG is moving toward pilot programs both in South Korea and overseas to augment the safety of Level 4 vehicle automation, which minimizes driver intervention. As a trusted supplier, onsemi helps HMG to achieve its goals by providing intelligent power and sensing solutions.

Original – onsemi

Wolfspeed Hosts the First Stop on the Biden Administration’s ‘Invest in America’ Tour at its Durham HQ

Wolfspeed, Inc. hosted the first stop of President Joe Biden’s ‘Invest in America’ tour at the company’s Durham, N.C. headquarters. The President highlighted initiatives designed to boost American manufacturing, rebuild the nation’s infrastructure and strengthen supply chains. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper were also in attendance at the event.

As an American company at the forefront of the transition from silicon to Silicon Carbide to enhance technology efficiency and energy savings, Wolfspeed is committed to shaping the future of the semiconductor markets. Initiatives like the CHIPS & Science Act that are investing in and advancing the semiconductor industry will help propel the transition to electric vehicles, the move to faster 5G networks, the evolution of renewable energy and energy storage, and the advancement of industrial applications.

“We’re honored to have been the first stop on the President’s ‘Invest in America’ tour and to be recognized for our commitment to growing U.S. manufacturing and making a name for North Carolina in the tech space,” said Wolfspeed President and CEO, Gregg Lowe. “Silicon Carbide is at the heart of what we do — it’s essential to accelerating the adoption of EVs, delivering energy savings to consumers, and meeting global emission reduction targets. Wolfspeed is proud to play a critical role in fulfilling the objectives of the CHIPS & Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, and to reinforce U.S. leadership in the energy transition and the semiconductor industry.”

Wolfspeed currently produces more than 60% of the world’s Silicon Carbide materials at its Durham, N.C. headquarters, but is engaged in a $6.5 billion capacity expansion effort to dramatically increase production. This includes the opening of the company’s 200mm Mohawk Valley device fab in April 2022, and the construction of The John Palmour Manufacturing Center for Silicon Carbide, a 445-acre Silicon Carbide materials facility in North Carolina, which will expand the company’s existing materials capacity by more than 10x. Phase one construction for the materials facility is anticipated to be completed in 2024. Last month, Wolfspeed also announced plans to build a highly-automated, cutting-edge 200mm wafer fabrication facility in Saarland, Germany.

Original – Wolfspeed

SEMIKRON Foundation and ECPE Honour the Team from Silicon Austria Labs with the Innovation Award 2023 while this Year’s Young Engineer Award Goes to Bo Yao

This year, the jury decided that the SEMIKRON Innovation Award 2023 goes to Christian Mentin and his team members Thomas Langbauer, Ismail Recepi, Alexander Connaughton, Milan Pajnic, Franz Vollmaier, Werner Konrad, Philipp Matzick, Lukas Adelbrecht from Silicon Austria Labs (SAL), Austria for their “Tiny Power Box – Next Generation of EV Charging Technologies”.

In the frame of the “Tiny Power Box” cooperative research project the team from SAL has developed a 7kW bi-directional on-board charger (OBC) prototype more than 5-times smaller and 4-times lighter than state-of-the-art automotive solutions. This leap forward in power density was accompanied with an equally significant jump in energy efficiency thanks to the novel electro-thermal co-simulation and optimization method developed in the project.

Typical OBCs today have a peak efficiency of 92% to 96% whereas the Tiny Power Box achieves 98% peak efficiency despite its very compact design. The developed OBC offers bi-directional operation and an integrated low-voltage DC/DC stage from the main battery voltage to 12V. Besides the top benchmark values of the developed OBC regarding efficiency and power density, the holistic design-by-simulation workflow for power density optimization is highly appreciated by the jury members.A significant impact of the innovation on future e-mobility can be expected from the very high performance in efficiency and power density in combination with the bi-directional functionality e.g. in vehicle-to-grid (V2G) and vehicle-to-home (V2H) scenarios.

The SEMIKRON Young Engineer Award 2023 goes to Bo Yao from the Aalborg University in Denmark for his work on “A Robust kV and kA Testing Method for DC/AC Capacitors”.

The work in the area of passive components is addressing a cutting-edge capacitor testing method, which is suitable for application-oriented testing of high-power capacitor banks e.g. in wind power, railway traction or electric vehicles. The innovative test method is able to emulate robust electrical stresses to DC/AC capacitors with minimum hardware cost and minimum energy consumption. Specifically, during the lifetime testing, the proposed test method can continuously apply kV and kA ripple stresses and keep the lowest power consumption regardless of the capacitor degradation, which cannot be achieved by conventional ways.

The circuit topology, control structure, and corresponding testing capability are well presented. Compared with existing test methods the proposed innovation clearly shows the superior benchmark of required power, ripple voltage and current range. The feasibility of the novel capacitor testing method has been successfully demonstrated and verified in full-power experiments on both DC and AC capacitors. The presented method will enable application-oriented capacitor testing especially for MW converter systems e.g. in wind power and railway traction. It will not only offer significant energy savings during the capacitor test but also contribute to the safe and reliable converter operation in renewable energy and sustainable transport applications.

