Power Semiconductors Weekly Vol. 91

STMicroelectronics and Soitec Cooperate on SiC Substrate Manufacturing Technology

STMicroelectronics and Soitec announced the next stage of their cooperation on Silicon Carbide (SiC) substrates, with the qualification of Soitec’s SiC substrate technology by ST planned over the next 18 months. The goal of this cooperation is the adoption by ST of Soitec’s SmartSiC™ technology for its future 200mm substrate manufacturing, feeding its devices and modules manufacturing business, with volume production expected in the midterm.

“The transition to 200mm SiC wafers will bring substantial advantages to our automotive and industrial customers as they accelerate the transition toward electrification of their systems and products. It is important in driving economies of scale as product volumes ramp,” said Marco Monti, President Automotive and Discrete Group, STMicroelectronics. “We have chosen a vertically integrated model to maximize our know-how across the full manufacturing chain, from high-quality substrates to large-scale front- and back-end production. The goal of the technology cooperation with Soitec is to continue to improve our manufacturing yields and quality.”

“The automotive industry is facing major disruption with the advent of electric vehicles. Our cutting-edge SmartSiC™ technology, which adapts our unique SmartCut™ process to silicon carbide semiconductors, will play a key role in accelerating their adoption,” said Bernard Aspar, Chief Operating Officer of Soitec. “The combination of Soitec’s SmartSiC™ substrates with STMicroelectronics’ industry-leading silicon carbide technology and expertise is a game- changer for automotive chip manufacturing that will set new standards.”

Silicon Carbide (SiC) is a disruptive compound semiconductor material with intrinsic properties providing superior performance and efficiency over silicon in key, high-growth power applications for electric mobility and industrial processes, among others. It allows for more efficient power conversion, lighter and more compact designs, and overall system-design cost savings – all key parameters and factors for success in automotive and industrial systems.

Transitioning from 150mm to 200mm wafers will enable a substantial capacity increase, with almost twice the useful area for manufacturing integrated circuits, delivering 1.8 – 1.9 times as many working chips per wafer.

SmartSiC™ is a proprietary Soitec technology which uses Soitec proprietary SmartCut™ technology, to split a thin layer of a high quality SiC ‘donor’ wafer, and bond it on top of a low resistivity ‘handle’ polySiC wafer. The engineered substrate then improves device performance and manufacturing yields. The prime quality SiC ‘donor’ wafer can be reused multiple times, significantly reducing the overall energy consumption required to produce it.

Transphorm Expands Footprint with GaN Application Lab in China

Transphorm, Inc. has opened a new office in Shenzhen, China. As a wholly foreign-owned enterprise (WFOE), the site will house staff responsible for enhancing local customer support, sales, and marketing efforts. It will also serve as an application lab for regional customers developing GaN-based power systems as well as global R&D efforts. The office will be overseen by Kenny Yim, Transphorm’s current Vice President of Asia Sales, as he also assumes the role of General Manager, China. He will be supported by Chun Hung Ho, Head of Applications, Asia, and seven-year-veteran of Transphorm.

“China, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asia house several dynamic industries re-imagining power electronics through high performance GaN. Shenzhen also stands as a major electronics technology hub within China,” said Kenny. “Establishing a formal presence in the city is critical to our growth strategy as our customers look to leverage the region’s power electronics innovation. Having an application lab there allows us to easily tap into the nearshore engineering talent pool while better supporting customers at their own local design centers. It’s a win-win for all.”

As a leader in high voltage GaN power semiconductors, Transphorm offers an unmatched GaN device portfolio able to address the power spectrum from 45 W to 10 kW+. As a result, the company supplies to product manufacturers operating in the broadest range of markets from adapters and computing to broad industrial and automotive. Recently announced customer products—65 W power adapters and a medical energy storage device—were designed and manufactured in the APAC region, emphasizing the importance of Transphorm expanding its capabilities there.

Transphorm Application Lab in China

“The power GaN market is expected to reach 2 billion USD by 2027, according to research firm Yole Intelligence. The demand for our GaN products and resources is rising in tandem,” said Tushar Dhayagude, VP WW Sales, Transphorm. “We’re committed to helping our customers achieve their goals and understand that this commitment calls for dedicated field support. With that in mind, Shenzhen proved to be the optimal place to open our formal Transphorm APAC facility. We’re proud to now be an official part of the technology community in Shenzhen and look forward to successfully scaling our presence.”

