SiC and GaN-on-Si boost power electronics

SiC and GaN-on-Si can halve the energy loss in switched mode power supplies for PCs and can increase the efficiency of power electronics by a third, suggest  findings from the Euros 3.4 million NeuLandproject funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

The project was directed by Infineon which uses SiC in its JFETs and diodes for the 600V to 1700V voltage class  primarily used in switched-mode power supplies for PCs or televisions and in motor drives. In the future they may also gain major significance for solar inverters. In future, also solar inverters could considerably profit.

Before NeuLand, SiC was a very expensive wafer material. Thanks to the results of NeuLand research there are now more SiC vendors and the number of possible applications has grown.

Solar inverters for example profit from considerable material savings with no change in effectiveness, making them even more cost-efficient.

However, results also showed that the cost of SiC components will have to drop even more for the wide-scale application in solar inverters and that for GaN-based components further intensive research is required on reliability, service lifetime and costs.


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