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news digest ♦ Power Electronics


to 67 percent in 2015. In addition, Strategy Analytics forecasts that revenue growth rates for GaN devices in wireless infrastructure, high power electronics and CATV/VSAT (very small aperture terminals) will all exceed 100 percent.


“Driven by performance advantages like efficiency, power dissipation and operating temperature, GaN is finally starting to generate interest in commercial market applications,” noted Eric Higham, Director of the Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Semiconductor Technologies Service.


“GaN developments by device manufacturers like RFMD and Nitronex (for CATV applications) and International Rectifier and EPC (for power converter applications) are displacing other technologies. Operators and equipment manufacturers are recognising the operating cost advantage that GaN can provide.”


Asif Anwar, Director in the Strategy Analytics Strategic Technologies Practice, added, “Military applications and government funding for semiconductor companies like TriQuint and Cree will continue to drive GaN development. Additionally, the overall GaN market will expand with demand for commercial applications.”


The Strategy Analytics report covers GaN technology trends, advantages, disadvantages and challenges to wider deployment in military and commercial applications. It also reviews some of the centrally funded programs from the US, Europe and Japan.


Cree silicon carbide chips energise power electronics


The company’s SiC MOSFET chips can create new opportunities for energy efficiency in solar, telecom and industrial power applications.


Cree says it is continuing to advance the revolution in high-efficiency power electronics with the release of the industry’s first fully


206 www.compoundsemiconductor.net January / February 2012


qualified SiC MOSFET power devices in “bare die” or chip form for use in power electronics modules.


Cree’s SiC Z-FET MOSFETs and diodes are used in advanced power electronics circuits to achieve significantly higher levels of energy efficiency than is possible with conventional silicon devices.


Cree’s SiC devices


Power modules typically combine a number of discrete power switching devices – MOSFETs and diodes – in a single integrated package for high-voltage power electronics applications such as three-phase industrial power supplies, telecom power systems and power inverters for solar and wind energy systems.


In traditional MOSFET packaging technologies, the parasitic inductance of the long leads can limit the switching capability of SiC MOSFETs. By offering Cree customers bare die alternatives, circuit designers can now take full advantage of the switching performance of SiC technology by reducing the effects of the package-parasitic inductance.


“With the availability of fully qualified SiC MOSFETs as unpackaged chips, manufacturers of power modules can realise the performance advantages of SiC devices—better high temperature operation, higher switching frequencies and lower switching losses – without the limitations imposed by conventional plastic packaging of discrete devices,” explains Cengiz Balkas, Cree vice president and general manager, power and RF.


“The design advantages of implementing SiC power devices in power electronic modules include the ability to achieve higher current and


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