North Carolina State University researchers are introducing a new manufacturing process and chip design for silicon carbide (SiC) power devices. The team developed the process called PRESiCE™ with support from Department of Energy’s the PowerAmerica Institute.
The goal of the new process is to make entry into the SiC marketplace and the development of new SiC power device products easier for companies.
PRESiCE™ Process Could Lower Entry Barrier for Companies Trying to Enter SiC Power Device Market
“PRESiCE™ will allow more companies to get into the SiC market, because they won’t have to initially develop their own design and manufacturing process for power devices – an expensive, time-consuming engineering effort,” said Jay Baliga, Distinguished University Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NC State and lead author of a paper on PRESiCE™ that will be presented later this month.
While SiC devices are known to be more efficient, until now, companies that developed fabrication processes for producing SiC power devices have kept their processes proprietary. These proprietary methods have made it difficult for other companies to enter the field. And ultimately, the limited the price competition has kept the cost of SiC devices high.
The team that developed PRESiCE™ worked with a Texas-based foundry X-Fab to implement the production process, and they have now qualified it. Tests revealed that the process delivers high yield and tight statistical distribution of electrical properties for SiC power devices. While SiC power devices currently cost about five times as much as silicon power devices, the team hopes to help bring the cost down to just 1.5 times that of silicon devices.
The team already licensed the PRESiCE™ process and chip design to one company, and they are in talks with several others.
At the International Conference on Silicon Carbide and Related Materials, being held Sept. 17-22 in Washington, D.C., the paper, “PRESiCE™: PRocess Engineered for manufacturing SiC Electronic-devices,” will be presented.