APT Licenses SiC Technology from Northrop Grumman

February 23, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

Advanced Power Technology Inc. (APT) has entered into a license agreement for silicon carbide (SiC) technology from the Electronic Systems' sector of Northrop Grumman Corp. This agreement forms an exclusive foundry supplier relationship whereby Northrop Grumman will license certain SiC technology to APT including relevant SiC patents and manufacturing methods to enable APT to manufacture proprietary high performance SiC microelectronic devices exclusively for Northrop Grumman.

In addition, the agreement allows APT to use the licensed technology to manufacture and sell other high performance SiC devices for commercial purposes. Both companies possess substantial expertise in SiC technology and view SiC based power semiconductors as strategically important to a wide array of next generation applications.

Military applications include radar, hybrid power systems, electric power control and distribution, electronic jamming, and wideband communications systems. Potential non-military applications that can benefit from silicon carbide's military-level performance include hybrid vehicles, electric power transmission, computer/servers, medical systems, and alternative energy.

Russell Crecraft, APT's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer stated, "We are very pleased to enter into a long term contractual relationship with a world class company such as Northrop Grumman. The development of SiC products for both Switchmode and RF power conversion applications has been and continues to be a key strategic initiative for Advanced Power Technology. We expect this new relationship with Northrop Grumman to substantially accelerate our progress towards becoming the leading supplier of SiC power semiconductor products. Combining the expertise of both companies will allow APT to provide leading edge devices built with the highest level of SiC technology."

The driving force for the adoption of silicon carbide for military as well as civilian applications is the need to reduce weight and size of power control and management systems and their associated support equipment, in particular cooling systems and heat dispersing packaging. SiC semiconductors have demonstrated large performance advantages in numerous test beds over the most advanced silicon components.