2021 kicks off with hot news for silicon carbide

 The emergence of wide gap semiconductors has been well documented over the past few years. Offering improved speeds, efficiency and operating conditions, new semiconductor materials such as gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC) have proven to be very useful in high voltage applications. These applications include power electronics, electric vehicles, and more.


2021 kicks off with hot news for silicon carbide

In 2021, there was already a lot of news about SiC technologies both in industry and in academia. For example, this month, ROHM Semiconductor announced the completion of a new plant specifically built to expand the company's SiC production capacity. Designed to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% over traditional facilities, the new plant will use state-of-the-art SiC manufacturing technologies to improve production efficiency, increase wafer diameter and increase product yields.


2021 kicks off with hot news for silicon carbide

Just this month, several research institutes and semiconductor suppliers have released new SiC-based designs that can address both manufacturing and design challenges.


In the world of academia, SiC's notable headline for 2021 has been sounded by the latest research from the Nagoya Institute of Technology. A group of researchers has presented a method for non-destructive measurement of carrier lifetimes in silicon carbide devices. This is an important achievement as many researchers have tried to balance the SiC carrier lifetimes, looking for a middle ground between sufficient conductivity modulation (which requires a long carrier lifetime) and switching loss (which requires a shorter carrier lifetime). In the past, this effort could only be measured using invasive methods, requiring researchers to literally dissect and analyze semiconductors.


2021 kicks off with hot news for silicon carbide

In their proposed method, the researchers used an exciting laser to create carriers and a probe laser with a detector to measure the lifetime of excited carriers. With a technique that simplifies non-invasive analysis, engineers can finally begin fine-tuning the carrier lifetimes to achieve the ideal balance of conduction modulation and low switching losses. In the future, this may lead to the emergence of a new generation of SiC devices with higher performance.


Another SiC achievement was made by researchers from the Institute for Solar Energy Systems. Fraunhofer (ISE), who recently discovered a new type of SiC transistor that can connect directly to the medium voltage grid due to the high blocking voltage. These new devices differ from most inverters, which are powered by a low voltage network, but can be connected to a medium voltage network using 50 Hz transformers.


2021 kicks off with hot news for silicon carbide

From scientific advances to new products being brought to market, SiC technology looks set to grow exponentially in the coming years. In fact, some industry analysts predict that the global SiC market will grow from $ 749 million in 2020 to $ 1,812 million by 2025.

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