© pichetw dreamstime.com Analysis | May 27, 2015
Dedicated SiC device manufacturing capabilities more common
New wide band gap (WBG) materials are changing the power electronics industry landscape. Silicon carbide (SiC)-based devices are intended for high voltage, up to 1.7 kV, high frequency and high temperature applications.
These include rail, power factor correction (PFC), electric and hybrid electric vehicle (EV/HEV) inverters, electricity grid applications and wind and photovoltaic (PV) inverters. “The performance of SiC-based devices clearly adds value compared to silicon device technology”, comments Dr Hong Lin, Technology & Market Analyst at Yole Développement. “Moreover, the WBG penetration makes efficient packages mandatory, so that devices’ high frequency, high voltage or high temperature capabilities can be best exploited”, she adds. In two of its technology and market analyses, Status of the Power Electronics Industry (Feb. 2015) and SiC Modules, Devices and Substrates for the Power Electronics Market (Oct. 2014), Yole confirms the commercialization of SiC-based devices in the rail traction segment, for example with Mitsubishi Electric in Japan. In parallel, PV inverters have already been launched based on WBG devices.
- Global Power Technology became the first company in China to commercialize SiC power devices with a capacity of 1000 wafers per year.
- SGCC and CSR are developing SiC technology for grid and rail applications, respectively.
- The leading Chinese EV/HEV player, BYD, showed clear interest in using SiC technology in its cars and has tested devices from Cree.