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5 October 2009


SemiSouth claims first SiC JFET used in audio amplifier market

SemiSouth Laboratories of Starkville, MS, USA, which designs and manufactures silicon carbide (SiC) based discrete electronic power devices, says that its highly efficient, normally-off SiC JFET (junction field-effect transistor) has been adopted for the first time by a consumer electronics company for use in a new audiophile-quality power amplifier.

The new J2 power amplifier, designed by Nelson Pass, founder of amplifier specialist First Watt, features SemiSouth’s SJEP120R100, a normally-off, 1200V, 100m-Ohm SiC vertical JFET. Pass is also founder of Pass Laboratories.

SemiSouth believes that this is the first SiC transistor to enter production in the audio amplifier market. JFETs have traditionally been featured in rapidly growing markets markets such as solar inverters, as well as server and telecom power supplies. Benefits over comparable transistors include higher system efficiencies, higher switching frequencies and lower conduction losses.

“These new JFETs have a very low distortion characteristic that makes them superb for use in linear amplifiers,” says Pass. “In apples-to-apples comparisons with MOSFET-type power transistors, they can achieve 10-20dB improvements in distortion performance. When a better transistor like this comes along, it can mean getting the same distortion performance with a lot less feedback, or lower distortion with the same amount of feedback. The J2 does amplifier does both, and that helps make it a better sounding amplifier than the best of its predecessors,” he adds.

Nelson Pass’ use of SemiSouth's transistor continues to show the versatility and performance of the firm’s SiC JFET technology, says Dr Jeff Casady, SemiSouth’s chief technology officer & VP of business development.

SemiSouth says that SiC technology enables energy-efficient operation of power conversion and power management in telecom power supplies, inverters in solar and high-frequency welding, and future automotive electric vehicle platforms. SiC promises to make power supplies and power inverters up to 75% more energy efficient, operate at up to eight times higher frequencies, run cooler and be physically much smaller (e.g. SiC power JFETs are expected to increase the efficiency of hybrid electric vehicles and to help make them more affordable).

See related items:

SemiSouth awarded new SiC power JFET patents

SemiSouth helps drive Fraunhofer ISE’s PV inverters to world record efficiency

SemiSouth receives SBIR contract to develop new class of high-speed JFETs

Search: SemiSouth SiC SiC JFET


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