SemiSouth Announces Grant To Develop Silicon Carbide Power Switches

November 25, 2008 by Jeff Shepard

SemiSouth announced the award of their latest Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase I contract. The company states that the contract, related to high efficiency Silicon Carbide (SiC) Power Electronics technology, was awarded to SemiSouth due to the US military’s increasing need for high voltage, high-frequency power transistors and SemiSouth’s recognized leadership in developing this technology.

According to Dr. Jeff Casady, Chief Technology Officer, the recent award was the result of focused efforts, led by Dr. Dave Sheridan and Dr. Mike Mazzola, in pushing SemiSouth’s proprietary SiC technology forward for both near-term and long-term products. "Silicon Carbide has some unique properties that will enable new power electronic devices with improved reliability, efficiency, and compactness. We are excited to work on this project with the Navy and to expand our product offering of high performance power semiconductors," said Dr. Casady. This most recent grant is the 17th Phase I or Phase II SBIR/STTR contract that SemiSouth has received related to Silicon Carbide device development.

Dr. Dave Sheridan, SemiSouth’s Director of Engineering, commented that "This award will help fund a new class of high-speed JFETs, with blocking voltages of 2 kV. In addition to Navy applications, these devices will be well suited for renewable markets such as solar and wind." Work on the project is underway with results expected in Q1 2009.