15 April 2011

Fairchild buys Sweden’s TranSiC

Fairchild Semiconductor of San Jose CA, USA, which makes silicon chips for power and mobile designs, says that, to meet the need for increasing efficiencies and higher performance for semiconductor applications, it is acquiring silicon carbide (SiC) power transistor maker TranSiC AB of Kista, Sweden.

Fairchild says that the acquisition provides it with bipolar SiC transistor technology with demonstrated industry-leading efficiencies and performance over wide temperature ranges, as well as superior performance over MOSFET and JFET technology approaches. The firm has also acquired a team of SiC engineers and scientists and multiple patents in SiC technology.

“The combination of silicon carbide technology with Fairchild’s existing capabilities in MOSFETs, IGBTs and multi-chip modules, along with our global access to customers, positions us to continue to be a leader in innovative, high-performance power transistor technology,” says chairman, CEO & president Mark Thompson.

“The performance levels achieved with SiC technology allow for much higher efficiency in power conversion,” notes chief technology officer Dan Kinzer. “It also offers a higher switching speed, a feature that enables smaller end-system form factors,” he adds. “Silicon carbide technology is established in the market with a strong lead over alternatives in the wide-bandgap area for applications that require voltages greater than 600V and demonstrates superior ruggedness and reliability.”

Fairchild says that benefits over alternative technologies include: lower on-state voltage drop for a given chip size; higher current density; higher-temperature operation; extremely low thermal resistance; ultrafast switching with only majority carrier conduction; easy drive solutions due to normally-off operation with current gain in the range of 100; and easy paralleling due to the positive temperature coefficient of resistance.

Additionally, the device resistance is very near to the theoretical limit for SiC. Turn-on and turn-off times in the 25ns range switching 50A from 800V have been demonstrated. Parametric stability has been demonstrated under long-term full rated bias and current stress conditions.

The firm says that these high-gain SiC bipolar devices suit high-power conversion applications in down-hole drilling, solar inverters, wind-powered inverters, electric and hybrid electric vehicles, industrial drives, UPS and light rail traction applications. These markets are projected by Yole Developpement to approach $1bn by 2020.

Fairchild claims that the SiC devices are capable of industry-leading efficiency, cutting losses relative to established silicon approaches by up to half, or allowing an increase in frequency by up to 4x with similar losses. Overall system cost and value can benefit from much smaller, lighter passive components, the firm says, adding that there is no equal for systems requiring the best efficiency and power density.

Fairchild is sampling initial 1200V products up to 50A ratings in targeted applications. Future offerings are in development to expand the voltage and current range, and to continue to drive improved energy savings.

Tags: TranSiC SiC Fairchild

Visit: www.transic.com

Visit: www.fairchildsemi.com

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