SemiSouth Announces New SiC Power JFET Patents

January 29, 2008 by Jeff Shepard

SemiSouth Laboratories, Inc. announced the award of its tenth and eleventh U.S. Patents. SemiSouth now owns or has exclusive license to a total of 11 patent awards in the field of SiC power electronics.

The two new patent awards, 7,294,860 – "Monolithic Vertical Junction Field Effect Transistor & Schottky Barrier Diode Fabricated From Silicon Carbide & Method of Fabricating the Same" and 7,274,083 – "Semiconductor Device w/ Surge Current Protection & Method of Making" cover power management topics such as integration of SiC JFET, diodes, circuits, and process designs for SiC power JFETs. The recent patents were the result of focused efforts, led by Dr. Igor Sankin and Dr. Mike Mazzola, in pushing the technology forward for both near–term and long–term products.

The company states that SiC is an emerging semiconductor technology proven to reduce energy losses, enabling energy efficient operation of power conversion and power management applications. The commercial benefit of SiC technology is its ability to make power supplies, motor drives and inverters more energy efficient, run cooler and be physically smaller in size.

"In addition to the reduction in energy losses, customers are afforded the ability to eliminate or greatly reduce cooling requirements, saving additional energy, cost, and complexity," said Dr. Dave Sheridan, SemiSouth’s Director of Engineering.

The principal markets SemiSouth serves includes solar power, computing, motor drive, automotive and aerospace applications. The company claims that its SiC JFET is a replacement for silicon MOSFETs, IGBTs, or BJTs and can eliminate more than 50% of the energy losses in power converters used in these industries. In the automotive industry, the company states that it expects the SiC JFETs to revolutionize the design of hybrid electric vehicles, thus making them more fuel efficient and more affordable for consumers.

"Our qualification partners have provided very positive feedback on our rugged, reliable, and very power efficient SiC power JFET," said Dr. Jeff Casady, SemiSouth’s Chief Operating Officer. "In today’s energy conscious world, this technology provides us and our customers with an extremely exciting business opportunity."