SMART SiC Power ICs (Scalable, Manufacturable, and Robust Technology for SiC Power Integrated Circuits)
Power integrated circuits (ICs), which combine both control and conversion functions, are used in many applications such as motor control, drive inverters for automobiles, and switch-mode power supplies in battery chargers. Current Power ICs are based on silicon (Si) CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) and LDMOS (laterally diffused metal-oxide semiconductor) technology but are inherently restricted to low wattage, 100-200 W or less, which limits their applications. There is a movement to use power ICs based on wide-bandgap semiconductors, such as silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN), for compact chargers and power supplies as they can provide higher power ratings compared to silicon-based power ICs.
Project Innovation + Advantages:
The State University of New York Polytechnic Institute will develop a scalable, manufacturable, and robust technology platform for silicon carbide (SiC) power integrated circuits. The team will leverage the relatively high maturity of SiC technology to develop highly scalable SiC integrated circuits and support devices and establish a manufacturable process baseline in a state-of-the-art, 6-inch fabrication facility. This allows for much higher power (as compared to silicon) integrated circuits in future. The technology platform opens the door to a myriad of high-performance energy applications, including automotive, industrial, electronic data processing, energy harvesting, and power conditioning.
It is expected that SiC power IC technology will extend performance to 10x higher power levels than Silicon power ICs and will revolutionize many energy applications.
More robust power electronics that withstand higher operating temperatures, have increased durability, a smaller form factor, and higher efficiency will significantly improve the reliability and security of a resilient electrical grid.
Low cost and highly efficient power electronics could lead to more affordable electric and hybrid-electric transportation, greater integration of renewable power sources, and higher efficiency electric motors for use in heavy industries and consumer applications.
Electricity is the fastest growing form of end-use energy in the United States. High performance, low cost power electronics would enable significant efficiency gains across the economy, reducing energy costs for businesses and families.