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29 May 2008


AFRL awards SemiSouth $4.9m ‘Task Order 3’ for SiC development

The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, OH has awarded SemiSouth Laboratories Inc of Austin, TX ‘Task Order 3’, totaling $4.9m, against a previously won Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) award. This is part of a five-year STTR, Phase III contract awarded in 2006 for the development of silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductor devices for harsh environment applications.

After delivering on previous task orders focused on the design and reproducible manufacture of SiC-based power semiconductors, ‘Task Order 3’ focuses on design advances, device reliability and manufacturing qualification for the SiC devices in preparation of their use in critical military applications.

The latest task order also funds the development of prototype reference designs for power conversion systems in high-temperature or high-performance applications using the manufactured SiC devices. One of the target applications is AFRL’s More Electric Aircraft (MEA) initiative, which requires high-efficiency and high-temperature transistors that can only be realized by using SiC.

“Many of the Department of Defense (DoD) applications are limited by energy efficiency,” says SemiSouth’s chief technology officer Dr Jeffrey B. Casady. “In MEA applications, removing size and weight is absolutely critical for mission integrity. The energy-efficient, rugged nature of silicon carbide based power electronics enables smaller, lighter, and faster aircraft,” he adds.

Both the design and production work for the award are performed in SemiSouth’s facility in Starkville, Mississippi (where SemiSouth was founded in 2000), which has been ‘very effective in helping DoD meet their target goals’, it is claimed. “We’ve received broad support for this effort across DoD, as well as clear vision and support from the Mississippi Congressional delegation, in particular US Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker,” Casady remarks.

See related items:

SemiSouth’s E-mode SiC JFETs boost solar inverter efficiency

SemiSouth awarded SiC JFET manufacturing patent

SemiSouth awarded two patents

Search: SemiSouth SiC

Visit: www.semisouth.com