Fairchild Acquires Silicon Carbide Company TranSiC

April 14, 2011 by Jeff Shepard

Fairchild Semiconductor announced the acquisition of TranSiC, a Silicon Carbide (SiC) power transistor company.

The acquisition provides Fairchild with bipolar SiC transistor technology with what is claimed to be demonstrated industry leading efficiencies and excellent performance over wide temperature ranges, and superior performance over MOSFET and JFET technology approaches. Fairchild also acquired a team of highly experienced SiC engineers and scientists and multiple patents in SiC technology.

"The combination of silicon carbide technology with Fairchild’s existing capabilities in MOSFETs, IGBTs and multi-chip modules, along with our global access to customers, positions us to continue to be a leader in innovative, high performance power transistor technology," said Mark Thompson, Fairchild’s Chairman, CEO and President.

"The performance levels achieved with SiC technology allow for much higher efficiency in power conversion. It also offers a higher switching speed, a feature that enables smaller end system form factors. Silicon Carbide technology is established in the market with a strong lead over alternatives in the wide bandgap area for applications that require voltages greater than 600V and demonstrates superior ruggedness and reliability," added Dan Kinzer, Fairchild’s Chief Technology Officer.

According to the companies, benefits over alternative technologies include: lower on-state voltage drop for a given chip size; higher current density; higher temperature operation; extremely low thermal resistance; ultrafast switching with only majority carrier conduction; easy drive solutions due to normally off operation with current gain in the range of 100; easy paralleling due to the positive temperature coefficient of resistance.

Additionally, the device resistance is very near the theoretical limit for SiC. Turn-on and turn-off times in the 25ns range switching 50A from 800V have been demonstrated. Parametric stability has been demonstrated under long term full rated bias and current stress conditions.

These high gain SiC bipolar devices are well suited for high-power conversion applications in down-hole drilling, solar inverters, wind-powered inverters, electric and hybrid electric vehicles, industrial drives, UPS and light rail traction applications.

Fairchild is sampling initial 1200V products up to 50A ratings in targeted applications. Future offerings are in development to expand the voltage and current range, and to continue to drive improved energy saving.