SemiSouth Announces Three New SiC Power JFET Patents

August 24, 2009 by Jeff Shepard

SemiSouth Laboratories, Inc. announced the award of its third US Patent in 2009, and 18th overall in SiC Power Electronics technology. The patents cover methods of making normally-off SiC JFETs, self-aligned SiC fabrication methods, and integration of SiC JFET, diodes, and circuits.

According to Dr. Jeff Casady, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Business Development, the recent patents were the result of focused efforts, led by SemiSouth engineers, in pushing the technology forward for both near-term and long-term products. "Our normally-off SiC JFET, the most energy efficient and cost effective SiC power transistor switch, is an extremely important product to SemiSouth and its customers. After sampling the product globally for over one year, we are seeing very positive signs of adoption by our customer base in solar inverters, telecom power supplies, and other applications."

Dr. David Sheridan, SemiSouth’s Director of Engineering, commented, "These specific patents allow us to further strength the intellectual property we have around the normally-off SiC JFET, including different process designs and methods to integrate for added chip functionality in the future."

SiC is described as an emerging semiconductor technology enabling energy efficient operation of power conversion and power management in telecom power supplies, inverters in solar and high-frequency welding, future automotive electric vehicle platforms, and many other products. According to the company, the true promise of SiC is its ability to make power supplies and power inverters up to 50-75% more energy efficient, operate at up to four to eight times higher frequency, and as a result run cooler and be physically much smaller in size. As an example, SiC power JFETs are expected to increase the ’fuel’ efficiency of hybrid electric vehicles and help make them more affordable for consumers.