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Innovations in High Power Electronics Impacting Key Sectors (TechVision)

  • December 2015
  • -
  • Frost & Sullivan
  • -
  • 71 pages


Table of Contents

Wide Bandgap Semiconductors Driving High Power Applications

The TechVision division of Frost & Sullivan has evaluated high power electronics technologies, and has assessed innovations that will have an impact on various applications in the near-, medium-, and long- term.
Increasing need for high-power/high-voltage, high-temperature and high switching frequency power electronic devices in applications such as automotive, aerospace and defense drives the need for wide band gap materials. The high power electronic devices industry has evolved to be highly dynamic one with developments and innovations in materials, technologies, simulation tools, modelling and applications. The high power electronics technologies are the next revolution in the power industry and it sets new standards in saving power for virtually everything that makes use of or converts electricity. High power electronics technologies come into play wherever there is a need to modify different forms of electric energy such as current, voltage, and frequency.

The report focuses on analysing key innovations in Silicon Carbide and Gallium Nitride based power electronic devices intended for high power applications in aerospace, automotive, smart grids, industrial drives and data centres.

Research Methodology Step by Step Approach
Step 1: To provide a thorough analysis of each topic, TechVision analysts perform a review of patents to become familiar with the major developers and commercial participants and their processes.
Step 2: Building on the patent search, the analysts review abstracts to identify key scientific and technical papers that provide insights into key industry participants and the technical processes, on which they work.
Step 3: The analysts then create a detailed questionnaire with content created to address the research objectives of the study, which functions as a guide during the interview process. While the analysts use structured questionnaires to guarantee coverage of all the desired issues, they also conduct interviews in a conversational style. This approach results in a more thorough exchange of views with the respondents, and offers greater insight into the relevant issues than more structured interviews may provide.
Step 4: The analysts conduct primary research with key industry participants and technology developers to obtain the required content. Interviews are completed with sources located throughout the world, in universities, national laboratories, governmental and regulatory bodies, trade associations, and end-user companies, among other key organizations. Our analysts contact the major commercial participants to find out about the advantages and disadvantages of processes and the drivers and challenges behind technologies and applications. Our analysts talk to the principal developers, researchers, engineers, business developers,
analysts, strategic planners, and marketing experts, among other professionals.
Step 5: The project management and research team reviews and analyzes the research data that are gathered and adds its recommendations to the draft of the final study. Having conducted both published studies and custom proprietary research covering many types of new and emerging technology activities as well as worldwide industry analysis, the management and research team adds its perspective and experience to provide an accurate, timely analysis. The analysts then prepare written final research services for each project and sometimes present key findings in analyst briefings to clients.

Analyst Desk--Enabling Technologies for High Power Applications
- Energy Band Gap: Wide band gap materials are materials that possess electronic band gap energy of more than one or two electron volt (eV). Due to wide band gap energy, power devices are capable of operating at high temperatures, and thus wide band gap materials are useful in applications where high temperature is crucial. Power devices operate at high temperatures without undergoing the intrinsic conduction effects
due to wide band gap energy.
- Dielectric Constant: Low dielectric constant increases material’s feasibility for high frequency operations.
- Saturation Velocity: The switching losses and EMI are low due to the excellent reverse recovery characteristics, and hence this property of high power devices eliminates the need for snubber circuits. The saturated electron drift velocity of power devices are capable of operating at high frequencies (radio frequency and microwave frequency range) due to high saturated electron drift velocity.
- Breakdown Electric Field: Power devices have high breakdown voltage due to the high electric breakdown field compared to Si-based power devices. The breakdown voltages of wide band gap semiconductor power devices are 5 to 10 times more (in some cases, it is more than times) than Si-based power devices. A high breakdown electric field also facilitates high device packaging density for integrated circuits (ICs), as this
property of power devices allows close integration of devices.

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