As stated above, Kenny will lead the new lab as General Manager of China. He brings more than 25 years of experience in the semiconductor industry, more than a decade of that gained while working for Transphorm heading up sales in the APAC region. He and his Asia team are credited with helping Transphorm develop numerous customer relationships in various markets such as power adapters, data centers, gaming, blockchain computing, and renewable energy. Kenny previously held sales positions with global semiconductor companies Cree Inc. (now Wolfspeed) and International Rectifier prior to its acquisition by Infineon.

Regarding Kenny’s new role, Co-founder and President Primit Parikh commented, “Kenny’s contributions over the past ten years at Transphorm have been instrumental in our overall customer adoption to date. His efforts in Asia, China in particular, have enabled us to pioneer the adoption of GaN across the power spectrum from low power to high power, including in key patented solutions such as the Totem Pole PFC and a variety of other power topologies.”

The new office is fully operational and already serving our broad customer base in China.

Jaguar TCS Racing Reveal I-TYPE 6 – The Most Advanced All-Electric Jaguar Race Car Ever

Jaguar TCS Racing have revealed the Jaguar I-TYPE 6, designed and engineered to compete for the 2023 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, as the innovative all-electric motorsport category moves into a new Gen3 era.

The Jaguar I-TYPE 6 is the most advanced and efficient electric Jaguar race car ever. It is the first FIA Formula E race car to feature both front and rear powertrains, as 250kW regen is added to the front and 350kW regen added at the rear, doubling the regenerative capability over the Gen2 model and removing the need for conventional rear brakes.

Commencing in January 2023, the Gen3 era of Formula E will bring faster and more exciting wheel-to-wheel racing on street circuits across the globe. Pioneering new cutting-edge technologies, the third generation of Jaguar’s Formula E race car will set new performance benchmarks: 74kg lighter and 100kW more powerful than the cars that have preceded it, and now capable of reaching a maximum speed of 200mph.

Jaguar TCS Racing head into the 2023 season with a new, distinctive identity. The compelling colour palette features carbon black, satin white and sophisticated gold accents, with the asymmetric design of the Jaguar I-TYPE 6 livery creating two unique cars for drivers Mitch Evans and Sam Bird. Uniquely in Formula E, the Jaguar driver line-up remains the same for the third consecutive season bringing valuable consistency.

The next generation of Formula E will continue to be a real-world test bed for Jaguar TCS Racing and Jaguar Land Rover, as the team develops and innovates new cutting-edge technology to compete for World Championship success, it will power important race-to-road learning for electric powertrain, sustainability and software technologies.

Innovation and technology transfer from the Jaguar I-TYPE 6 will directly enable the reimagination of Jaguar as an all-electric, modern luxury brand from 2025. Racing in a zero-emission motorsport category with the world’s most sustainable race car showcases Jaguar Land Rover’s own commitment to have zero tailpipe emissions and to achieve carbon net zero across its supply chain, products and operations by 2039 as part of its Reimagine strategy.

Jaguar TCS Racing are entering the 2023 season having recently been awarded FIA Three-Star Environmental Accreditation, the highest possible rating. It confirms that the team demonstrate best practice and commitment in environmental management, while continuously striving to improve existing processes.

Ahead of the 2023 championship, Wolfspeed has been confirmed as Official Power Semiconductor Partner. The partnership builds on Wolfspeed’s existing relationship with the team since 2017, where its advanced Silicon Carbide technology has been used to accelerate on-track efficiency and performance. It comes as Jaguar Land Rover also recently announced a strategic partnership with Wolfspeed, securing supply of Silicon Carbide semiconductors for the next generation of electric vehicle inverters. Both partnerships will support the technology and knowledge transfer from race-to-road with a particular focus on efficiency. 

After two successful years with the team, Micro Focus is renewing its partnership as Official Technical Partner. Its world-class software and services, such as IDOL and Vertica Analytics Platform, are embedded into the team’s operations, enabling them to collect and process vast amounts of data, creating more accurate predictions and time-critical decisions during races, which leads to more points, podiums and wins for the team.

Wolfspeed and Micro Focus join an existing portfolio of world-class partners made up of global IT services, consulting and business solutions organisation Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), which continues its multi-year title sponsorship of the team. In addition, GKN Automotive, Dow, and Castrol, and suppliers Alpinestars and Uncommon are connected in the pursuit of performance and innovation for Jaguar TCS Racing.

This is the first season that Jaguar will supply its successful powertrain technology to fellow British-based team Envision Racing, meaning there will be four Jaguar powered Formula E cars on the grid.

Jaguar TCS Racing will race in Mexico City, on 14 January 2023 for the first of 17 races in 12 cities.

After Jaguar TCS Racing’s biggest points haul to date last season in Formula E, with Mitch Evans finishing runner-up in the Drivers’ World Championship, the British team are working hard to once again fight for the World Championship title in 2023.

