PowerAmerica Updates Wide Bandgap Technology Roadmap

May 23, 2019 by Paul Shepard

PowerAmerica recently unveiled an updated technology roadmap. Roadmapping is a dynamic, ongoing process that guides PowerAmerica’s strategic decisions and provides a common vision of the future for the WBG community to work toward.

The document is really two roadmaps: one for SiC and one for GaN technology. The public version of the roadmap includes a new market forecast for WBG power electronics and analysis of SiC and GaN device cost based on market information.

Additionally, a more detailed version of the roadmap, available to members only, outlines key markets and application areas for SiC and GaN power electronics (PE), the performance targets GaN and SiC technologies are expected to meet over time, technical barriers to achieving those targets, and activities needed to overcome those barriers.

This roadmap outlines key markets and application areas for SiC and GaN PE, performance targets for competitive SiC and GaN technologies, technical barriers to achieving those targets, and the PowerAmerica activities needed to overcome those barriers. PowerAmerica’s role will be to facilitate coordination across industry, academia, and national labs to implement the priority activities identified in this roadmap and to make strategic investments in technology development, workforce training, and WBG manufacturing.

The following high-level recommendations are a summary of the actions found in Section 5: PowerAmerica’s 5-Year Roadmap Strategy:

  • Reducing Cost
    • Lower the $/ampere of WBG devices and power modules.
    • Support vertically integrated fabrication.
    • Support and promote early adopter, high-volume WBG applications.
    • Establish SiC and GaN open foundries to scale to high-volume manufacturing.
  • Improving Reliability and Quality
    • Establish WBG PE reliability at system-level and investigate degradation/failure mechanisms of devices, modules, or systems.
    • Develop open databases for reliability data.
    • Develop capability to perform AECQ or JEDEC standard tests for WBG power devices.
    • Set dedicated standards for WBG PE.
  • Enhancing Performance Capabilities
    • Focus on near-term applications to demonstrate the system-level advantages of WBG power devices.
    • Support pathways to commercialization for industry-led projects.
    • Promote reference designs, advanced gate drives and modules, and work in advanced peripherals.
  • Strengthening the Power Electronics Ecosystem
    • Continue to offer the Device Bank for quick access to SiC and GaN devices.
    • Continue to provide communication mechanisms for different levels of stakeholders, from vendors to end users.
    • Train a WBG PE workforce.
    • Monitor basic core technologies, state-of-the-art complementary technologies, and long-term applications to identify promising opportunities.