New semiconductor materials to cut losses by half for renewables, telecoms and lighting systems
December 15, 2010 // Julien Happich
Six partners from the semiconductor and solar industries are joining forces in the NEULAND project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to explore new avenues for the efficient use of electricity from renewable sources. NEULAND stands for innovative power devices with high energy efficiency and cost effectiveness based on wide bandgap compound semiconductors. The project aims to reduce the losses in feeding electricity into the grid, e.g. in photovoltaic inverters, by as much as 50 percent – without significantly increasing system costs. This is to be achieved using innovative semiconductor devices based on silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride on silicon (GaN-on-Si).
The new semiconductor devices are also to be used in future in switched-mode power supplies for desktop and laptop PCs, for flat-screen TVs, servers and telecommunication systems with a view to likewise reducing energy losses in these applications by about half.
The NEULAND project will run until mid-2013 and is headed by Infineon. The project will receive 52.6 percent of its funding, or approximately Euro 4.7 million, from the BMBF under the Federal Government’s High-Tech Strategy (“Information and Communications Technology 2020”, ICT 2020 program) as part of the call for proposals on “Power Electronics for Energy Efficiency Enhancement”.
Today SiC material is already used in Schottky diodes. During the last ten years, SiC Schottky diodes have significantly reduced losses in current and voltage conversion in switched-mode power supplies. They are used primarily in switched-mode power supplies for PCs or TVs, in solar inverters and motor drives. At present GaN material is used mainly in white light emitting diodes. Studies into the suitability of this material for power applications began in 2006.
The NEULAND research will reveal the applications for which GaN devices live up to or outperform present SiC devices in terms of reliability, ease of use and cost. This will pave the way for introducing the energy efficiency benefits of reduced losses throughout the consumer electronics spectrum.
The project consortium brings together outstanding expertise in SiC and GaN across a very wide area of the value chain. Aixtron is represented as a provider of equipment for the semiconductor industry, and the SiCrystal and Azzurro companies as wafer manufacturers. The semiconductor device know-how will be supplied by MicroGaN and Infineon, and the experience in systems engineering for photovoltaic applications will come from SMA Solar Technology.
Steep growth for thermoelectric energy harvesting, says Infinergia Consulting
July 22, 2014
In a new report titled “Sub-watt thermoelectric energy harvesting: industry and market analysis”, market research firm Infinergia ...
AMS, Dialog merger talks fail
MIT wrist-robot adds extra fingers
Monolithic Power Systems signs with Avnet Memec
Thoughts on energy harvesting for wearable equipment
Will laser ignition replace the venerable spark plug?
July 21, 2014
Lowering fuel consumption and reduce the emission of pollutants - these aspects today are at the top of the design goals ...
Merger creates powerhouse in micro imaging software
'Hot carrier' study opens solar cell efficiency advances
Google Glass' killer app: surveillance
- Testing GPS with a Simulator
- DSM presents: Select the best plastic for DDR4
- Dual 13A μModule Regulator with Digital Interface for Remote Monitoring & Control of Power
- Exploring the Business Model Evolution of High-Tech Equipment Manufacturers
InterviewCEO interview: China, not Apple, is way to go, says mCube CEO
Ben Lee, CEO of MEMS startup mCube, explains why he wants to spend $37 million on being a supplier of sensors to Chinese ODMs and avoiding a design win with Apple or Samsung.
Filter WizardCheck out the Filter Wizard Series of articles by Filter Guru Kendall Castor-Perry which provide invaluable practical Analog Design guidelines.
Linear video channel
READER OFFERRead more
This month, Altium Ltd is offering EETimes Europe's readers the chance to win one TASKING VX-Toolset for ARM Cortex-M Premium Edition, normally licensed for 2.395 Euros, for ultra-rapid prototyping and code development around ARM Cortex-M based microcontrollers.
The VX-toolset for ARM is the first TASKING compiler suite to receive the Software Platform technology, which is seamlessly...Read more
December 15, 2011 | Texas instruments | 222901974
Unique Ser/Des technology supports encrypted video and audio content with full duplex bi-directional control channel over a single wire interface.