ROHM and BASiC Semiconductor Form a Strategic Partnership

Shenzhen BASiC Semiconductor and ROHM have entered into a strategic partnership agreement on SiC power devices for automotive applications. A signing ceremony was held at ROHM’s headquarters in Kyoto to commemorate the occasion.

Under this agreement, the two companies will leverage their respective strengths to innovate and improve the performance of SiC power devices and develop higher performing, more efficient and reliable SiC solutions for new energy vehicles.

The first step involves supplying onboard power modules that leverage the combined technologies to several major automakers for use in electric vehicle powertrains. And going forward, both ROHM and BASiC Semiconductor will contribute to technological innovation in the automotive sector by accelerating the development of innovative power solutions centered on SiC.

‘Amid the undergoing technological revolution of new energy vehicles, the emergence of SiC power devices stands out as the key to improving electric drive efficiency. BASiC Semiconductor’s early involvement in the automotive SiC power module business has led to breakthroughs in both product and market development. We are honored to work with ROHM, an internationally renowned semiconductor manufacturer, to develop high performance, high reliability automotive SiC power devices that meet customer needs and contribute to innovation in electric vehicle technology while reducing CO2 emissions.’

‘We are extremely pleased to enter into a strategic partnership with BASiC to provide competitive SiC solutions for the new energy vehicle market. ROHM has long been working towards achieving a decarbonized society through advanced electronics technologies. As the role of semiconductors in the automotive market continues to grow, ROHM will strive to manufacture high quality products that can lead to the creation of a safe, secure, environmentally friendly society.’

Purdue University and GlobalFoundries Partner to Strengthen Research and Development, Semiconductor Education

Purdue University, a public university with leading semiconductor workforce development and R&D programs, and GlobalFoundries announced a new strategic partnership to strengthen and expand collaboration on semiconductor research and education.

The announcement was made following a virtual signing ceremony with Dr. Mung Chiang, president-elect and executive vice president of Purdue University, and Dr. Thomas Caulfield, president and CEO of GF. The agreement outlines collaboration opportunities between GF and Purdue on joint research and development projects as well as educational opportunities.

“Purdue launched the semiconductor degrees program (SDP) earlier in 2022, continued to grow world leading research in semiconductors, and welcomed multiple companies to our new Discovery Park District. We are excited to partner with GlobalFoundries to crystalize our offerings into programs relevant to the foundation of digital economy,” Chiang said. “We are intensifying our efforts not only to scale-up the talent pipeline, but also to create the depth of innovation expertise needed to advance U.S. leadership in semiconductors.”

“Today’s announcement underscores the widespread appreciation of how GF’s feature-rich chips enable many of the devices and technologies humanity relies on every day, and ever-growing recognition of the strategic importance of semiconductors to global supply chains and economic security,” Caulfield said. “To accelerate this forward momentum, GF is proud to partner with Purdue on jointly advancing semiconductor research and development, working together with Purdue’s talented faculty and students.”

For GF, the partnership with Purdue will be overseen by GF Labs, which leads the company’s research and development efforts to advance GF’s differentiated technology portfolio in partnership with leading academic, government, and industry collaborators.

Earlier this year, Purdue launched the first large-scale comprehensive semiconductor degrees program in the United States, with a set of innovative, interdisciplinary degrees and credentials in semiconductors and microelectronics. GF Chief Technology Officer Gregg Bartlett is an inaugural member of Purdue’s Semiconductor Degrees Leadership Board, which advises on the program and its curriculum. The area is among the critical topics under Purdue’s Next Moves, strategic initiatives that advance the university’s competitive advantage.

Wolfspeed Webinar: Virtual Seminar 2022

Created with the design engineer in mind, Wolfspeed’s Virtual Seminar event will cover a variety of topics from capacitance ratios to selecting optimal topologies with SpeedFit.

With recent advancements in Power Electronics and efforts to combat climate change, the emergence of wide bandgap semiconductors like Silicon Carbide (SiC) in power conversion has created unique opportunities for innovation in the field of semiconductor packaging. One of the seminars sessions will focus on basic SiC packaging techniques and solutions for new challenges faced as we transition from packaging Silicon (Si) to packaging SiC.

Wolfspeed Virtual Seminar 2022

The second session will provide an overview of the SpeedFit 2.0 online simulation tool, and how to use it to make design decisions. A practical design example of a 3.6kW AC-DC converter will be examined using SpeedFit to evaluate different topologies, test different SiC MOSFETs, and compare the efficiency, power loss, and junction temperature in each scenario. This allows the engineer to quickly make these design assessments and move into the design phase with confidence.

  • Date: December 07, 2022
  • Time: 9 AM EST

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