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Electronics Production | December 14, 2010

'Neuland': Halving energy losses with new Semiconductor Materials

Six partners from the semiconductor and solar industries are joining forces in the <em>Neuland</em> project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to explore new avenues for the efficient use of electricity from renewable sources.
Neuland stands for innovative power devices with high energy efficiency and cost effectiveness based on wide bandgap compound semiconductors. The project aims to reduce the losses in feeding electricity into the grid, e.g. in photovoltaic inverters, by as much as 50% – without significantly increasing system costs. This is to be achieved using innovative semiconductor devices based on silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride on silicon (GaN-on-Si).

The new semiconductor devices are also to be used in future in switched-mode power supplies for desktop and laptop PCs, for flat-screen TVs, servers and telecommunication systems with a view to likewise reducing energy losses in these applications by about half.

The Neuland project will run until mid-2013 and is headed by Infineon. The project will receive funding at 52.6% to the tune of approximately Euro 4.7 million from the BMBF under the Federal Government’s High-Tech Strategy (“Information and Communications Technology 2020”, ICT 2020 program) as part of the call for proposals on “Power Electronics for Energy Efficiency Enhancement”.

Background

The project consortium brings together outstanding expertise in SiC and GaN across a very wide area of the value chain. Aixtron is represented as a provider of equipment for the semiconductor industry, and the SiCrystal and Azzurro companies as wafer manufacturers. The semiconductor device know-how will be supplied by MicroGaN and Infineon, and the experience in systems engineering for photovoltaic applications will come from SMA Solar Technology.

Comments

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