Infineon develops silicon carbide power semiconductors

FEB. 6 Munich, Germany–Infineon Technologies AG is believed to have become the world’s first manufacturer of power semiconductors producing Schottky diodes based on silicon carbide (SiC) technology. These new diodes allow significantly lower switching losses and higher switching frequencies, according to the company, while offering much higher operating voltage ranges than traditional silicon Schottky diodes.

“Infineon’s extensive experience in the field of power semiconductors and its state-of-the-art process technology formed the basis for the development of these new diodes that offer an ideal and space-saving solution for high-performance switched mode power supplies,” explains Dr. Reinhard Ploss, Infineon’s vice president and general manager of the Automotive and Industrial business group. “An essential advantage of Infineon’s SiC technology is that it makes possible almost loss-free and very fast switching diodes. This not only reduces overall losses, but also improves reliability and lowers system costs.”

SiC is an ideal material for high-blocking voltage power semiconductors. Its characteristics include a high Schottky barrier, high electrical breakdown field strength, and a thermal conductivity comparable to that of copper. These characteristics result in low leakage currents, low on-resistance, and high current densities. While silicon Schottky diodes only reach blocking voltages of 200V, and gallium arsenide (GaAs) diodes reach up to 250V, SiC diodes are capable of the range from 300V to 3,500V.

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