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Sunday, October 5, 2014

#307 SiC goes strong

While progress in mainstream logic and memory IC technology is getting plenty of attention in semiconductor technical and business communities, what’s going in power IC electronics is enjoying somewhat lesser exposure. It takes semiconductors with a  bandgap much wider than that of silicon to handle high temperature of operation, high power density, and voltages in kVolts regime and silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitrided (GaN) cope with the challenge very effectively.


The result is an impressive growth in wide bandgap semiconductor engineering. Progress in the size of commercially available substrate wafers is a good indicator of the "dynamics" within any given semiconductor sector. Some 12 years ago I was involved in research on the processing and characterization of SiC surfaces. My recollection is that the largest available SiC wafers at that time were 3 inch in diameter. However, because of their very high cost, basic research was commonly carried out on 2 inch SiC wafers (actually, quite often on the smaller pieces, we called them "coupons" cut out of 2 inch wafers). Well, it looks like the current power semiconductor industry standard are SiC wafers 150 mm (~6 inch) in diameter. Good going silicon carbide…

Posted by Jerzy Ruzyllo at 08:38 AM | Semiconductors | Link is the personal blog of Jerzy Ruzyllo. With over 35 years of experience in academic research and teaching in the area of semiconductor engineering (currently holding position of a Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Penn State University), he has a unique perspective on the developments in this progress driving technical domain and enjoys blogging about it.

With over 2000 terms defined and explained, Semiconductor Glossary is the most complete reference in the field of semiconductors on the market today.

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