SiC technology soon to come of age

September 05, 2016 // By Mayuko Murao
At last PCIM Europe (which took place last May in Nuremberg), ROHM Semiconductor showcased a variety of SiC power devices. And although SiC is disadvantageous compared to silicon in terms of price, cost reductions are expected as the industry transitions to 6-inch wafers.

From wafers to modules

According to ROHM representatives at the show, one of the company's strengths is its ability to provide a full range of SiC power devices, from wafers to modules. Christian André, ROHM president and chairman of ROHM subsidiary SiCrystal, says the message that ROHM most wanted to get across at PCIM Europe was that they have "lined up a broad portfolio of power products, including not only SiC devices, which are the driving force in the power sector, but also peripheral devices including SiC drive ICs and digital power control".


ROHM offers a full range of SiC power
devices, from wafers to modules.


A DC-DC converter comprised of
SiC MOSFETs and SiC SBDs.

Regarding the SiC power device market in Europe, André expressed the view that "If you look in terms of sales, the SiC market is still small.


SiC modules developed by various
module manufacturers using
ROHM SiC power devices.
 


Inside SiC modules.

 

 

 

But particularly over the last three years, I think interest in SiC technology has increased. At this year’s PCIM Europe, you could see SiC power devices being displayed everywhere. This is completely different from five years ago. Five years ago, I think we were the only company exhibiting SiC."

 

SiC is expected to be adopted in a wide range of applications, including solar power systems, railways, electric/hybrid vehicles, and industrial equipment. "At the beginning the market driving SiC was solar energy systems. ROHM has been supplying SiC power devices to the solar market for more than three years. This is because the product cycle in inverters and the like for solar generating systems is about three years, which is relatively short compared to other markets like railways, automotive, and industrial equipment.”