Original – Semikron Danfoss

Mr. Tsuneishi Takes Office as Outside Director of Resonac Holdings

Resonac Holdings Corporation announced that, at the 114th Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders of the company held on March 30, 2023, Mr. Tetsuo Tsuneishi was newly elected as Outside Director of the company and took office as Outside Director on the same day.

The Resonac Group positions its semiconductor and electronic material business as a core-growth business in its business portfolio, and has been conducting a thorough reform of its investment policy in order to concentrate its investment on semiconductor and electronic material business.  To promote this reform into the right direction speedily, Resonac’s management team requires participation of capable person who has expertise in the semiconductor industry and experience in management of global business operation. 

In this context, Resonac decided to invite Mr. Tsuneishi to be its Outside Director.  Mr. Tsuneishi joined Tokyo Electron Ltd. in 1976, became Director of Tokyo Electron Ltd. in 1992, and participated in the management team of the semiconductor manufacturing equipment company for many years.  Thus, Mr. Tsuneishi has rich expertise in global management and the semiconductor industry.  Resonac believes that Mr. Tsuneishi’s participation in the management team will increase Resonac’s corporate value and strengthen its management power.

Comment by Tetsuo Tsuneishi, Outside Director

  • Resonac has a long history of about one hundred years since its foundation.  In recent years, Resonac has been promoting selection and concentration of business operations, reviewing its business portfolio, executing bold mergers and acquisitions, and focusing its management resources on semiconductor and electronic material business which creates high added value.  I have been paying attention to Resonac because the company also continues strengthening competitiveness of its conventional products with leading technologies and enhancing the company’s true corporate value through groupwide courageous challenge.  I would like to contribute to growth of the company  which aims to win through in the global competition and desires to be rated high in the global capital market.

Comment by Hidehito Takahashi, President and CEO

  • Since January 2023, Resonac has been promoting structural reform to position its semiconductor material business as a central field that supports growth of the company.  I believe Mr. Tsuneishi’s excellent judgement nourished through his rich experience in the semiconductor industry and sincere effort to enhance corporate value are indispensable for Resonac’s success in this reform.  Therefore, I’m sure his inauguration of this time will strengthen Resonac’s management power directly.  I’m looking forward to having lively discussion at the Board of Directors’ meetings.

Original – Resonac

Wolfspeed and NC A&T to Establish Joint R&D Facility to Further Advance Silicon Carbide Innovation

Wolfspeed, Inc. and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, America’s leading historically Black college or university, announced their intent to apply for CHIPS and Science Act funding to build a new research and development facility on the North Carolina A&T campus. The R&D facility will be focused on Silicon Carbide to support the next generation of advanced compound semiconductors. Wolfspeed and A&T intend to submit the project for federal investment as part of the CHIPS and Science Act when the Notice of Funding Opportunity for R&D facilities is released this fall.

“Wolfspeed has been working with North Carolina A&T to develop a workforce of the future, and we are excited to expand that partnership to develop the technology of the future,” said Gregg Lowe, President and CEO of Wolfspeed. “The R&D facility will enable the next generation of innovators to explore new processes, applications and breakthrough advancements to support the global transition from silicon to Silicon Carbide technology and achieve new levels of sustainability and energy efficiency across a variety of industries.”

The announcement was made at an event with President Joe Biden at Wolfspeed’s headquarters in Durham, N.C., and the R&D facility is intended to augment the company’s establishment of the John Palmour Manufacturing Center for Silicon Carbide, the world’s largest Silicon Carbide crystal growth facility, currently under construction in Siler City, North Carolina. Phase one construction is anticipated to be completed in 2024 and, upon completion of the full build out and combined with the company’s currently ongoing materials expansion at its Durham headquarters, will increase material production for Wolfspeed more than 10x and create 1,800 new jobs. The facility will supply 200mm Silicon Carbide wafers to Wolfspeed’s Mohawk Valley Fab, which opened last year in New York as the world’s first, largest and only 200mm Silicon Carbide fabrication facility. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper were also in attendance at the event.

“As one of the top three public research universities in North Carolina and the nation’s largest HBCU, we are keenly interested in the future of the semiconductor chip industry in our state,” said Chancellor Martin. “As a research and education partner with Wolfspeed, we bring deep academic and scientific strengths in STEM disciplines to our collaboration, as well as the fact that we produce more Black engineers than any university in the nation. This new facility will integrate our research and development interests toward major economic and social impact, not just in North Carolina, but globally. The possibilities are tremendously exciting.”

Wolfspeed has recognized A&T, one of the nation’s leading engineering institutions, as a critical component of the company’s talent development strategy. In 2020, Wolfspeed committed $4 million over five years to the HBCU, the single largest donation in the university’s history at the time, to create the Wolfspeed Endowed Scholars Program. In September 2022, the two entities announced a partnership to develop a comprehensive education and training curricula, including undergraduate and graduate credentials in Silicon Carbide semiconductor manufacturing, as well as training and career advancement programs for existing semiconductor manufacturing workers.

To further support Wolfspeed’s growing talent needs, the company is working with several schools within North Carolina’s robust community college system to develop the skills required for its advanced manufacturing needs. This includes apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship opportunities, customized training curricula, career and college promise pathways for high school students, and work-based learning programs.

Original – Wolfspeed

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