Silicon Carbide (SiC)

Silicon Carbide SiC

Silicon carbide for a more sustainable future

STMicroelectronics introduced its first SiC diodes in 2004, after several years of research and development on silicon carbide technology. SiC MOSFET were introduced in 2009 and entered mass production in 2014. Today, ST’s portfolio of medium- and high-voltage power products based on SiC technology is among the widest in the industry.

ST is actively engaged in capacity expansion and development of a reliable and robust SiC supply chain able to meet demand growth and ensure continuity through extended longevity programs. ST manufactures its SiC products to the highest standards to ensure reliable performance and efficiency gains for electric vehicle (EV) applications, solar inverters, energy storage, industrial motor drives, and power supplies. Our technology exceeds industrial and automotive application standards and is preparing to target more extreme aerospace applications.

ST recently completed qualification of its third-generation SiC technology platform. Planar MOSFETs based on this platform set new industry-leading benchmarks for transistor efficiency, power density, and switching performance. First products are now commercially available.
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The advantages of SiC power devices

Power devices based on silicon carbide offer various key benefits over conventional silicon devices. Their higher voltage and higher frequency capabilities allow greater system efficiency, faster switching, lower losses, and better thermal management. Ultimately, SiC devices allow smaller and lighter power designs featuring higher power density. 

SiC for electric mobility

SiC power devices find application in critical power systems inside electric vehicles, including traction inverters, on-board chargers and in the DC/DC conversion stage. They also provide significant and efficiency gains in charging stations. With respect to their silicon-based counterparts, SiC devices offer the following advantages:

  • Over 600 km longer driving range on an average EV
  • 150 to 200 kg less weight on an average EV
  • Double the energy from a charging station
  • Longer battery lifetime due to lower stress

 

SiC for industrial power and drives

SiC devices benefit industrial applications from motors and robots to various other factory automation systems, as well as in power supplies for servers and solar energy conversion systems. For industrial contexts, SiC devices can deliver the following benefits with respect to silicon-based devices:

  • 50% lower power losses
  • Ability to run at five times the frequency
  • 50% reduction in system size and weight
  • 20% reduction in total cost of ownership

 

SiC-based power devices can operate at up to 200°C junction temperature (limited only by the package), which reduces cooling requirements and allows more compact, more reliable, and more robust solutions. Existing designs can incorporate the performance and efficiency benefits of SiC devices without major changes, allowing fast development turnaround while keeping the BOM to a minimum.

The performance of wide-bandgap materials

Silicon carbide is a wide-bandgap material that exhibits many intrinsic advantages over conventional silicon.

碳化硅

碳化硅(SiC)是一种宽带隙材料,与硅相比,具有许多优点,例如,工作温度更高,散热性能得到改善,开关和导通损耗更低。 不过,宽带隙材料比硅基材料的量产难度更高。

碳化硅特性

silicon carbide vs silicon

碳化硅的优点

sic power schottky diode and sic mosfet

更高的性能和工作电压

  • 功率损失极低
  • 本征SiC体二极管(MOSFET)(4象限开关操作)
  • 开关比硅更快,更可靠
  • 在击穿电压相同的条件下,芯片尺寸更小
  • 能效更高
  • 导热性高

更高的工作频率

  • 开关损耗更低,二极管开关性能出色
  • 更小、更轻量化的系统

更高的工作温度

  • 工作节温最高200°C
  • 散热要求降低,可用于轻量化系统,延长使用寿命

容易驱动

  • 完全兼容标准栅极驱动器
  • 设计更简单

ST与碳化硅

意法半导体从1996年开始从事碳化硅技术研发。在半导体市场推出一项新技术,质量高、寿命长,成本有竞争力是基本要求。意法半导体战胜了这种宽带隙材料的量产挑战,于2004年开始生产其首款SiC二极管。2009年,意法半导体的第一款 SiC MOSFET投产,此后又增加了1200V的SiC MOSFET和功率肖特基二极管,以完善原来的650V产品组合。

随着市场竞争愈演愈烈,基础材料的成本不断降低,碳化硅的供应链变得越来越稳健。意法半导体一直在努力改善材料和工艺质量。随着材料和基于SiC技术的产品 变得更加成熟,意法半导体研制出正在成为汽车电气化的关键推动力的汽车级SiC功率器件。

意法半导体的6英寸碳化硅晶圆于2017年投产,生产规模扩大有助于降低芯片成本,提高市场供应量,满足日益增多的SiC应用的需求(包括更多的太阳能逆变器、工业电机驱动器、家用电器和电源适配器)。

SiC Silicon Carbide wafers

若想更多地了解碳化硅技术,请观看视频。

SiC Silicon Carbide video

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