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19 March 2008


SemiSouth awarded SiC JFET manufacturing patent

SemiSouth Laboratories Inc of Austin, TX, USA, which designs and manufactures SiC-based discrete electronic power devices and epiwafer materials, has been awarded a new US patent. The firm now owns or has exclusive license to 12 patents in silicon carbide power electronics.

Patent 7,314,799 (‘Self-Aligned Trench Field Effect Transistors With Regrown Gates And Bipolar Junction Transistors With Regrown Base Contact Regions And Methods Of Making’) enables SemiSouth to eliminate the need for implantation in the fabrication process for SiC power JFETs. “This not only saves on costs [by 10-15% per wafer], but reduces cycle time and improves yield,” says chief operating officer Kenney Roberts. “This new technique greatly simplifies our manufacturing process and is a significant milestone in our ongoing cost reduction roadmap,” adds Dr Jeff Casady, chief technical officer.

The principal markets that SemiSouth serves includes solar power, computing, motor drive, automotive and military-aerospace applications. The firm’s SiC JFET is a replacement for silicon MOSFETs, IGBTs (insulated-gate bipolar transistors) or BJTs (bipolar junction transistors) and can eliminate more than 50% of the energy losses in power converters used in these industries, it is claimed. In the price-sensitive automotive industry, SiC JFETs are expected to revolutionize the design of hybrid electric vehicles, making them more fuel efficient and affordable.

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